Potato Farmers Reduce Planting as Demand Plummets During Pandemic

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Potato farmers plan to plant fewer spuds this year after demand for America’s most popular vegetable has plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic.

Early estimates show potato acres down about 10 percent, said Blair Richardson, CEO of Denver-based Potatoes USA, a potato marketing organization. But even with that reduction, industry leaders fear farmers will be unable to sell all their harvest come fall.

The problem developed because the closures of restaurants, schools and other food service operations created an unprecedented drop in potato consumption across the country.

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