Chipping away at Pa. potato sales restriction

     (Matt Rourke/AP Photo, file)

    (Matt Rourke/AP Photo, file)

    If you had every kind of potato package allowed under Pennsylvania law, you could open a weight room. But you’d be missing 8-pound weights.

    State law says potato farmers can sell their goods in packages weighing 3 pounds, 5 pounds, 10 pounds, 15, 20, 25, 50, and 100.

    But 8-pound bags can’t be sold in Pennsylvania, though they’re allowed in nearby New York and Maryland.

    State Sen. Dave Argall said he thinks it’s a crazy rule – and he’s trying to get rid of it.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    The potato farmers that prompted the legislation say 8-pound bags are selling much better than 10-pound bags, and they’re not able to reap such profits in Pennsylvania.

    “I know the Legislature. I think 15 or 20 years ago had given them a little more flexibility,” said Argall, R-Schuylkill.

    Lawmakers have allowed potatoes to be sold in packages weighing less than 3 pounds.

    David Masser, president of Masser Potato Farms in Schuylkill County, said his family lobbied for the change.

    “That’s led to products such as our microwave steamable bag,” he said.

    Masser’s not the only Pennsylvania potato farmer bemoaning the 8-pound prohibition. If the spud statute is scrubbed, Masser said his company can cut down on warehouse space that’s taken up by products he can’t even sell in the state.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal