Feb 28, 2023
Report: Potato industry contributed $100.9 billion to U.S. economy in 2021

A new report authored by Michigan State University economists found that the U.S. potato sector contributed $100.9 billion to the country’s economy in 2021.

According to “Measuring the Economic Significance of the U.S. Potato Industry,” released today, that total includes $10.8 billion in agriculture production and agribusiness services, as well as $49.1 billion in processing, wholesaling and retail.

Another $41 billion is contributed through food service industries and household consumption.

A new report found that the U.S. potato sector contributed $100.9 billion to the country’s economy in 2021. Photo: File

The analysis found that the potato industry generates an estimated 714,000 domestic jobs with annual wages of $34.1 billion. The industry employs 0.4% of the entire U.S. workforce and contributes $53 million towards annual gross domestic product growth.

“Not only are potatoes an essential and healthy component in our diet, but now we can say unequivocally that they are vital to the American economy,” RJ Andrus of TBR Farm in Idaho Fall, Idaho, and incoming president of the National Potato Council, said in a statement. “Potatoes are an essential component to our prosperity as a nation, built and sustained by America’s potato growers, who put people to work in every city and town across our great country.

“Today’s report cements the fact that potatoes are America’s favorite vegetable with value.”

The U.S. is the world’s fifth largest producer of potatoes, the No. 1 vegetable consumed annually in the country. Approximately 20% of potatoes grown or processed domestically are exported to Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea and other trading partners. In 2021, the value of all potato-related exports (fresh, processed, and dehydrated) topped $1.88 billion in sales.

Idaho produces the most potatoes in the U.S., followed by Washington. Other major potato producers are Wisconsin, Oregon, North Dakota, Colorado, Minnesota, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska and California.

Highlights of the report (.pdf) are available online at nationalpotatocouncil.org/spudnation.

Its release coincides with NPC’s 2023 Washington Summit, a forum for potato industry members to discuss, define and advocate for policy priorities being held Feb. 27-March 3 in Washington, D.C.

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