North America, Trade/Markets/Prices

Can millions of dollars worth of San Luis Valley spuds take a one way trip to Mexico?

U.S. farmers started shipping fresh potatoes into the Mexican interior in May, about 20 years after an initial deal was signed between the two countries. 

As Eli Jaynes reports for KRCC/CPR, for the San Luis Valley — the second-largest potato-growing region in the country — the Mexican market could bring in millions of new customers, but farmers there aren’t sure the deal will last, according to Jim Ehrlich, the executive director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee in Monte Vista.

“We’re really skeptical that Mexico will not find a reason to shut the market down again,” he said. Even though the market in Mexico could be a boon to farmers in the San Luis Valley, who enjoy an advantage over growers in Idaho due to their proximity to the border, Ehrlich says farmers aren’t scrambling to plant new rows just yet. 

For one, he’s skeptical that the deal will hold, especially after 20 years of uncertainty. “If the market stays open all through the 2022 crop season, and in May of 2023 if things look good, then yeah there might be some more planted,” he said. “It’s questionable, but maybe.”

Source: KRCC/CPR. Read the full story here
Related: For The San Luis Valley’s Potato Farmers, A Spud Trade Dispute Is Nothing New
Photo: An advertisement for Colorado potatoes painted on the side of a shed in Center, Colo. on June 30, 2022. Credit Michael Elizabeth Sakas/CPR News

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