Hear the commentary 1:59 min – 1.2 mb mp3
On this week’s Ag Report on Greening of the Great Lakes, Mike Wenkel, manager of the Potato Growers of Michigan, Inc. describes how Michigan’s potato industry is able to provide a reliable supply of potatoes – giving the state a competitive edge.
“While many factors drive demand for our Michigan potatoes, reliability is a very important consideration for buyers. Michigan potato growers embrace the latest farming technology, constantly working together with researchers to find better ways to grow potatoes, and overcome challenges like pests and disease,” says Wenkel. “In addition, we’re a sustainable industry. Our customers know that when we grow potatoes, our commitment to long-term sustainability positions us to be successful in coming years.”
Finally, says Wenkel, Michigan is a leader when it comes to marketing stored potatoes. By perfecting the technology to properly store potatoes, and thanks to a favorable climate statewide, Michigan farmers are able to sell potatoes throughout the year. This means that even when producers can’t find fresh potatoes in certain regions, Michigan is ready to step in and meet the demand.
Michigan remains the top supplier of potatoes for chips in the U.S. – with one in four bags of chips consumed in the U.S. made with Michigan potatoes. Wenkel says every year, Michigan grows nearly 1.8 billion pounds of potatoes, pumping $554 million dollars into the state’s economy and employing more than 3,200 workers.
The Ag Report on Greening of the Great Lakes is brought to you by the Agricultural Leaders of Michigan. It airs weekly on News/Talk 760 WJR and features voices from Michigan’s growing agriculture sector.