Oct 3, 2017
Harvest well underway in Upper Snake

Idaho Potato farmers may make bank this year as potatoes are selling at $8.65 per hundredweight.

That’s up significantly from previous years, said Travis Blacker who serves as the industry relations director for the Idaho Potato Commission told the Rexburg Standard Journal.

“It’s really nice right now. Hopefully, it will stay right there or go higher. It fluctuates every week,” he said.

According to Spudsmart webpage, Idaho potatoes sold between $6 and $8 per hundredweight during the 2015-16 production year.

“It’s estimated that a grower needs about $7 per hundredweight to break even,” Blacker said.

Blacker said that during the 2017 planting season, potato planting was down 4.6 percent. Last year potato farmers planted 321,000 acres as opposed to the estimated 309,000 acres planted this year, he said.

Of course, the less potatoes there are available to purchase, the more it may drive up the price per hundredweight, Blacker said.

“It’s about supply and demand,” he said.

Blacker said that this weekend, weather permitting, most farmers would be out harvesting.

“We’ve still got probably two weeks before they all get out of the ground. By mid October, we should see what the yields are, and that will give us a total production number,” he said.

To help with all that harvesting, Fremont and Madison County School Districts have closed for the week. The help from area youth hasn’t gone unnoticed, Blacker reported on the Idaho Potato webpage.

“Harvest gives kids an opportunity to make a quick $1,000 in just a short amount of time. It teaches kids how to feed a country and where our food supply comes from,” he said.

For more information visit www.idahopotato.com.

Lisa Dayley Smith, lsmith@uvsj.com, Rexburg Standard Journal

Source: Rexburg Standard Journal






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