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Published November 16, 2010, 11:10 AM

Idaho spud production down, prices up

POCATELLO, Idaho — Records show Idaho farmers grew fewer potatoes this season compared to the 2009 harvest.

POCATELLO, Idaho — Records show Idaho farmers grew fewer potatoes this season compared to the 2009 harvest.

But the smaller harvest is not exactly bad news. That’s because industry officials say prices are up for Idaho spuds.

Idaho growers harvested 294,000 acres of potatoes this year, down 25,000 acres from 2009 and the lowest total on record since 1980.

Idaho is still the nation’s leading producer of tubers, and officials are hopeful demand and prices will remain closely aligned for the rest of the year.

Aberdeen farmer Ritchey Toevs told the Idaho State Journal growers were fetching about $8 per hundred weight for their potatoes. Last year, growers were getting about $4 per hundred weight.

Based on average yield rates, industry officials estimate this year’s crop at 114 million hundred weight, down about 14 percent from 2009 yields.

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