Sep 30, 2020
Russet varieties dominate Colorado acreage in 2020

This report provides the results of a special survey of potato growers in the San Luis Valley, which was conducted to evaluate potato varieties planted for the 2020 crop.

The survey was conducted by the USDA/NASS Mountain Region Field Office with funding from the Colorado State University, San Luis Valley Research Center. Data was collected from potato growers by return mail or by telephone interviews with enumerators.

The survey was not sampled to provide a direct expansion of seeded acreage by variety or a measure of the sampling error.

  • Russet varieties accounted for 87.5% of the reported acres of all potatoes planted in the San Luis Valley for the 2020 crop, compared with 75.1% in 2019.
  • Yellow varieties were planted on 5.3% of the total acreage, which was down from 12.6% in 2019.
  • Red varieties represented 4.6% of the total, a decrease from 5.4% in 2019.
  • The remaining 2.6% of the total was made up of white, fingerlings, and other varieties.



Russet Norkotah continued its ranking as the most popular variety among producers by being planted on 49.3% of the total potato acreage and accounted for 56.3% of all russet potatoes. Norkotah Selection 296 is the most popular, accounting for 19.4% of the total acres planted. Norkotah Selection 3 claimed 13.6% of the acreage; Norkotah Selection 8 accounted for 8.5% of the planted acres. Norkotah 278 had 7.2% of the planted acres.

Canela ranked first among non-Norkotah russet varieties in 2020 by being planted on 12.6% of the total acreage and representing 14.4% of all russet varieties.

Centennial was the second-most popular non-Norkotah russet variety, at 12.5% of the total acreage and 14.2% of all russet potatoes. Reveille Russet planted acreage accounted for 3.7% of planted acreage. Mesa Russet planted acreage accounted for 3.4% of planted acreage. All other russet varieties, including Nugget, Rocky Mountain, Teton and others, were planted on 4.3% of the total acreage in the San Luis Valley.


Red varieties accounted for 4.6% of the planted acreage in 2020. The leading variety, Chieftain, was planted on 1.7% of the total potato acreage. Modoc claimed 1.4% of the total potato acreage. All other red varieties, which includes Ciklamen, Mozart, Sangre and others, were planted on 1.5% of the total acreage.


Yellow varieties accounted for 5.3% of the planted acreage in 2020. Soraya was the most planted accounting for 1.4% of the total acreage and represented 27.3% of all yellow flesh varieties. Alegria accounted for 1.1% of the total acreage. Other Yellow varieties totaled 2.7% of all potatoes planted.


Total white, fingerlings and other varieties, including research varieties and other specialty type potatoes, comprised the remaining 2.6% of the total potato acreage. No particular variety or type received enough reports to publish separately.

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