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Mexican Supreme Court ruling opens the door to Colorado potatoes

The USDA reported in 2019 that San Luis Valley potato growers produced just over 1 million tons.

A ruling by the Supreme Court of Mexico could mean an improved situation for potato farmers in Colorado's San Luis Valley.

The April 28 5-0 ruling lifts a 18-year-long restriction on U.S potatoes that until recently limited its importation to just 26 kilometers, or just over 16 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border. 

>Video above: Business Brief with Ryan Frazier from May 3, 2021.

According to the National Potato Council, Mexico is the third largest export market for U.S. potatoes and products, with sales of over $270 million in 2020. Even with the 26-kilometer restriction, Mexico is the second largest market for fresh potato exports from the United States, accounting for 106,000 metric tons valued at $60 million in 2020. "The U.S. potato industry estimates that access to the entire country for fresh U.S. potatoes will provide a market potential of $200 million per year" over the next five years.

About 10% of Colorado potatoes grown in the San Luis Valley of south central Colorado are exported annually to Mexico, according to the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee (CPAC). More than 70 varieties of potatoes are grown in the San Luis Valley. The USDA reported in 2019 that San Luis Valley potato growers produced about 18.39 million cwt (a unit of measurement equal to 100 pounds per hundred weight) or just over 1 million tons, down slightly from the previous year.

Read the full article at coloradopolitics.com.

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