Columbia Basin farmers expect above-average potato harvest

Oregon Potato Commission CEO Bill Brewer says early spring conditions helped encourage this year's crop's growth

Volunteers sort potatoes at the Oregon Food Bank, Dec. 12, 2015 (KOIN)
Volunteers sort potatoes at the Oregon Food Bank, Dec. 12, 2015 (KOIN)

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) – Potato farmers in the Columbia Basin are expecting a better-than-average harvest this fall.

The East Oregonian reports that Oregon Potato Commission CEO Bill Brewer says early spring conditions helped encourage this year’s crop’s growth, while summer was cool enough to keep plants thriving. He says most farms have finished harvesting ahead of schedule.

Statewide, Oregon farmers grew nearly 1.22 million tons of potatoes in 2015, worth $176.45 million. Brewer says this year farms should be producing at or above average.

Threemile Canyon Farms manager Greg Harris says early season growing conditions have made for an excellent crop this year. He estimates production was about two tons per acre higher than usual.