Idaho’s 2003 potato production is expected to total 123 million cwt, down 8 percent from last year’s 133 million cwt.
Planted acres, according to the Idaho Agricultural Statistics Service, finished out at 360,000. Yield will come in at 344 cwt (field-run basis). This is down 14 percent from a year ago.
Production in the eastern and southern sections of the state is estimated at 335 cwt, compared to 350 cwt a year ago. Production from this eastern and southern Idaho acreage of 333,000 is expected to total 112 million cwt, 8 percent below last year’s 121 million cwt.
Nationally, fall production for 2003 is forecast at 414 million cwt, virtually unchanged from last year. Area harvested at 1.09 million acres is down 1 percent from last year.
Western states production is forecast at 276 million cwt, down 5 percent from last year. Acreage harvested, at 663,300 acres, decreased 4 percent from last year. The average yield of 416 cwt per acre is down 5 percent from 2002.
California’s production is down 19 percent, Colorado’s is off 15 percent, and Oregon is down 16 percent. Washington is the only state with more production, coming in 4 percent above last year.
With nearly two-thirds of the potato crop grown in the Pacific Northwest, the lower numbers and the fact the summer temperatures were abnormally high and led to some rough potatoes, had already started a price upswing in early November.