2017 IDAHO® POTATO HARVEST KISSED BY THE SOLAR ECLIPSE And A Few Fun Facts About America's Favorite Vegetable

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EAGLE, ID, August 18, 2017 – Just days before the 2017 Idaho® potato harvest commences, 308,000 acres of America’s favorite vegetable will be blanketed by the solar eclipse, a rare occurrence when the earth, moon and sun line up perfectly, blocking the sun from the earth’s view. While millions of tourists flock to Idaho to witness the morning sky go dark for approximately two minutes, more than 700 farmers will be preparing to unearth about 13 billion pounds of potatoes in a short six-week window.

“Idaho’s unique growing environment consisting of warm days, cool nights, mineral-rich soil and abundant fresh water produces a potato that’s revered around the world. Add in a kiss from a rare solar eclipse passing directly over the potato fields during harvest season and you’ve got a very special crop of spuds,” explained Frank Muir, President & CEO, Idaho Potato Commission (IPC).

This year’s crop, which will produce approximately one-third of all potatoes grown in the United States, will contribute more than $4.5 billion to Idaho’s economy and provide more than 30,000 jobs. Close to one-third of all potatoes grown in the United States are grown in Idaho, making it the largest potato producing state in the country. Other interesting facts to chew on include:

  • More than 25 potato varieties are grown in Idaho.
  • Of all the potatoes harvested, approximately
    • 62% will be used as processed products (frozen and dehydrated)
    • 29% will be sold as fresh potatoes to retailers and foodservice operators
    • 9% are grown for certified seed
  • The average American eats about 113 pounds of potatoes each year.
  • Idaho® potatoes are certified by the American Heart Association as a heart healthy food. A 5.3-ounce potato provides
    • 110 calories
    • 45% daily value of vitamin C
    • Nearly twice the potassium of a banana
    • 3 grams of fiber
    • Are fat-, sodium-, cholesterol- and gluten-free
  • The potato is the world’s fourth largest food crop. 
  • At a White House dinner in 1803, President Thomas Jefferson was the first person to serve French fries in the U.S.
  • New York consumes more Idaho® potatoes than any other state followed by Ohio, Florida and Texas.
  • The first potato was grown in Peru between 7,000 and 10,000 years ago.

For more information about Idaho’s famous spud visit idahopotato.com.


About the Idaho Potato Commission
Established in 1937, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a state agency responsible for promoting and protecting the famous “Grown in Idaho®” seal, a federally registered certification mark that assures consumers they are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho® potatoes. Idaho's growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil, give Idaho® potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance, that differentiates Idaho® potatoes from potatoes grown in other states.