Jul 16, 2015
Potato acreage increases for 2015

Potato farmers are planting more acres in fall potatoes for 2015. Whether that results in more potatoes at harvest time.

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service(NASS) released its 2015 crop acreage report on June 30. The NASS report shows an increase of 2 percent in fall acreage planted nationally for 2015 compared to 2014.

The national total potato acreage planted for 2015 is 955,00 acres compared to total acreage of 937,000 acres planted in 2014.

The NASS report showed a decrease in spring and summer acres planted.

NASS shows Idaho acreage increasing 4,000 acres, to 325,000 acres, an increase of 1.2 percent compared to its 2014 acreage count of 321,000 acres. The NASS report showed all of the increased acreage coming from 10 southwest counties.

At a luncheon for Idaho growers on June 30, in Idaho Falls, Rick Shawver, United Potato Growers of Idaho (UPGI) chief operating officer, said that the UPGI acreage count shows a total of 323,956 acres. Shawver attributed the increase acreage to the process industry. He said that acreage in fresh stock declined 1,717 acres and process acres increased 4,402 acres.

Shawver stressed that the acreage count is only a starting point and that field digs, beginning on August 1, will be a better measure of the potential pile for the 2015 harvest.

The largest increase by percentage for a state was in Minnesota. Minnesota acreage increased 16 percent, from 43,000 acres in 2014 to 50,000 acres in 2015.

Number two in increased acreage was Michigan with a 7 percent increase NASS reports that Michigan acreage for 2015 is 46,000, compared to 43,000 in 2014.

Both Washington and Wisconsin showed acreage increases of 3 percent in the NASS report.

Washington’s acreage increased to 170,000 in 2015, compared to 165,000 in 2014. Wisconsin acreage increased to 66,000 in 2015, compared to 64,000 in 2014.

Bruce Huffaker’s July 1 issue of the North American Potato Market News called into question NASS acreage for Minnesota and Wisconsin and that San Luis Valley growers are questioning its acreage data.

Huffaker’s report also stated that most of this year’s extra fall potato acreage appears to be targeted for use either in frozen processing or chip potato production.”

By Bill Schaefer

75 Applewood Dr. Ste. A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345


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