Published online: Aug 06, 2013 Potato Harvesting Kristi Pihl, Tri-City Herald
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The whims of Mother Nature and the marketplace may have aligned this year for Washington's potato growers.
Thus far, potatoes appear to have weathered the heat, although some potatoes are turning out a little smaller than normal.
And fresh potato growers face the prospect of a market where their spuds are in demand-instead of the glut last year that depressed prices into the range of unprofitability.
Mike Pink and his crews only are a few days into harvesting early Ranger russet potatoes at Pink Farms near Burbank.
The potatoes Pink and other growers grow help make Washington the nation's second-largest producer.
"We are just blessed here," said Pink, who farms from Burbank to Mesa and Basin City. "This is the best place in the world to grow potatoes."
Last year, heat during the last three weeks of August stunted the growth, Pink said. Pink, however, got lucky, because his tonnage made up for slightly lower quality last year.