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Will there be a shortage of seed potatoes?

Clen Atchley and his family have been farming for 49 years. He says this year, in particular, has been one big challenge.

“This has been a really weird year, I don’t think in all our years we’ve been farming, we’ve ever had a fall that got this cold this quick,” Atchley said.

Although it got cold, it didn’t get cold enough to snow in his area. Which is something Atchley always hopes does happen if the temperatures drop.

“Snow will be an insulating factor and there’s been time when it’s gotten cold, not this cold, and we’ve had snow cover and there was hardly any damage at all from cold nights,” said Atchley.

On Monday, a crop adjuster is expected to determine just how much of a loss there is. But Atchley believes it could have been much worse.

“I would guess its only going to be one or two percent of the crops in the seed area,” Atchley said.

We’ll also have to wait and see if the loss will affect pricing or not.

“That’s something we don’t really know about, I would guess that it’s affected the supply some, most growers got done though. It’s unknown how much acreage is out here but this is one of the larger seed areas and there’s very little here,” Atchley said.

For Atchley, the crop they were able to harvest makes up for the one they didn’t get too, “the crop is very pretty, this is the best quality crop we’ve raised in a long time. So almost everything we have in storage is going to be sellable for seed so that kind of makes up for some of the less yields we’ve had.”

It’s safe to say that Idaho won’t be running out of potatoes anytime soon.

“But I know there’s a lot of anxiety out there that we’re going to have a short seed potato, but they’ve never run out of seed potatoes, so I don’t if that’s a big factor or not,” said Atchley.

KIFI 2019

Article Topic Follows: Agriculture

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