In sharp contrast with the 2011 production season, potato growers in the Red River Valley may have to deal with the impact of dry weather as they begin production on this year's crop.
"For the most part, we've been drier than average," said Ted Kreis, marketing director for the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association in East Grand Forks, Minn. "Last year, we had a problem with crops getting drowned out. [This year,] we could have used some additional rain."
Owing to last year's problems with precipitation, North Dakota slipped to sixth position among the nation's top potato producers during 2011. Minnesota fell to the seventh position for the same reason.
The net effect of dryness during the current production season, Mr. Kreis went on to say, is that dirt lumps will come up with the potatoes as they are dug. "They may need additional washing to get the dirt out," Mr. Kreis told The Produce News on Sept. 18.
Dry conditions in 2012 highlight the importance of crop irrigation for the valley's growers.
SOURCE: Lora Abcarian, The Produce News