Nov 18, 2019
South Korea approves Colorado, Montana seed potatoes for chipping

From the National Potato Council:

This week saw very positive news on the South Korean trade front. As of Nov. 12, seed potatoes from Montana and Colorado can be used in the Pacific Northwest chipping and tablestock export programs for South Korea.

“This request was several years in the making and getting this locked in required a tremendous amount of effort by USDA,” said Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council. “Excellent industry input was coordinated by Matt Lantz and Adam Hollowell at Bryant Christie, and John Toaspern and his team at Potatoes USA. This was a great team effort and we are pleased it is positively concluded.”

Growers in the Pacific Northwest specifically sought the ability to source seed potatoes from Montana and Colorado as options for the program. The revised market access agreement includes the new language, including Montana and Colorado. This is effective immediately and 2019 seed can be used for the 2020 crop in the region.

We continue to seek expanded access for chipping and table stock potatoes from additional states beyond the PNW, including both Montana and Colorado. Those negotiations will continue in 2020.

Congress moves forward with farm labor act

The bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act continues to gather momentum. It is widely anticipated that the bill (HR 4916) will be marked-up in the House Judiciary Committee next Wednesday.

Given the strong list of Republican and Democratic co-sponsors it is believed that the bill could be taken to the House floor shortly after that committee action. NPC has been urging that the House take this first initial step in passing the bill and sending it to the Senate for further improvements.

The current list of co-sponsors includes the following sampling of members from potato producing states:

  • Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
  • Scott Tipton (R-CO)
  • Jason Crow (D-CO)
  • Mike Simpson (R-ID)
  • Fred Upton (R-MI)
  • Alyssa Slotkin (D-MI)
  • Paul Mitchell (R-MI)
  • Collin Peterson (D-MN)
  • Kurt Schrader (D-OR)
  • Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
  • Lloyd Smucker (R-PA)
  • Dan Newhouse (R-WA)
  • Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
  • Kim Schrier (D-WA)

NPC team attends Big Idaho Potato Harvest Meeting

NPC Vice President of Grower Outreach and Industry Research RJ Andrus, NPC

From left, Mike Wenkel, Morgan Andrus, Kam Quarles and RJ Andrus. Photo: NPC

CEO Kam Quarles and NPC COO Mike Wenkel had the opportunity to participate in the Big Idaho Potato Harvest Meeting in Fort Hall, Idaho, on Nov. 13.

“This was my first opportunity to be part of the event,” Quarles said. “It was a great benefit to us in providing an on-the-ground understanding of priorities facing the industry.”

Following the meeting, RJ Andrus and Potato Industry Leadership Institute alumni Morgan Andrus toured the NPC staff throughout the Idaho Falls area.

Ag strategist to speak at Potato Expo

Volatility and disruption are the new normal in the agriculture supply chain. Long-term planning windows have shortened and you need to have a mindset and a business strategy in place that allows you to be responsive to trends and agile enough to shift how your business operates and rethink where profit margins may come from.

With the capabilities to determine the “WHAT, SO WHAT, NOW WHAT” impacts of any market disruption you can create a business strategy that allows you to stay ahead of the game when much of the time the rules of the game aren’t very clear.

In this Innovation Hub session, David Parker, executive vice president at FLM Harvest, will discuss how to better adapt to current trends and disruptors and better understand their implications for the future.

Potato Expo is set for Jan. 14-15 at The Mirage in Las Vegas. Registration information can be found at

75 Applewood Dr. Ste. A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345


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