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US: Bankruptcies point to tougher organic potato market

Image result for Bankruptcies point to tougher organic potato marketA second organic potato farm in Oregon’s Klamath Basin has filed for bankruptcy, potentially pointing to tougher conditions in this niche market. Carleton Farms of Merrill, Ore., is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which allows companies to stay operational while restructuring debt. The outfit grows potatoes and other crops on about 4,000 acres, with about half that acreage under organic production. In late 2017, Wong Potatoes of Klamath Falls, which grows organic and conventional potatoes on 5,000 acres, also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Regardless of these farms’ particular financial troubles, experts say the organic potato industry has grown more competitive in recent years. “I wonder if we just got too many acres too quickly,” said Brian Charlton, cropping systems specialist at Oregon State University’s Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center. More