North America

Continued rains critical to red and yellow potato production in Red River Valley

Timely rains have sustained the red and yellow potato crops in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota so far this season, but they will need more moisture as the crop matures, writes Ann Bailey in a news story for Grand Forks Herald.

Bailey writes that most red and yellow potatoes, which are sold in the fresh market, are not grown under irrigation in the Red River Valley in North Dakota and Minnesota. That means they depend entirely on rainfall. “We’re not getting the big rains that we have had in the past, but it seems to be enough to keep things from deteriorating,” said Ted Kreis, Northern Plains Potato Growers Association marketing director.

South of Grand Forks, Kelly Grotte said his yellow and red potato fields generally look decent. Rainfall has been spotty; on Monday, June 28, for example, an inch of rain fell near his rural Thompson, N.D., farmstead, yet it rained only 0.15 inches just 2 miles from there. The potential remains for a good potato crop, but if temperatures heat up and the rains don’t keep falling, that situation could quickly change, Grotte said.

Statewide in North Dakota, the potato crop condition was rated 10% very poor, 12% poor, 60% fair and 3% excellent for the week ending Sunday, June 27, according to National Agricultural Statistics-North Dakota. In Minnesota, 61% of potatoes were in good to excellent condition for the week ending Sunday, June 27, according to National Agricultural Statistics Service-Minnesota.

Source: Grand Forks Herald. Full story here
Photo: Potatoes from Buxton, N.D., are pictured in this Forum file photo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

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