Potato Planting Underway In Southeast Idaho … But Not So Much In Some Places

Published online: May 01, 2023 Articles
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It has been a mixed bag of planting potatoes as cool, wet spring weather has slowed things down in many parts of the potato growing areas of Idaho. Washington state growers seem to be on pace as far as planting goes compared to the fiver year average while Oregon growers are slowed a bit as well.

For example, in the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics report from one week ago (the latest report won’t be released until later today), 15 percent of the planned potato acreage had been planted as of the week ending April 23. That’s certainly better than the 7 percent from the week before but well below the 32 percent 5-year average. A year ago at that time of the year, Idaho growers had 27 percent of the crop planted.

As for Washington state, 50 percent of the potato crop had been planted as of April 23, up from 19 percent the week before. The 50 percent was tick above the 5-year average of 49 percent and well above the 29 percent compared to a year ago.

Oregon growers had 52 percent of their potatoes planted as of April 23, about 10 percent below the 5-year average of 62 percent and a touch better than the 49 percent planted at the same time a year ago.

Here a few photos of potato planting on Wahlen Farms southwest of Aberdeen, ID, as well as photos from the same day of some fields on the bench above Archer, ID, which is about 10 miles south of Rexburg. It’s obvious growers are a few days out from being able to plant here.