Spud production falls in N.D., Minn.U.S. potato growers on balance had a good crop in 2011. Spud farmers in North Dakota and Minnesota weren't so fortunate.
By: Jonathan Knutson, Agweek
U.S. potato growers on balance had a good crop in 2011. Spud farmers in North Dakota and Minnesota weren't so fortunate.
The region's "cold and very wet spring" in 2011 led to a 14 percent decline in potato production in North Dakota, according to the East Grand Forks, Minn.-based Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, which cites revised production data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. North Dakota produced 18.9 million hundredweight of spuds last year, 3.1 million hundredweight less than in 2010.
Minnesota produced 16.7 million hundredweight. Production in the state fell a little less than 2 percent from 2010.
Idaho led the nation in potato production last year, followed by Washington, Wisconsin, Oregon, Colorado, North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan and Maine. North Dakota fell to sixth from fourth place the previous year, dropping behind Oregon and Colorado.
Some of the states, particularly Idaho and Washington, saw big production increases in 2011 from the previous year. That caused total U.S. production to rise 6.1 percent, or 22 million hundredweight, from 2010. The "large increase was easily absorbed because of shortfalls" in the 2010 crop, the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association said.
The Red River Valley of eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota is the only region that produces in volume for the chip, fresh, seed and process markets.