Forget pizza. The potato is America’s favorite food, next to dairy products. Idaho is the undisputed leader in the U.S. potato industry and that makes our famous potatoes the top crop in the state. But it hasn’t always been that way, writes Michyl Matthews in an article published by Clayton News Daily.
Science and modern technology have transformed potato production from the labor-intensive endeavor it used to be when the crop was hand-picked and sacked in the field.
According to the Idaho Potato Commission, the state’s rich, volcanic soil, climate and irrigation create the ideal growing conditions for the tasty crop. Add to that several potato pioneers — namely Luther Burbank, the Santa Rosa, California-based botanist who created the Russet Burbank, Joe Marshall, the Jerome farmer who perfected the art of growing potatoes, and J.R. Simplot, the young man from Declo who made his fortune processing potatoes — and it’s no wonder potatoes are a big deal in Idaho.
Source: Clayton News Daily. Read the full article here, and view a range of historic and modern day photos of potato production in Idaho
Cover photo: Harvest operator Cameron Baker of Burley loads Rod Lake’s potato crop onto Linden Wood’s truck Oct. 13, 2017, near Buhl. | Pat Sutphin, Times-News file photo