CALIF. COUNTY CROP COULD SEE DELAY FROM COLD

Published online: May 06, 2011 Potato Harvesting
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The start of the Kern County potato harvest will likely be delayed because of cool weather, said Jim Leimkuhler, president and owner, Progressive Produce Corp., Los Angeles.

"Everybody's a little concerned," Leimkuhler said. "It's going to be late and yields are going to suffer."

Harvest typically starts in early May with white rose and colored varieties, he said.

Because of strong russet markets the past several months, russet acreage in Kern County is expected to be up 36 percent from last season, as growers try to take advantage of high prices, Leimkuhler said.

That would give Kern County about 2,700 acres of russets, which is still well below historic levels for the region, he said. In 1996, for instance, about 8,700 acres of russet were planted in the county.

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