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Potato growers look to future at annual conference

Growers converged in Pocatello this week for the annual Potato Conference.

The convention is dedicated to the potato and it puts on display just about every device, chemical, and technique someone thinks can help farmers grow more or make more money.

“This event is priceless for the industry,” Potato Grower Magazine Editor Tyler Baum said.

Growers at the event said the industry’s technology is constantly advancing.

Potato Services of Idaho out of Rexburg came to the event to try to convince growers to use their system for chemically treating spuds.

“This is a big show for us because we’re local. The farmers and growers that are walking around here are our customers,” Potato Services of Idaho part-owner Terry Mortensen said.

Some industry insiders there said growers know how to do their jobs well, sometimes too well.

And that overproduction, could mean some challenges for farmers this upcoming year.

“It looks like potato growers are going to once again plant to many acres. And that is going to hurt us again,” Baum said.

Of course, opening more markets could go a long way to solving that problem.

Baum said plans to get local potatoes allowed into all of Mexcio could have a big impact.

“This will be the biggest thing since the french fry. It’ll be huge,” Baum said.

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