Last week Kevin Cramer, congressman for North Dakota, announced $3 million in purchases for red potatoes for nutrition assistance programs through U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
Cramer said he and his staff urged the USDA to buy excess red potatoes from the North Dakota/Minnesota growing area after the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, East Grand Forks, Minn., requested help moving the crop as the season comes to a close.
Former Northern Plains Potato Growers Association president Chuck Gunnerson said the current red potato market is a “nightmare, due to high-yield, no trucks early in the season and the exchange rate with Canada,” according to a release from Cramer’s office.
Minnesota and North Dakota potato growers in the Red River Valley produce most of the red potatoes in the United States.
“This purchase really helps reduce the strain on our red potato producers and provides quality nutrition to families in need.”
“I am pleased the USDA acted quickly on our request as the crop is perishable and producers are looking for new crop storage.”