US: NASS adds nearly 1 million cwt. to North Dakota potato production estimate

In January, USDA-NASS made large adjustments in fall potato production estimates in both North Dakota and Minnesota.  North Dakota gained 960,000 hundredweight (cwt.) while the Minnesota estimate dropped 870,000 cwt. 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. More