US: North Dakota and Minnesota expect good potato harvest

Red River Valley potato growers generally have avoided serious drought and deluge this growing season. That bodes well for the soon-to-begin 2017 harvest. “The crop is looking really good in Minnesota, and it looks very good in North Dakota. We’re optimistic,” said Chuck Gunnerson, president of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association. As of Aug. 20, the last day for which statistics from the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the USDA are available, 60 percent of North Dakota’s potato crop was rated good or excellent, with 23 fair and 17 percent poor or very poor. Minnesota fared even better with ninety-four percent of the state’s potato crop rated good or excellent. Irrigated potatoes are much more common in Minnesota than North Dakota, so Minnesota spuds should fare better overall in years with less-than-ideal precipitation. More