EEUU: Idaho potato industry reports a drop in yields
Idaho Potato industry officials report yields are down significantly as Western Idaho growers have started with their early harvest of Russet Norkotahs for the fresh market.
Growers statewide anticipate having more average production during their general harvest in a few weeks, as the crop will have time to continue progressing, though they don’t expect to approach last year’s record volumes.
They expect tuber quality will vary dramatically from field to field, based on site-specific conditions during a prolonged heatwave this summer.
But growers also say they’re optimistic about strengthening prices, given Idaho farmers planted 15,000 fewer potato acres this season and should have a reasonable-sized crop to market.
In Eastern Idaho, Ritchie Toevs, president of the Idaho Potato Commission, anticipates his yields will be down by about 60 hundredweight per acre from last season.
Marty Kearl, farm manager with a Jentzsch-Kearl Farms unit in Bliss, told that early harvest yields are low, but he believes there’s still time for the rest of the crop to catch up. He added that growers have also had little trouble with diseases.
Not everything is looking down though, Mike Larsen, with Rupert-based Mart Produce claims that the market outlook is rosier than it’s been in recent years. “It seems like demand is good, especially from the processors.”