News October 2019

How the cold weather is affecting the Idaho potato harvest

Year-round, potato growers work hard to ensure fresh, high quality, potatoes for their consumers.

Kasia Duellman is a Seed Potato Specialist of the University of Idaho Extension. She tells KIFI/KIDK how different weather complications during harvesting can interfere with the final result. 

“It seems every year it brings different challenges, sometimes there’s excess moisture, some times there’s cold temperatures, sometimes there are hot temperatures, whether you have any of those factors can influence your harvest,” Duellman said. 

With cold temperatures coming to Idaho, potato growers fear the risk of freeze injuries 

“Frost injury is where you actually get a tuber that gets frost damage from freezing, but tubers that get too cold can also experience some problems that can be challenging for a grower,” Duellman said.

“One of the challenges of harvesting tubers when they’re too cold, is the increased bouncing can cause injury but there’s another problem too and that’s they can get an accumulation of sugar. This accumulation of sugars can cause increased browning in your product,” Duellman said.

Full report and video on KIFI/KIDK here