Potatoes are in Idahoâ€™s DNA. But for all the Gem Stateâ€™s spud supremacy, the sweet potatoes on your Thanksgiving table almost certainly didnâ€™t come from here.
Sweet potatoes â€” which arenâ€™t actually potatoes â€” and regular potatoes require very different growing conditions.
Idahoâ€™s agricultural strength often stems from its hot days and cool nights. Sweet potatoes tend to do better in more tropical environments.
â€œThey need really hot temperatures for a long period of time,â€ University of Idaho Extension Horticulture Educator for Twin Falls County Andy West said.
It takes about 150 frost-free days to grow sweet potatoes, and Idaho canâ€™t meet those conditions. Sweet potatoes do better in more fertile soils too, while Idaho typically has sandy, silty loams along the Snake River.