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San Luis Valley potato farmers look ahead

Despite 2020 being a difficult year in many respects, San Luis Valley potato growers have been able to raise a very good looking crop this season, reports Rebecca Copley in this article published in The Conejos County Citizen.

The warmer than normal weather being one of the reasons for the healthy fields. “It’s been dry but irrigation supplies have held up pretty well. We did have a frost, it affected a few fields the first of July but I think the impact has been somewhat minimal,” said James Ehrlich who is the Executive Director for the Colorado Potato Administration Committee.

Ehrlich shared that they are hoping for a good yield this year but it will depend on how well the harvest weather corporates. “If we get a bunch of rain or inclement weather at the wrong time it could affect us but it’s looking really good.”

COVID-19 has also been affecting potato growers warehouses in the Valley. “When it (COVID-19) first hit we had a huge demand, and the warehouses had to work a lot of extra hours. There was a large increase in shipments. Probably about a 30 percent increase in shipments in March and April. But we got through that, without any sickness.

As farmers get ready to head into harvest Ehrlich shared that it is hopeful. “I think potato farmers have had good prices and demand. People are eating at home. All these signs are good for us. Our crops should be better than last year for sure. It would really surprise me if it wasn’t. Prices are strong. I think we’re set for a pretty good year,” said Ehrlich.

Source: The Conejos County Citizen. Read Rebecca Copley’s full story here

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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