More Potatoes In A Season
For most crops you plant in the spring and harvest in the late summer or fall getting one good crop. Chris Voight, Washington Potato Commission says a recent discovery in Hawaii may help potato growers increase that crop.
VOIGHT: What we learned in Hawaii, when you subject potatoes to an ethylene type gas prior to planting, they really kind of end dormancy quicker and jump out of the ground. We've kind of known that but what we learned in Hawaii is that is you actually expose that gas to peeled potato flesh those potatoes really get quick start and that might help us here in the Columbia Basin.
One possible application Voight says is growing small potatoes.
VOIGHT: There's growers now that are growing just really focused on small potatoes for a consumer that wants to do something that's fast or cooks faster as well as actually they pack a lot of nutrition in small potatoes but the challenge is it's expensive to grow those but if we could maybe get two crops in one year that would make a huge difference to how profitable these small potatoes could be for a grower.
You would think that growing smaller potatoes would be cheaper.
VOIGHT: The biggest that a regular potato grower incurs is actually the cost of the seed. You're actually taking potatoes and cutting them into seed and planting them. With baby potatoes, those potatoes, those plants are planted very close together and so you need a tremendous amount of seed. Sometimes at least double if not sometimes closer to the triple amount seed in the ground.
And that's Washington Ag Today. I'm Greg Martin, thanks for listening on the Ag Information Network of the West.