IDAHO POTATO CROP LARGER IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE
Idaho potato growers saw increases in yields, tuber sizes and total production from last fall, according to a report released Nov. 9 by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Statewide, the 2011 potato harvest totaled 127-million hundredweight, up 12 percent from last fall's production of 113-million hundredweight. NASS agricultural statistician Brad Early explained much of Idaho's increase was driven by an 8.5 percent increase in acres planted, mostly to satisfy contracts with processors following a short 2010 crop year.
A 4 percent increase in yields also added to production numbers. Idaho's average yield was 398 hundredweight per acre, up 14 hundredweight.
"I'm really shocked that it came in higher. I thought it was going to be right about the same," Dan Hargraves, executive director of the Southern Idaho Potato Cooperative, said of the yield increase. "I think eastern Idaho is what pushed it up."
SOURCE: Capital Press