2006 Idaho Harvest Is Strong
Idaho potato growers will harvest approximately 328,000 acres of Idaho Potatoes this year, yielding nearly 12 billion pounds.
The overall appearance of the crop appears to be uniformly smooth and consistent. The extremely warm weather in early August did not have an adverse impact on the crop, in fact it may have accelerated the harvest.
The Idaho Potato industry's mastery of the states exceptional irrigation system ensures that despite high temperatures, even drought, irrigation is the primary water source and thus the crop is managed quite effectively.
Finally, the total nuber of acres planted this year was the same as the total acreage planted in 2004 (328,000 acres). This was the first ful year that the state's new potato co-op, United Fresh Potato Growers of Idaho, was able to institute its recommendation that acreage be reduced so as to better align supply with demand.
According to Frank Muir, President/CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission, this acreage planted adjustment has worked very well and the industry expects to sell everything it grows this season, thus helping keep prices up and revenue on track for an increase.
Just in time to welcome the freshest potatoes in the world to supermarkets across the country, the IPC is set to debut two new national television commercials featuring spokesperson and national fitness icon, Denise Austin, this month. Along with the nutritional messaging in the commercial, Austin directs consumers to look for the "Grown in Idaho" seal when they are shopping for potatoes. The Idaho Potato industry contributes approximately $2 billion to the state's economy each year and accounts for roughly one third of the U.S. crop.