Potato growers are looking for a decent harvest window. Hoople, North Dakota farmer T.J. Hall says that could be around the middle of this next week. “We are prioritizing sugarbeet fields first,” says Hall. “Potato harvest varies anywhere between 20 to 70 percent. It depends on the area.” Larimore, North Dakota farmer Casey Hoverson is staying optimistic about harvest. He says south of Grand Forks, North Dakota field conditions get tricky. “There are lots of problems out there. One farmer didn’t dig any potatoes yet. I feel for those farmers who didn’t get any harvested. Prices are up and it’s a lost opportunity.” The storage aspect can get challenging in a later harvest. Wet conditions can promote bacterial rot in potatoes, especially if the spuds are put in storage later than usual. North Dakota State University and University of Minnesota Extension Potato Agronomist Andy Robinson says storage management is especially important for growers this year. “Typically, if you’re going to be worried about a bacterial rot, instead of putting a lot of humidity on them, you’ll try to dry them out to avoid spreading the rot,” says Robinson. “This can potentially save the crop. Most growers know and understand this, but we aren’t usually this wet.”
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