Growers Preparing for Washington Potato HarvestAugust 20, 2019
In less than two weeks, the Washington potato harvest will commence. Growers have noted the ideal weather conditions that have accompanied the growing period leading up to harvest, with yield and quality both expected to be on par with the long term average.
“We are due to start harvesting on August 26,” said Jack Wallace of G&D Wallace. “Growing conditions have been near perfect, with welcome rains spaced out intermittently. Volume should be about average in the Skagit Valley, while quality is expected to be good.”
Market should open strongly
The appetite for new crop potatoes has resulted in a strong market for early regions like Idaho. There is no storage crop left in Washington, so currently there is no market either. However, based on current domestic demand, growers in Washington are hoping that the strong market conditions will prevail and greet them when their season begins.
“The potato market has been quite solid,” Wallace observed. “Prices have been good in other regions so we don’t see any reason why the Washington market won’t open strongly.”
Color mix should remain steady in Washington
Over the past few years, there has been a gradual increase in demand for yellow potatoes and to a lesser extent, reds. However, this seems to have steadied as white potatoes also remain in good demand. Growers say they need to continually adjust acreage on each variety in response to where the consumer market is heading. Wallace shared that G&D Wallace grows all the main colors.
“G&D Wallace grows red, white, gold and purple potatoes and amongst those, multiple varieties of each,” he said. “We also grow organic gold and red potatoes. Every grower makes adjustments each season to meet the needs of their customers. Here in the Skagit Valley, acreage distribution for each color should remain fairly consistent this year.”
“We are always trialing new varieties each season and continue to make improvements to our crops,” Wallace concluded.
By Fresh Plaza