Published online: Oct 08, 2012 Potato Storage, Potato Harvesting
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This year's drought conditions may result in potatoes becoming a source of feed for cattle.

Dry weather before and during the 2012 growing season led to poor forage yields and high hay and corn prices, so beef producers will be looking for other, lower-priced feed sources, says Carl Dahlen, North Dakota State University Extension Service beef cattle specialist. Byproduct feeds such as distillers grain may be limited and higher priced as well because many producers have secured contracts for byproducts, leaving processing plants with little surplus for other producers.

Also, a 5 percent increase in acres of potatoes planted in North Dakota and nationally has resulted in a larger supply of potatoes and a low market price, according to Andrew Robinson, an NDSU Extension agronomist specializing in potatoes.

The dry weather has led to an increase in disease and malformation in potatoes, which means the number of cull potatoes likely will be higher because the potatoes no longer are marketable to the fresh markets or for processing.

SOURCE, Ellen Crawford, NDSU; via CattleNetwork