Idaho Growers Moving Forward

Published online: May 13, 2002
Viewed 133 time(s)
Despite some weather and contract setbacks, Idaho growers are moving forward with the 2002 potato crop.

Growers individually claim they are at their same acreage, maybe down a little, but overall plans are being made for an average crop.

The exceptions are growers, especially larger growers, who have expanded in acres but claim they are only picking up potato acres that were there to begin with. The other exception is growers who had contracts cut by Simplot in the Magic Valley.

These growers have been torn between planting open potatoes or giving up on up-front inputs and taking their losses. Just how this acreage comes in next fall is a big question mark.

Water is a serious consideration but growers polled claim they should be all right. The only exceptions should be some who have had to water-up their crops because of dry soils and those who may be cut short on the other end of the season.

The Snake River is running at very low levels in several stretches of the river in eastern Idaho as irrigation companies have taken water to fill canals. Many canals are not filled as growers try to conserve for what could be a long, dry season. Reservoirs will not fill.

While acreage appears to be about average, it looks like the only influencing factor—if at all—will be yields.