News August 2021, North America, Trends, Weather/Climate

Summer heat means Idaho farmers are seeing shrunken spuds and onions

Harvest season is underway across the northwest, and farmers in some areas are seeing smaller spuds and onions because of excessive heat earlier this summer, reports Troy Oppie for Boise State Public Radio News.

Ben Josephson of Idaho Falls-based Wada Farms said it’s too early to know for sure how everything will turn out this harvest, but so far, some of the Idaho Russets coming out of the ground near Mountain Home and Bruneau are smaller than usual.

“Grade twos instead of grade ones,” he said. Grade ones are the large brown baking potatoes sold fresh in grocery stores. Grade twos might have a few more defects and aren’t worth as much.

June’s excessive heat stressed out the plants, and many released their young tubers. That “survival mode” restarts the growing process, resulting in smaller spuds now, Josephson said. He said an early frost this fall could potentially be more damaging than the summer heat.

Source: Boise State Public Radio News. Full report here
Photo: Boise State Public Radio News

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