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Bob Larson Washington Potatoes Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: October 02, 2018

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I’m Bob Larson. Idaho may get the potato recognition, but Washington grows more potatoes per acre than anywhere else in the world. That’s the word from the Washington Potato Commission’s Matthew Blua who says we’re not a one-note wonder with just Russets …

BLUA … “We kind of divide up the world in Washington, in the Columbia Basin is mostly Russets, but in Skagit County we grow some of the finest colored potatoes in the world.”

But, colored or Russets, Blua says it all comes down to soil health …

BLUA … “It’s a big issue and it’s becoming bigger. You know, it turns out we have the most productive potato soils in the world, but we are striving to improve our potato yield and quality through soil stewardship.”

He says the healthier the soil, the better the potato …

BLUA … “Healthy soil, to a potato grower, means high quality and yield with low inputs and soil ecology is kind of like the final frontier of agriculture. Just because now we’re just beginning to get the technology to understand interactions among organisms in the soil and maybe manipulate them in ways to improve yield and quality.”

But, Blua says there’s always room for improvement …

BLUA … “Oh absolutely. We have to find ways of feeding more people throughout the world. The world is becoming more populated and smaller and we have to find ways of making even more potatoes.”

Blua says early potato harvest is nearly complete, but harvest of late potatoes is expected to run to right about the end of October.

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