S E P T E M B E R / O C O T O B E R 2 0 1 7 4 POTATO GROWER 4 POTATO GROWER Guarded Optimism At Field Day by Ted Kreis, NPPGA Marketing and Communications Director Potato growers and associates in the region were in a noticeably better mood at this year’s NPPGA Field Day held on August 24th, and nowhere was the enthusiasm more pro- nounced than with the fresh market growers who have had battles with Mother Nature the past three years; but that optimism would be some- what guarded until harvest is com- plete. Last year too much rain was a prob- lem all year, first destroying many acres in June and then making the harvest a nightmare in October. Just two years previous to that in 2014, growers waited and waited for rain in the fall to soften the ground enough for digging potatoes. That rain finally came but much too late for many with the harvest being pushed right up to the start of win- ter. In between, in 2015, alternating extremes in the weather during the growing season caused a high per- centage of growth cracks in the potatoes, which created an unex- pected and unwanted surprise at harvest. This year, August test digs were indi- cating great quality and above aver- age yields could be possible for many growers. Adding to the opti- mism were good prices and tremen- dous demand for red and yellow potatoes for the late summer crop out of Central Minnesota, a market the Red River Valley would inherit. Another shot of rain or two in September would be welcome before Serving the finest growers and shippers in the United States Northern Plains Potato Growers Association NPPGA.org 218.773.3633 Home of Red River Valley Potatoes