United States fall potato production is 7 percent above last year and the production trend line continues an upward climb.
Figures released by the USDA show that last year's final disposition stood at 414,317,000 cwt. In 2001, it was 393,750,000. Last year's production is down from the 467,504,000 crop of 2000 and a little below production for the years of 1999, 1998, 1997, and 1996.
Only the 1994 crop of 422 million is higher than production through the years back to 1987.
Idaho, the nation's leading potato-producing state, came in at 133.3 million cwt in 2002. Other leading states and their production figures for 2002 show: Washington at 92.4 million cwt, Wisconsin at 31.1 million cwt, Colorado at 27.8 million cwt, Oregon at 24.9 million cwt, and North Dakota at 23.4 million cwt.
Idaho's per acre production in 2002 was 358 cwt per acre. This was the highest for the last 14 years except for the harvest of 2000 which checked in at 369 cwt per acre.
On a national average, fall production per acre came in at 373 cwt, the highest total since the crop year of 2000 which checked in at 392 cwt per acre.
Idaho's per acre production is on a steady incline from the 296 cwt per acre in 1987. The only years in the last 15 that U.S. per acre production has fallen below 300 sacks per acre was in the years 1988 and 1989.