Aug 6, 2021
Heat projected to have overall yield average below normal

With harvest is still in early stages in some areas and hasn’t yet begun in others, North American Potato Market News (NAPMN) released its latest potato crop projections recently.

In its Aug. 5 newsletter, NAPMN projects U.S. potato projection will be down 0.2% from 2020, although acreage was actually up slightly this year. Hot and dry weather is the biggest factor in the projected overall yield reduction.

“NAPMN’s forecast puts this year’s average yield at 442 cwt per acre. That is down from 453 cwt in 2020. It falls 18 cwt short of the 20-year trend yield. The biggest factor holding yields down is this year’s extreme heat and drought in the PNW (Pacific Northwest) and other areas.”

“Other areas” include the Red River Valley, where conditions also have been hot and dry. Conditions also have been poor in Northern California.

In Idaho, high temps in the central and western part of the state have caused some problems. Nighttime temps in eastern Idaho have been more moderate, which has helped in that region. The Columbia Basin in Washington has been very hot, but Washington State Potato Commission Executive Director Chris Voigt recently told Spudman that growers have been getting enough water for irrigation due to sufficient snowpack from the winter months.

In Colorado’s San Luis Valley, June hail caused some setbacks, and growers may let potatoes go a little longer before harvesting to help make up for it.

In Wisconsin, conditions were mixed early on but have improved as the summer progressed, with the crop appearing to be in good shape. The conditions and crop also are looking good in Maine and Michigan, according NAPMN.

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