US: Report reveals potato production down throughout the Pacific Northwest
According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA) report, potato production was down throughout the Pacific Northwest during 2017, driven by acreage reductions in Idaho and lower yields in Washington and Oregon.
USDA has estimated the 2017 potato production at 131.325 million hundredweight, down nearly 8 million hundredweight from the 2016 harvest, according to capitalpress.com.
Idaho’s average yield, estimated at 425 hundredweight per acre, was down by 5 hundredweight from the previous year. But the state’s growers also planted 15,000 fewer acres this season, with total 2017 planting estimated at 310,000 acres. Many in the Idaho potato industry, however, believe USDA’s statewide yield estimate was inflated.
Washington growers produced 99 million hundredweight of potatoes, a reduction of 6.625 million hundredweight from 2016. While Washington growers planted 5,000 fewer acres, with a total potato crop of 165,000 acres, their average yields, at 600 hundredweight per acre, were down by 25 hundredweight.
Oregon’s production was down 2.161 million hundredweight, at 20.79 million hundredweight. Oregon’s yields dropped 40 hundredweight per acre to 550 hundredweight per acre, and its planted acreage, at 38,000 acres, was down by 1,000 acres.
California growers increased potato production slightly to 3.69 million hundredweight, with average yields up by 5 hundredweight to 450 hundredweight per acre. They planted 8,200 potato acres, up by 300 acres.
Total fall potato production in the U.S. was about 399 million hundredweight, down almost 8 million hundredweight.
Idaho Potato Commission President and CEO Frank Muir described the USDA yield estimate for his state as “optimistic” and said United Potato Growers of Idaho’s estimates have come in much lower. Muir added that demand is strong and IPC’s programs will further drive sales.
Publication date: 11/15/2017
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