US potatoes hit by shortage as shutdown extends to 29th day

In what may be the largest shutdown in history, schools closed, lines formed at the checkout register and the crown began stockpiling commodities as the government shutdown stretched into its 29th day US government…

US potatoes hit by shortage as shutdown extends to 29th day

In what may be the largest shutdown in history, schools closed, lines formed at the checkout register and the crown began stockpiling commodities as the government shutdown stretched into its 29th day

US government workers have been working without pay since 29 December, the longest shutdown in US history. But some government supply failures appear to have gone even further than the normal interruptions of salaries and medical benefits.

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Over the past week, several government wholesalers in the US have suspended shipments of frozen potatoes to P.E.I., forcing an island staple out of US supermarkets and restaurants. The Canadian supply chain of P.E.I. potatoes has been particularly hard hit, with shipments of the main export plant freeze in mid-April, the Times Colonist reports. Last week, shipments of P.E.I. potatoes were suspended again due to an insect infestation.

Producers say that the infestation was caused by the unnatural frozen landscape of the forested northeastern corner of the island, in particular a rocky terrain in the early morning fog that allows insects to flourish.

Barry MacKinnon, chair of the Petit James Potato Growers Association, said that the failure to regulate the infestation caused P.E.I. to lose their share of the American market.

“The last three years have been very challenging for the potato industry,” MacKinnon said. “We started to lose our share of the American market when we decided to take back our fertilizer and pesticides last year.”

In what may be the largest shutdown in history, schools closed, lines formed at the checkout register and the crown began stockpiling commodities as the government shutdown stretched into its 29th day on Sunday. The House of Representatives will vote this week on a two-week spending extension – along with $15.7bn in payments to keep the border wall built – a bill that will likely pass both chambers.

The president, meanwhile, has threatened to declare a national emergency to justify the wall if funding for it doesn’t pass.

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