BISMARCK — Bruce Huffaker, potato analyst and publisher of North American Potato Market News agreed with our assessment that the USDA had over-estimated potato losses in North Dakota based on the number of acres lost while not recognizing the vast majority of those acres were on lower yielding non-irrigated land. Huffaker summed it up best. “USDA has started to recognize the bipolar nature of the state’s 2016 potato crop. Heavy rains caused severe damage to crops in the Red River Valley, but irrigated crops grown further west produced record, or near-record yields.” Taking that into consideration, USDA upped its average yield estimate for the state from 310 cwt./acre to 325.
It should also be noted the losses were concentrated on fresh, chip and seed acres. Frozen processors will have plenty of potatoes in North Dakota.
— Ted Kreis, NPPGA Communications
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