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Drought and supply chain issues create potato price hike

ABERDEEN, Idaho – Inflation is pushing food costs to record levels, but that’s not the only reason food prices are rising. Many farmers are struggling to grow as much food as before.

There are environmental and supply chain factors that make agriculture a harder profession than ever before.

But, Idaho potato farmer Ladd Wahlen said he doesn’t give up on his family’s heritage.

“My great-grandfather, Peter, emigrated from Sweden,” Wahlen said. “He was a farmer, and then my grandfather was a farmer, my father was a farmer. I want to be able to honor his name and carry on the agricultural heritage he started. ”

But in today’s environment, it’s harder to keep that legacy alive.

“In the end, our margins are so small that it’s very difficult to manage so far,” Wahlen said.

But Wahlen knew, with a little innovation, that he could win his potatoes in a new way.

He and his wife prepared a plan to make potato chips on the Idaho farm. Their company Potato chips from fresh crops he makes few flavors of chips on his farm.

“What we do is real Idaho chips,” Wahlen said.

But making these chips is becoming more and more expensive. Washington and Idaho, our nation’s largest potato producers, are in a severe drought.

For the first time in 40 years, Maine farmers had to send potato seeds to Washington and Idaho farmers to help grow this year’s crop, but that may not be enough.

“The drought is a serious situation. We don’t know if we have enough water to finish the potato harvest or even to plant a few acres of potatoes, ”Wahlen said.

With less water, farmers cannot plant so many potatoes. “Potato supply can lead to shortages,” Wahlen said.

For crops that can be grown, supply costs are rising at a record rate.

“Fertilizers, chemicals, fuels, all of these things have gone up, they can be increased by 50%,” Wahlen said. “In terms of chip processing, it’s the same thing – some of the key ingredients in seasonings have gone up by 300%, and that’s crazy.”

According to economic experts, the combination of these factors could increase the price paid for potatoes by 30% this year. The average for a potato chip is an extra dollar and 60 cents.

“It’s going to go to consumers in the end. I am really hopeful that this is a short term problem and I hope to find a solution soon. But I don’t see a solution in the near future, “Wahlen said.

Wahlen believes that a solution can be found with the help of state or federal leaders to slow down inflation.

“We just need to put policies in place so that we can avoid some of the current state of inflation.”

If relief does not come, it will not be the sole heritage of this family. Farmers across the country who work on smaller family farms may become extinct. “It’s very important to move forward and continue to provide food for our nation and the world.”

If you want to know more about this Potato chips or Wahlen Farm operation, click here.

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Drought and supply chain issues create potato price hike Source link Drought and supply chain issues create potato price hike

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