Potato supplies are expected to be tight in Idaho this winter and next spring as empty storages dot the western end of Magic Valley, and yields were off by as much as 15-20 cwt/acre through the southern and middle sections of eastern Idaho.
The news has already been reflected with higher grower prices, with one offer in late October reported at $6. This is the highest harvest-ending price heard of in Idaho for many years.
The Jerome area of western Magic Valley has seen the greatest effect of low grower prices over the past three and four years. There are reports that the number of growers has fallen from 80 to six in the last three years.
Many former potato producers are growing silage corn for the dairy industry which has been growing dramatically in the area.
The high-elevation seed areas in eastern Idaho were hit hard by the Sept. 27 frost. Some fields may be total losses, growers report.