The quality and quantity of seed potatoes could be a challenge going into spring. North Dakota State Seed Commissioner Ken Bertsch estimates 17 to 18 percent of North Dakota’s seed potatoes were left in the ground last year. “I know in some areas of the state for commercial production those numbers were higher,” says Bertsch. “In terms of seed acres, it varies by class. There were lots of red potatoes left in the ground.” Variety shortages are expected. “That’s where we may run into the biggest problem, because if a farmer is looking for a particular variety, it may be sold out or non-existent. It is a variety-specific industry to an extent.” There is also a certified seed requirement in North Dakota. Farmers can replant their own potatoes for one year after the purchase of certified seed. If farmers go that route, Bertsch cautions those potatoes to not leave their own farm. Some tubers may not have gone into storage healthy and higher disease is expected. Listen to the story.