Cassia county potato farmer greatly impacted by coronavirus
A Cassia county farm is has taken a major loss due to covid-19 conditions, and an agricultural economist has helped explain the large-scale impact that the pandemic is having on the industry.
Cranney farms has lost $75,000 because there is a small demand for them. CEO Ryan Cranney tells me that there is not nearly enough demand for potatoes or processing capacity in the market.
"Those potatoes that were contracted to go, say for french fries, now have to go find a new home," said Cranney
Due to many restaurants, schools, and hotels not being fully operational at this time, processors are not able to take raw products from producers because the demand is so low.
"You think of the closing of those for our big processors, then the processors don't need to operate at full capacity, and they don't want to in case of infections, widespread infection and completely closing a plant is very scary," said area extension economist Ashlee Westerhold.
So what do you do with all the excess potatoes produced? Ryan cranney chose to give them away for free, and giving community members in need a chance to use them.
"My goal was just do something nice for people, and take the opportunity to let people know that we appreciate them."
None the less the outlook for the industry is unclear at this time
"We just hope that this thing turns around, and we can get back to life and people can get back to eating potatoes, and that's what we need to happen in order to save the industry," said Cranney.