Fall U.S. potato acreage is down slightly from a year ago, but production is up thanks to higher yields.
About 392 million cwt. of potatoes are forecast for the fall crop, 3% more than in 2008, according to the November Crop Production report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Acreage, at 920,000 acres, is down from last year’s total of 922,000. But yields are projected at 426 cwt. per acre, up from 411 in 2008.
The production growth nationwide has been driven by a big volume boost out of industry leader Idaho.
About 131 million cwt. are expected to ship from Idaho this season, up from 116 million in 2008.
Both acreage and yields are up in Idaho this year. About 319,000 acres were harvested, up from 304,000. Yields rose from 383 to 411 cwt. per acre. If that yield figure holds, it would be the highest in Idaho industry history, according to the USDA.
Production also is expected to be up in Wisconsin, Oregon, Minnesota, Michigan and Maine.
Washington, Colorado and North Dakota are expected to produce fewer potatoes this season.