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Bob Larson Washington Potato Outlook Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: July 22, 2019

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I’m Bob Larson. A rough winter has left many potato growers wondering what to expect in the upcoming harvest. The longer and snowier winter delayed planting by as much as month for some, but a warm stretch after that allowed many to catch up.

Washington Potato Commission’s Matthew Blua says insulation provided by the snow didn’t allow the soil to get cold enough …

BLUA … “So, we need those potatoes in soils that were previously harvested to get down to like 28-degrees or less to kill those tubers so they won’t sprout the next year. Now, the problem with volunteer potatoes is that they become a source of succulent (?) and pestiferous insects that could be point sources for the potato crop the next season. So, we saw a lot of volunteers this season and that’s always one of the big challenges for our growers.”

It’s still a little early, but Blua says things don’t look too bad …

BLUA … “We’re just at the point now where we’re starting to be able to get a glimpse of what our seasons going to look like. I just talked to a grower this morning, and he said he was really optimistic about what he was seeing. You know, every year brings on new challenges, but our growers are the best in the world and they always rise to those challenges. So far, things look very positive.”

So, all is well?

BLUA … “Yes, and you know what, things happen late in the season. I mean we certainly can’t relax, but right now we like where we are and we like what we’re seeing.”

Blua says harvest typically runs through the end of October or a little beyond.

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