Potato shipments from the Red River Valley of North Dakota and western Minnesota are down 15 to 20 percent this season, with loadings expected to continue until June.
The Northern Plains Potato Association of East Grand Forks, MN reports the major varieties for the fresh market are Red and Dark Red Norland, and for the frozen processing market the Russet Burbank and Umatilla are popular. The favored chipping varieties are Cascade and Dakota Pearl, while seed potatoes are very diversified.
The NPPA notes yellow potatoes have been increasing for a decade, without any signs of a slow down. While yellow acreage has increased an estimated 8 percent, red acreage is off 1-2 percent. However, red potatoes are still the dominant variety for the region.
The Red River Valley is one of the nation’s top-10 potato growing areas — and it is the largest producer of red potatoes in the United States and one of the top-five yellow potato production areas.
While some potato shed have rail sidings, arrivals of rails cars are often a week or more late in arriving.