U.S. potato production decreased in 2008, but prices increased.
Total U.S. potato production was set at 415 million cwt. by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. That was a 1 percent increase from previous USDA estimates and 7 percent below the 2007 crop.
Fall potato production was down 7 percent from 2007 last year at 379 million cwt., and harvested acres at 922,000 acres also was down 7 percent. Yields in 2008 set a record of 411 cwt. per acre, beating the previous record of 410 cwt. per acre set in 2007.
The value of the 2008 crop was nearly $3.5 billion, a 13 percent increase over 2007. The average price of $8.42 per cwt. was nearly $1 per cwt. more than the previous season.
Processors used fewer potatoes in 2008 from 2007 and seed sales also were down, although USDA reported growers kept 11 percent more for use as seed.
Calls for acreage restrictions weren’t heeded as closely for the 2009 crop, and overall acreage is expected to up from 2008. Total planted acreage is forecast at almost 933,000 acres and harvested acres are expected to be up slightly as well. Idaho planted about 5 percent more acres, but Washington was down about 6 percent. North Dakota and Colorado planted 2 percent fewer acres, but Michigan will be up about 5 percent and Oregon will be up about 2 percent, according to USDA.