November/December 2010
Russet tops certified acres By Bill Schaefer

The numbers are in for the 2010 seed potato acres approved for certification and Russet Burbank remains the dominant variety in the U.S with 24,033 certified seed acres. Idaho accounted for 59 percent of Russet Burbank acres, with 14,211. For the first time, since 2006, Russet Burbanks showed an increase of 1 percent in total acres planted.

Nationally, the total acreage of seed potato acres continues to drop, though only a quarter of a percent from 108,444 acres in 2009 to 108,173 acres in 2010. Efforts by grower organizations to lower yields in the face of overproduction and declining consumption perhaps have had an effect on seed production.

Three varieties dropped out of the top 20. Western Russet saw a 54 percent decline in acres planted, Premier Russet saw a 56 percent drop but the Ranger Russet “Amisk” plunged 84 percent from 1,078 acres in 2009 to 177 acres planted this past year. Replacing those three varieties on the list were the Classic Russet, Chieftain and the Bannock Russet.

Of the varieties showing the largest percentage increase Classic Russet led the way with a 96 percent increase and the Cal White with 44 a percent increase. Russet Norkotah Select showed the largest acreage increase, 1,600 acres, a 27 percent increase from 2009.

Idaho leads all states in certified seed acreage with 30,461, over 28 percent of the national total. North Dakota is a distant second with 15, 872 acres, with 18 percent of Norlands representing the primary variety in North Dakota.

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