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National fall potato production down 5 percent

Ted Kreis, the marketing director for the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, located in East Grand Forks, MN, provided his trade — and The Produce News — with the following breakdown of the latest USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service potato crop production report on Nov. 12.

North Dakota’s 2013 potato crop will come in at 22.6 million hundredweight, down about 10.1 percent from last year.  Some were forecasting much worse.

Planted acres and harvested acres were both down in the state compared to 2012. North Dakota’s 2013 plantings of 81,000 acres compared to 88,000 last year. Harvested acres dipped from 84,000 last year to 78,000 this year.  NASS is calculating the average yield at 290 hundredweight per acre, down from a record 300 last year.  

Minnesota potato production dropped from 18.8 million hundredweight in 2012 to 17.5 million this year, a drop of just under 7 percent. Average yield in Minnesota dropped from 400 hundredweight per acre to 390, a drop of 2.5 percent. All but 2,000 of the 47,000 planted acres in Minnesota were harvested.

The U.S. fall potato crop is down 5 percent from 2012, despite the average yield jumping nine hundredweight per acre to 418.  

In other key states, Idaho’s 2013 potato production is an estimated 132.9 million hundredweight, down 6.3 percent from a year ago. In Washington, the crop is estimated at 96 million, up less than 1 percent. Wisconsin’s estimated potato production for the year is 27.9 million hundredweight, down 5.2 percent, and Oregon’s estimate is 21.6 million, down 5.9 percent. Colorado this year is down 1.5 percent to 20.3 million, and Michigan is up 5.4 percent to 16.8 million.