Hot and dry weather is taking their toll on the Red River Valley 2021 potatoes; it’s already clear they have affected yields and quality. According to National Agricultural Statistics-North Dakota, last week it became apparent that the condition of North Dakota potatoes, which includes processing and fresh stock, was 8% very poor, 14% poor and 63% fair. The agency rated only 13% of the crop good and 2% excellent.
The drought has reduced yields of red potatoes grown for the fresh market. Growers hope, though, that recent rains will add weight to the crop and make digging easier.
The Red River Valley is the largest producer of red potatoes in the United States, and North Dakota and Minnesota combined is the third largest potato growing region in the country. Potato farmers in the Northern Plains raise about 62% of potatoes for fry processing, 10% for seed, 12% for chipping and 16% for the fresh market, according to the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association.
The condition of North Dakota potatoes, which includes processing and fresh stock, in the week that ended Sunday, Aug. 23, was 8% very poor, 14% poor and 63% fair, according to National Agricultural Statistics-North Dakota. The agency rated only 13% of the crop good, and 2% excellent.
In Minnesota, where 20% of the potatoes had been harvested as of Aug. 23, 61% of the crop was rated good to excellent.