New Season for Washington Potatoes Just Getting Started

New Season for Washington Potatoes Just Getting Started

The new fresh potato crop for Washington state is just getting under way and normal volume is seen for the 2022-23 season.

The Washington State Potato Commission of Moses Lake, WA reports the crop outlook is favorable.

Although the official acreage report has not been issued, Washington’s potato acreage is expected steady in a range from 165,000 to 170,000 acres.

Early varieties were slowed by a later season due to weather factors. Potato processors usually start shipping new crop potatoes around July 5, but even by mid July, early potato volume was more limited than usual.

Washington fresh potato grower-shippers were running out of potatoes in late May, as last year’s hot weather drove down yields about 10%. 


Washington shippers do not expect a gap between old crop and new crop potatoes, although there has been an escalation in pricing to ration supply.

Processing accounts for at least 90% of the Washington potato crop and that percentage continues to climb because of the demand for processed potato products.

The USDA reported that Washington’s growers in 2020 planted 80% russet varieties, compared with 84% in 2019 and 2018. The percentage of yellow varieties planted in Washington state accounted for 4% of the planted acreage, up from 2% in 2019 and 2018. The percentage of red varieties planted in Washington state in 2020 accounted for 6% of the total, up from 4% in 2019 and 5% in 2018.  The percentage of white potatoes planted in Washington state was 10% of the total in 2020, the same as 2019 and up from 9% in 2018.

Washington’s Skagit Valley is seeing a shift over time from red potato varieties to increased yellow-fleshed potato varieties.

The percentage of reds and yellows grown in the Skagit Valley now are roughly 50-50.

The growth in consumer demand for yellow-flesh potatoes has growers increasing acreage to meet demand.

Petite potatoes grown in eastern or central Washington were harvested starting in early July, followed by red and yellow potatoes later in July, followed by the first of the russet norkotah harvest by early August. Skagit Valley harvest will begin in September.