Upper Snake Potato Harvest in Full Swing

Published online: Oct 02, 2017 Articles
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Idaho potato growers may make a good profit this year, as potatoes are selling at $8.65 per hundredweight. That’s up significantly from previous years, says Travis Blacker, industry relations director for the Idaho Potato Commission.

“It’s really nice right now. Hopefully, it will stay right there or go higher,” he says. “It fluctuates every week.”

Idaho potatoes sold between $6 and $8 per hundredweight during the 2015-16 production year.

“It’s estimated that a grower needs about $7 per hundredweight to break even,” says Blacker.

Blacker says that during the 2017 planting season, potato planting was down 4.6 percent. Last year potato growers planted 321,000 acres as opposed to the estimated 309,000 acres planted this year.

Of course, the fewer potatoes there are available to purchase, the more it may drive up the price per hundredweight, Blacker says.

“It’s about supply and demand,” he says.

“We’ve still got probably two weeks before they all get out of the ground,” Blacker continues. “By mid-October, we should see what the yields are, and that will give us a total production number.”

To help with all that harvesting, Fremont and Madison County School Districts have closed for the week. The help from area youth hasn’t gone unnoticed, Blacker says.

“Harvest gives kids an opportunity to make a quick $1,000 in just a short amount of time,” he says. “It teaches kids how to feed a country and where our food supply comes from.”

 

Source: Rexburg Standard Journal