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Colorado potato storage to finish before September crop

Rolling into mid-summer, Colorado’s storage potato crop is a little long on volume and, while somewhat disappointing, prices are not bad, according to James Ehrlich, executive director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee.

Ehrlich said on June 21 that Colorado packer-shippers expect to sellout their storage crop by Labor Day, which generally will mark the beginning of the 2019 fresh-crop harvest.
Colorado’s potatoes are holding well in storage, he said. While potato prices often show a summertime price uptick, that may not come this summer, with other growing areas perhaps holding more potatoes than were previously reported.

Regarding the upcoming new Colorado crop, as of June 21, “it’s about 10 days behind schedule,” Ehrlich said. “While some growers planted early, cool weather had brought all fields to about equal production maturity. The quality of the crop looks excellent.”

Of course, forthcoming weather will be critical in determining the nature of the oncoming crop.

“We are always excited about a new crop year. We have the best-quality fresh market potatoes in the country. If you ask the buyers, they would reflect that, too,” Ehrlich noted.

“They talk about Global Warming, but this year is more like the Ice Age,” he added. 

This brings some very important good news. Colorado’s snowpack is huge. When that snow melts, it will regenerate San Luis Valley’s depleted aquifer, “which is a godsend,” Ehrlich said.