In Friday’s roundtable discussion with the USDA, Northern Plains Potato Growers Association President Donavon Johnson said the potato processing industry is being impacted by the coronavirus. “I’ve talked to local growers and they’re expecting somewhere in a 10 to 20 percent reduction in contract acres for process potatoes,” said Johnson. “We can live with that, because farmers haven’t put anything in the ground yet at this point. However, there have been costs incurred from the anticipation of planting these acres.” Johnson asked the USDA to reimburse growers for losses in the new aid package. “We are wondering if there is anyway for USDA to reimburse farmers and ranchers for these costs incurred. This is totally COVID-19 related. It’s even much greater in other areas.”
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