Washington Potato Harvest Pt 2

Washington Potato Harvest Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. It’s been a rough couple of years for Washington potato growers, but so far this season, not without its own problems, is looking pretty good.

The Washington Potato Commission’s Matthew Blua says the challenges this year included a cooler than normal spring and skyrocketing input costs…

BLUA … “Absolutely, the price of fuel is high for growers like it is for everybody else. And also, the price of fertilizer is much higher. Growing a crop this year is a lot more expensive than it’s been for quite a while.”

But still, Blua says the growers keep on pushing …

BLUA … “They do, and it’s really amazing what they have to work with, the huge risks they take, the changes in expenses every year, and yet they do it because they love it. And they do it feel like they’re doing something that’s really important. And they are.”

And, Blua says it’s not to get rich …

BLUA … “No, they’re not getting rich and they’re working awfully hard and they’re taking a big risk. And people have to understand that their food doesn’t come from the grocery store. That’s just a stop along the way.”

But, bottom line …

BLUA … “I think we’re on track like we should be. Everything is looking really good right now. You know, there’s still plenty of opportunity for things to fail, but I think we’re on top of it. We’re keeping a good eye on things and our growers are doing very well. I’m hopeful we’ll have a real good season.”

According to USDA data, Washington’s growers planted roughly 80% russet varieties in 2020, down slightly from 2018-19.

The remaining 20% are made up of yellow, red and white varieties.

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