PENDLETON -- An above-average growing year has pleasantly surprised Columbia Basin potato farmers who saw the season off to a slow start.
Cool spring temperatures caused problems, but good growing temperatures in July, August and September rendered yields of about 35 tons to 40 tons per acre.
Potato grower Greg Juul said this year's crop is of good quality and the few diseases present were manageable, the East Oregonian reported.
Umatilla County grows about 12,000 acres of potatoes annually, and Morrow County grows about 15,000 acres.
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Now, the market for potato storage is soaring as growers in the Columbia Basin, Idaho and Washington are working to get fresh potatoes in storage at the same time, which puts pressure on the market and drives the price down.