Potatoes and Heat Impact Pt 1

Potatoes and Heat Impact Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. Farmers and ranchers around the Northwest are still coming to grips with the extreme early summer we’ve had, trying to determine exactly what or how much damage was done to their crops.

Washington State Potato Commissions’ Matthew Blua says some of the reports he’s hearing about the heat were pretty harsh …

BLUA … “You know, in late June we had like over a week, ten days of unusual heat. And, I heard a grower say that they had as high as 118 degrees. And, not only does this cause injury to the leaves, you could see leaf cupping, dead tips and dead older leaves, it also impacts developing tubers. And, they’re underground, of course, and we can’t see what’s going on underground very well.”

So, Blua says there’s a good chance of at least some damage …

BLUA … “We are likely to see tuber problems including hollow heart with some varieties, heat necrosis and pathogen problems that are ramped up by heat stress.”

But, Blua says it will be a while before we know for sure …

BLUA … “Unfortunately, we won’t know just what the impact of this unusual heat spell we had is until we harvest the crop. And, we’re just hoping for the best at this point and we know a lot of other commodities had some really serious issues with heat and we wouldn’t be surprised if we had some problems too.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the impact heat had on Washington’s potato crop this summer.

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