A large Northwest crop
After two years of reduced production, Northwest potato growers expect to see a rebound in the 2023 crop. Favorable weather conditions throughout the summer have allowed potatoes to catch up from late spring planting. Increases in potato acres and yield improvements will bolster Northwest production.
Idaho is poised to harvest its second-largest potato crop on record, driven by increased planted acres and improved yields. Idaho growers increased planted potato acres by 35,000 acres (up 11.8% year over year), driven by processor expansions. Yields are expected to improve without prolonged heatwaves that hindered growth in 2021 and 2022. Potatoes harvested early have been in good condition and Idaho yields are expected to improve 8.5% from last year. If Idaho achieves its estimated production of 146.60 million cwt, it will be the second-largest potato crop in state history (following the 2000 crop of 152.3 million cwt).
Washington could see their potato crop return to 10-year averages after two years of reduced production. A cold, wet spring delayed potato plantings in the Columbia Basin, Washington. However, favorable summer weather with few days over 90°F (when excessive heat hinders potato growth), allowed potato growth to quickly catch up over the summer. Washington growers expect yields of 620 cwt per acre, matching the 20-year average yield. The combination of higher yields and increased acreage is expected to put the 2023 Washington potato crop at 99.00 million cwt, a 9.5% increase from 2022.
The Klamath Basin, Oregon potato crop is ahead of schedule. Potato yields are forecasted to increase from 2022, but a 3,000-acre reduction will lower state-wide production. Potato quality should be good, with 72% of the current crop in good-to-excellent condition.