Caribou County farmer Jason Stoddard is one of many Eastern Idaho seed potato growers who have been stuck with lots of spuds that will never be planted due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Commercial potato farmers throughout the state have canceled seed orders, having had their contracts with processors scaled back due to lost food service demand amid the pandemic. Industry officials estimate roughly 40 million pounds of Idaho seed potatoes have gone unsold or been returned to seed growers.
Based on the uncertainty about the future, many Idaho seed growers are also planting fewer acres this spring of seed that will be delivered next year. Stoddard managed to sell some of his excess inventory to area dehydration plants.