Sure, I live in Idaho, the state of famous potatoes. But our next door neighbor grows massive amounts of potatoes, too. In fact, Washington has been declared to have “the world’s most productive potato fields.”
About 250 Washington farms produced 10.5 billion pounds of potatoes last year. That’s enough to put a 33 pound sack of spuds into the arms (or wheelbarrow) of every person in the country!
Only one state tops that figure – Idaho (of course!), which produces 13.9 billion pounds last year on almost twice as many acres.
Collectively, the two states grow just over half of the potatoes grown in the U.S.A. Wisconsin, North Dakota, Colorado and Oregon follow, in ranks 3-6.
The main potato growing regions in Washington are the Columbia Basin and the Skagit Valley. Growers in the Skagit Valley mainly produce specialty potatoes (reds, yellows, whites and purples). The Columbia Basin grows mainly the russet varieties, and also some of the specialty varieties.
Approximately 170,000 acres of potatoes were planted in Washington in 2016. Washington ranks first in the country in per-acre potato production. In fact, the state is home to the most productive potato fields in the world. The growing provides long days, cool nights, mineral-rich soils and controlled irrigation. That, combined with the sustainable practices of its farmers allows Washington to rank more than 40% above the U.S. average in per-acre production!
WAY TO GO WASHINGTON POTATO GROWERS! EAT MORE POTATOES!
-Western Farmer Stockman, March, 2017