Acreage Still Anybody's Guess

Published online: May 17, 2004
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Seed potato growers, now planting their own 2004 crop, are not able to say how seed potato sales this spring will affect acreage of this year's commercial crop.

This week there were still some seed growers in Idaho and Montana who had not sold all their seed potatoes. Most of those potatoes probably won't go to seed but at a heavily discounted price to processors.

The fact there are still storages with 2003 crop seed is a good sign for acreage of commercial production, but not so good for the seed growers who take twice the gamble to produce and try to meet commercial market demands.

Besides having unsold seed, there is talk the unsold seed and the price seed producers were receiving will probably take a few more seed growers out of business this year.

Seed growers always take the gamble of planting the correct acreage of specific varieties hoping they will fill commercial growers' needs. The challenge has been getting more difficult in recent years.