USDA: U.S. ACREAGE UP 6%

Published online: Jul 29, 2011 Potato Storage, Potato Harvesting, Seed Potatoes
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Potato growers across the United States planted an estimated 1.08 million acres of potatoes in all four seasons of the 2011 crop year, up 6 percent from the previous year. Area for harvest, forecasted at 1.07 million acres, is also up 6 percent from 2010.

Summer potatoes
Production of summer potatoes is forecast at 12.1 million cwt, up 4 percent from 2010. Harvested area is estimated at 38,700 acres, 3 percent above last year. Average yield is forecast at 313 cwt per acre, up 3 cwt from 2010.

In New Jersey, weather conditions delayed planting but fields were reportedly in good condition. In Virginia, nearly ideal conditions persisted with timely rains and hot weather allowing good growth. In Kansas, hot, dry and windy conditions reportedly slowed crop progress. Excessive April and May rains in Missouri caused crop losses in some areas and negatively impacted yields. In Texas, growers were experiencing dry conditions.

Fall potatoes
Area planted to fall potatoes in 2011 is estimated at 948,600 acres, up 6 percent from the 2010 crop year. Harvested area is forecast at 936,100 acres, also up 6 percent from 2010.

In Idaho, growers increased acreage from last year driven by strong prices. In California, adequate water supplies led to increased potato acreage in the Klamath Basin. In Colorado producers continued to voluntarily limit acreage for water conservation.

Less than optimal planting and growing conditions delayed the fall potato crop in Maine where potato development was 1-2 weeks behind schedule as of June 19. Heavy rains in mid-June reportedly led to drown-outs in some low lying areas. In North Dakota, cold, wet weather caused delays in planting. In Oregon, crop development was reportedly behind due to cold, wet spring conditions.

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