San Luis Valley, CO, potato growers are smiling for the first time in many years as they are averaging $11 per cwt for their 2001 crop.
They credit the combined cutback of 14 percent by the industry. Big production years in 1999 and 2000 glutted the market and brought them prices of $2.
San Luis Valley growers in southern Colorado harvested 27.9 million cwt from some 75,600 acres in 2000. This netted them $60.2 million. The 2001 crop was set at 21.4 million cwt from 68,100 acres. Many believe the crop will be worth $235 million if the present market holds.
Producers are now sternly being warned about over-planting the 2002 crop. Equipment dealers are saying things are really good and will probably get better as growers have cash to replace machinery.