E-mail: nass-ny@nass.usda.gov
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Contact:  Greg Lemmons
Friday, July 11, 2008



New York potato growers planted an estimated 18,000 acres of potatoes this year according to Stephen Ropel, Director of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York Field Office.  This is down 5 percent from 2007.  Acres for harvest is forecast at 17,300, down 5 percent from last year.

U.S. area planted to fall potatoes for 2008 is estimated at 929,100 acres, down 8 percent from last year and 7 percent below 2006. Harvested area is forecast at 916,200 acres, also down 8 percent from 2007 and 7 percent below 2006. The decrease in planted acreage can partly be attributed to higher prices from competing crops, which influenced growers to plant crops other than potatoes. 

Idaho growers decreased planted acreage 14 percent from last year. Growers of potatoes for fresh sales were encouraged to decrease their 2008 planted acres by 20 percent from their 2004 base acres. The July 6 crop progress in Idaho was ahead of the 5-year average and crop conditions were 86 percent good to excellent. Washington producers planted 6 percent fewer acres than a year ago. Cool, wet conditions delayed planting in the northwest section of the State with Skagit County only having 80 percent of the crop planted by the end of June. Oregon growers decreased acreage 3 percent from last year and the crop was 1 to 2 weeks behind normal. Planted acres in Colorado dropped 4 percent. A storm at the end of June caused wind and hail damage to some of the acres. Farmers were expecting the crop to recover by harvest time, but with reduced yields. Montana’s fall potato acres are down 4 percent and Nevada’s acres decreased 14 percent. California producers increased acreage by 10 percent and farmers in New Mexico planted15 percent more acres.

North Dakota’s planted acreage declined 14 percent from last year. As of July 6, crop condition was rated 73 percent good to excellent, comparable to last year at the same time. When compared to 2007, planted acres decreased 4 percent in Minnesota, went up 5 percent in Michigan, and remained unchanged in Wisconsin. Ohio producers reduced acres 22 percent from a year ago and growers in Nebraska decreased acreage 5 percent from last year.

Maine’s planted area is down 4 percent from 2007. As of July 6, crop specialists in the State rated the crop in good to excellent condition due to frequent rains, warm days, and cool nights. Growers in New York planted 5 percent fewer acres than in 2007, acreage in Pennsylvania increased 5 percent, and Massachusetts’ planted acres decreased 4 percent.  Rhode Island’s planted area is estimated at 500 acres, 100 acres below last year.