When the 2019 Idaho Russet harvest got under way around mid-August, the potatoes coming out of the early fields showed very good quality, but the size profile was mixed and on average appeared to be significantly smaller than normal, writes Rand Green of The Produce News.
That was the case for Wada Farms Marketing Group LLC and for most other producers in the state. As the harvest has progressed, however, the size profile has continued to improve.
Quality continues to look good, and â€œalthough we were afraid sizing was going to be significantly off, it doesnâ€™t seem to be as drastic as maybe some had thought,â€ Kevin Stanger, president of the Idaho Falls, ID-based company said Sept. 12. â€œNot that we are going to have huge spuds, but the size may be a little closer to normal than some had predicted.â€
The harvest was still in the early weeks. â€œWeâ€™ve got another month to go as of this point in time,â€ Stanger said. â€œBut we are really excited about that aspect of the new crop.â€
Apart from frost damage to potatoes in the ground, too much heat or too much cold during harvest and hauling can cause quality problems.
At Wada Farms, â€œwe are really watching pulp temperatures,â€ Stanger said. â€œOne of the things we have incorporated even more extensively in the last couple of years is to harvest at a time of day that the temperatures are most ideal.
Read the full report in The Produce News here. Picture: Kevin Stanger