As they commence harvesting early season varieties, Idaho potato growers anticipate a hot summer will contribute to highly variable yields and quality, especially in the eastern part of the state.
Dan Hargraves, executive director of Southern Idaho Potato Cooperative, predicts Idaho yields will be down, resulting in more manageable crop production during a year in which growers stepped up planting.
"It's safe to say with this hot weather, we've taken the top off of this thing, and I don't think we're going to have any kind of record yield," Hargraves said. "The last few years we've had real consistent quality throughout the state. This year I think there's going to be more variability."
Heat has also kept yields in check in Washington and Oregon, where the spud harvest is in full swing.
SOURCE: John O'Connell, Capital Press