North America, Trade/Markets/Prices

Cheaper Canadian potatoes hurt Maine farmers’ bottom line

Maine farmers are facing a tough time as cheaper Canadian potatoes flood the market, impacting their bottom line, as Paula Brewer reports for Bangor Daily News (BDN). Seeing Canadian potatoes cross the border bound for U.S. markets makes Aroostook County farmers edgy. Right now they have plenty to be edgy about.

Canada is sending more fresh potatoes to U.S. markets, according to Canadian officials. The exchange rate is a major factor, with the strong Canadian dollar making it difficult for Maine farmers to compete. Despite a good quality crop, the battle against cheaper Canadian imports is eating into their profits.

The exchange rate and the wet growing season in Maine have contributed to the current situation, leading to concerns among farmers. Maine growers historically have pushed for more federal agriculture subsidies to equal what they perceive as the Canadian government’s generous support of farmers.

Source: Bangor Daily News (BDN). Read the full story here
Photo: Potatoes are carried up into the mechanism of a harvester at Guerrette Farms in Caribou on Oct. 3. Credit: Paula Brewer / The Star-Herald

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