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The terrific tuber comes through in the end

 October 15, 2005

For a year that didn't look good for potatoes when growers were planting in the spring, things are finishing much better. The prices are good, too.

Potato farmers expect to make money this year - which wasn't necessarily the case last year.

Flash back to spring, when farmers were having trouble working in the fields to get their potatoes in. In one of those good news, bad news scenarios, precipitation was well above the annual average.

While that made the fields tough to work in, it also kept the Basin from sliding into another water crisis. Up until then, things were looking dicey for water, and there were visions of cutbacks.

Now, flash forward.

A modest amount of rain extended the harvest, though it doesn't appear to have caused great problems. The overall acreage is down slightly, though local harvests look good - as do prices.

In a story in last week's Agriculture section, Merrill grower Dan Chin said that so far, prices ”have been good, real good. We're probably getting about maybe a third to a half as much per sack more than we did last year. Last year, we were in the hole, so this year it's profitable.“

And that's good news, indeed.




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