Why South Korea's Ban On Fresh Northwest Potatoes Won't Have A Big Effect On Idaho

Aug 17, 2012

Starting today, fresh potatoes from Idaho, Oregon and Washington can no longer be exported to South Korea.

As Capital Press reported earlier this week, Korea’s export ban results from concerns over an insect-borne disease that causes light yellow potato flesh to darken and stripe — the zebra chip.

According to the Idaho Department of Agriculture, the state exported $469 million worth of vegetables in 2010.  Potatoes were, by far, the state’s the single largest vegetable export.

Still, Idaho Potato Commission president Frank Muir says just one Idaho potato grower sends fresh spuds to Korea.  “At this point it doesn’t hurt Idaho’s economy because we didn’t have that much product shipping,” Muir says.   Click here to continue reading...