Paul Patterson, University of Idaho farm economist, has predicted that the increased cost to grow an acre of potatoes will be $92.17 this year.
Pushed by growers to come up with a projection-something Patterson says the University does not normally do-he said the impact on operating costs will be about $79.38 an acre or $.24 per cwt, and in ownership costs from higher interest rates to $12.79 or $.04 per cwt.
Patterson based his projections on a 2 percent increase in labor, an increase of .75 percentage points on the Prime Interest Rate, with another rate hike of between .25 and .50 points in the next three months.
Also added was 1 percentage point to the operating interest rate used in 1999. These higher interest rates add $6.45 per acre to the cost of growing potatoes.
Impact projections of higher oil prices would add $15.17 to the cost of producing potatoes per acre. This adds another $.05 per cwt.
The largest factor is seed costs. They are projected to add $38.85 to the cost of growing an acre of potatoes or $.12 per cwt. This includes a $1.75 increase in G3 Russet Burbank seed and a $.10 increase in transportation costs