The 2004 Idaho Potato Harvest
- The 2004 harvest has been excellent. The weather this year provided ideal growing conditions (versus last year's drought conditions). Ample rain and favorable growing temperatures in Idaho have created uniformly large and smooth potatoes with consistent shape.
- Idaho®Potatoes and the "Grown in Idaho®" seal are federally registered Certification Marks that belong to the Idaho Potato Commission. These Certification Marks ensure consumers that they are purchasing the consistent quality and taste found only in potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho.
- Approximately 348,000 acres of Idaho Potatoes will be harvested during a four-week period in September and October 2004 – producing nearly 13.2 billion pounds of potatoes.
- Idaho grows roughly one-third of the U.S. fall potato crop.
- The eastern region of Idaho is one of the largest potato producing regions in North America. Roughly 60% of the total Idaho Potato crop comes from this area of the state.
- The Idaho Potato industry contributes approximately $2 billion to Idaho's economy.
- Sixty two percent of all Idaho Potatoes are used to make processed products such as frozen and dehydrated; 29% are shipped fresh and 9% are grown for certified seed.
- Russet Burbanks have an elongated shape, few and shallow eyes, net-textured skin and a russet brown color. Their high solids content makes them cook light and fluffy.
- Consumers in the state of New York use the highest amount of Idaho Potatoes, followed by Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas.
- Challenges facing the Idaho Potato industry are:
- Diets that advocate the elimination of a major food group like complex carbohydrates (many nutritionists believe that potatoes are one of the best sources of complex carbs and thus function as a great energy food)
- Producing a consistent high quality Idaho Potato under varying conditions;
- Delivering Idaho Potatoes to our customers at reasonable transportation and shipping costs;
- Remaining competitive with other potato growing areas;
- Increasing consumption of potatoes against rice, pasta and other sources of complex carbohydrates.
The exceptional quality of the 2004 crop is a product of Idaho's rich volcanic soil, warm days, cool nights and an adequate supply of clean water for irrigation.
- The annual per capita consumption of potatoes, including fresh and processed, in 2003 was approximately 140 pounds.