Events, North America, Trends

Heat, drought stress Red River Valley potato crop, resulting in quality, yield reduction

The toll that hot dry weather took on the Red River Valley 2021 potato crop won’t be visible until harvest begins in a few weeks, but it’s already clear it has affected yields and quality, reports Ann Bailey for the Grand Forks Herald.

“We have a lot of physiological disorders,” said Gary Secor, North Dakota State University plant pathologist. Secor was one of several NDSU and University of Minnesota researchers who spoke on Thursday, Aug. 26, at the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association field day near Larimore.

Meanwhile, the drought has reduced yields of red potatoes grown for the fresh market. Growers hope, though, that recent rains will add weight to the crop and make digging easier.

The condition of North Dakota potatoes, which includes processing and fresh stock, in the week that ended Sunday, Aug. 23, was 8% very poor, 14% poor and 63% fair, according to National Agricultural Statistics-North Dakota. The agency rated only 13% of the crop good, and 2% excellent.

Though some northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota potato fields recently have received rain, late blight won’t become an issue because there is no inoculant to blow around, Secor said.

Source: Grand Forks Herald. Read the full story here
Photo: University of Minnesota potato researcher Laura Shannon addresses potato farmers at the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association’s Thursday, Aug. 26, field day at Hoverson Farms near Larimore, N.D. (Ann Bailey/Grand Forks Herald)

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