In Minnesota, the condition of the potato crop for the week ending Sunday, September 19, was 2% very poor, 5% poor, 20% fair, 43% good, and 30% excellent, according to National Agricultural Statistics-Minnesota. As Red River Valley dryland potato farmers expected, the 2021 drought reduced their crop’s yields.
Statewide in North Dakota, the condition of the potato crop for the week that ended Sunday, September 19, was 4% very poor, 16% poor, 63% fair, 5% good and 2% excellent, according to National Agricultural Statistics-North Dakota. Twenty-nine percent of the crop was harvested as of September 9, which was 9% less than last year, but only slightly below the five-year average of 26%, the statistics service said.
Although August and September rains didn’t fall in time to give much of a boost to Red River Valley potato yields, they did soften the ground for harvest. Yields vary greatly, from saline spots in the field that have no potatoes under them, to other fields where the crop produced a record amount.