US: Washington, Oregon potatoes running a little late, but crop development ‘near perfect’

Washington-potatoes-handsGood potato growing conditions and harvest timing running a few days later than normal are reported by Washington and Oregon potato industry leaders. “I would say we are on the later side of normal (in the Columbia Basin) by a few days,” said Dan Strebin, owner and manager of Troutdale, Ore.-based Strebin Farms LLC. Plant growth through late June was very healthy, and tuber sizing was normal, he said. “So far, literally, it has been an absolutely perfect growing season,” said Chris Voigt, executive director of the Washington Potato Commission, Moses Lake. While cool weather and rain earlier in the season set the crop about two weeks behind normal, Voigt said recent weather has caught the crop up to just a few days behind normal. “All the fields I’ve seen look really healthy and nice,” said Dale Hayton, sales manager for Valley Pride Sales, Burlington, Wash. Potato acreage has been stable in Washington in recent years, near 170,000 acres, and no big acreage swings are anticipated this year. Read The Packer report