Washington Potato Harvest Pt 2

Washington Potato Harvest Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I'm Bob Larson. Potato season in Washington state may have gotten off to a slow start, but early reports on harvest seem to be drawing a lot of thumbs up reviews.

Matthew Blua with the Washington Potato Commission says warmer weather correction after the late winter really seems to have been just the ticket ...

BLUA ... "Yes, and even though early on it looked like our season was not so good, we caught up right away with our degree days and by the end of the season it looked pretty normal."

As far as how far along the harvest process is, Blua says it's still early ...

BLUA ... "Oh gosh, we've still got, we're just in mid-September so we've got quite a ways to go. We've got another month to go, or so."

Other challenges growers faced this year, Blua says that aren't uncommon ...

BLUA ... "You know, one of our challenges, oddly enough, was volunteer potatoes. Because, we had this cold, late winter, but we had a lot of snow on the ground that insulated the soil. So, we never got temperatures in the soil that were low enough to kill potatoes left over from last year's harvest."

But, Blua says volunteers aren't always obvious right away ...

BLUA ... "Well not really because we don't plant two years in a row in the same field. Together, at large, we've got a three to four-year rotation. But, your neighbor next-door might have a wheat field that looks more like a potato field because of the volunteers and that's an early season source of some pestilence, especially the Colorado Potato Beetle."

Tune in tomorrow to hear about the relationship potato growers have with WSU's ag department.

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