The potatoes in the US originally came from the Andeans in South America. Today, over 30 states grow potatoes which are consumed locally as well as exported to other countries. One-third of the potatoes in the US are consumed fresh. The other two-thirds are used to make frozen products, potato chips, and French fries. Furthermore, a portion of the potatoes harvested in the US farms are used as seeds. Idaho is the largest potato producing state in the US. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th potato producers in the US are Washington, Wisconsin, Oregon, and North Dakota respectively.
Top Potato Growing States In The United States
Every year, Idaho produces potatoes amounting to 134,850 thousand centum weight (cwt). The high yield may be attributed to the favorable climate, volcanic soil, and irrigation programs of the state. Potato is known as the Idaho State Vegetable due to its popularity. In 2016, 324,000 acres of land in Idaho were utilized for potato farming. Besides, 30,000 jobs were created for the people living in the state. The common types of potatoes grown in Idaho are Russets and Burbanks.
The annual production of potatoes in Washington State is 99,220 thousand cwt. 87% of these potatoes are sold to processors at a value of approximately $4.6 billion. The potato production industry in Washington creates jobs for 23,500 people. Most of the potatoes are grown in Grant County with the harvest season being July. Potatoes rank third among the top commodities produced in Washington after milk and apples. In 2016, Washington’s produced 21% of the total US potato production which was valued at $888 million. The area of land used to grow these potatoes was 165,000 acres. With a yield of 397 sacks per acre, Washington State is among the states in the world with a high per acre yield of potatoes.
Most people identify Wisconsin State with milk production based on its nickname “Dairyland.” However, the state is also popular for its potato production as it is ranked 3rd among the US states. The annual production of potatoes in Wisconsin is 29,750 thousand cwt. 63,000 acres of the state’s land is dedicated to potato farming which is done by close to 110 farmers. The popular variety of potato grown in Wisconsin is the Russet. Nonetheless, farmers also grow white, yellow, and red potatoes.
Oregon is among the places in the world that have the highest yield per acre of potatoes. 15% of the potatoes produced in Oregon are exported to foreign markets. The main importers of the potatoes are South America, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines. On the other hand, 75% of the state’s potatoes are used to make food products such as chips, soups, and French fries. The varieties of potatoes grown in Oregon are the red, white, large, small, and brown. Every year, the state produces 25,245 thousand cwt of potatoes.