United Potato Growers of America spent months earlier in the year warning growers not to get greedy and plant too many potatoes in 2009.
Now it’s saying “thank you for listening.”
At its July board of directors meeting, Salt Lake City-based United announced results of recent forecasts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and by United chapters in California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.
The cumulative verdict? Spud acreage is virtually unchanged from last year, boding well for market strength in the coming year.
“United is pleased that growers heeded the call to plant for expected demand rather than basing their decisions on what the price was for potatoes several months ago,” Lee Frankel, United’s president and chief executive officer, said in a news release.
At the board meeting, Frankel and board members said current acreage levels should provide potato growers in most areas with the opportunity to repeat last year’s profitability, according to the release.
But Frankel added a note of caution, pointing out that in mid-July, it was still too early to predict how this year’s fall crop will mature and what yields to expect.
“Growers should be aware that the work for the marketing of this crop is just beginning,” he said.
According to the USDA’s July 10 estimate, about 933,000 acres of fall potatoes were planted this year, up slightly from 931,000 acres in 2008.