Potato prices below production cost
There has been a 25 to 30 per cent drop in the price P.E.I. farmers are getting for potatoes in the fresh market, says the P.E.I. Potato Board.
A strong crop in the U.S. and lower consumer demand have combined to bring down prices.
"In the open market we're seeing prices that are below the cost of production this year," said general manager Greg Donald.
"Certainly in the U.S. they had a much larger crop this year, so that has created a situation where obviously there is more potatoes than the market needs. That has resulted in lower prices here."
The Potato Board is working to increase marketing to try to boost demand and prices for next year. A new national group is being formed to tackle the decline in potato consumption. There are also measures being worked on to ensure production matches what is needed in the market place.
Price isn't the only issue Island potato farmers are facing. The dry summer and wet fall also created challenges with potato storage.