Nov 10, 2020Colorado potato growers projected to set state yield record
Potato growers in Colorado produced an estimated 22.87 million hundredweight of potatoes this year, up 16% from last year’s crop, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Colorado field office.
Average yield, at 425 hundredweight per acre, increased 39 hundredweight per acre from the yield attained last year. If realized, this would be a record yield for the state, 24 hundredweight per acre above the previous record yield of 401 hundredweight per acre in 2009.
The harvested area, estimated at 53,800 acres, is up from the 51,000 acres harvested last year.
Colorado seed potato report
As of Oct. 23, all potato seed acreage has been harvested. Overall, crop yields have hovered around average, but this has varied greatly depending on variety grown. Certified seed growers have submitted their seed samples for the Post Harvest Test. In a normal year, our postharvest test would take place on the North Shore of Oahu. However, due to COVID and other factors, our 2020 postharvest test will mostly take place in a greenhouse environment in Colorado. A postharvest test is required on all certified seed in Colorado, whether it is sold commercially or for recertification. An official 2020 certified seed directory is posted on line at potatoes.colostate.edu/programs/potato-certification-service/crop-directory/. Additional information on Colorado’s Certified Seed can be found at coloradocertifiedpotatogrowers.com.
In 2020, Colorado certified seed potato acreage for sale was down overall from 6,756 acres in 2019 to 6,740 acres in 2020. The 2020 accepted certified acreage after summer field inspections was 6,537 acres. Rejections were primarily the result of PVY/mosaic, with a few rejections caused by blackleg and variety mix. Total potato acreage (both certified and commercial) in the San Luis Valley was 50,923 acres, up from 48,573 acres in 2019.
The 2020 top five certified potato varieties in Colorado were:
- Russet Norkotah (all varieties) — 2,080 acres
- Canela Russet — 817 acres
- Teton Russet — 312 acres
- Reveille — 288 acres
- Centennial Russet — 228 acres
A wide range of potato varieties are certified in Colorado, including multiple varieties of russets, reds, yellows, chippers, fingerlings and specialties.
— Andrew Houser, manager, Colorado Potato Certification Service
RELATED: More from the Colorado seed potato report, as well as seed reports from other central U.S. states can be found here