Idaho's potato production expected to increase 12% year-over-year to 127 million cwt. in 2011, USDA says; dry bean production to fall 26% to 1.88 million cwt.

BOISE, Idaho , January 12, 2012 (press release) – Idaho’s potato production is expected to total 127 million cwt, up 12 percent from last year’s 113 million cwt, but 4 percent below the 2009 crop, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Planted acres of 320,000 and harvested acres of 319,000 are up 25,000 acres from 2010. Statewide, yield is 398 cwt (field-run basis), up 14 cwt from last year. Yield in the 10 Southwestern counties, at 530 cwt, decreased 15 cwt from last year’s record high for this area. Acreage for the 10 Southwest counties, at 19,000 acres planted and harvested, increased 3,000 acres from last year. Because of the acreage increase, total production in the area is up 15 percent from last year at 10.1 million cwt. In Idaho’s “other counties,” yield is estimated at 390 cwt, compared to 375 cwt a year ago. Other area production from 300,000 harvested acres is expected to total 117 million cwt, 12 percent above last year’s 104 million cwt.

Data from the Potato Objective Yield Survey shows that 25.6 percent of the russet potatoes were at least ten ounces, up from 20.0 percent that reached that size in 2010 and 23.2 percent that reached that size in 2009. Of the Russet potatoes in the 2011 sample, 80.2 percent met the 2.0 inch or 4 oz. minimum size and grade requirements for U.S. No. 1 potatoes, up from 74.2 percent last year. Processing grade and U.S. No. 2 potatoes, with a 1.5 inch minimum, accounted for 18.2 percent of the 2011 crop.

National production of fall potatoes for 2011 is forecast at 387 million cwt, up 6 percent from last year. Area harvested, at 939,200 acres, is 7 percent above the 2010 estimate. The average yield forecast, at 412 cwt per acre, is down 4 cwt per acre from last year’s yield.

Idaho’s 2011 dry edible bean production totaled 1.88 million cwt, down 26 percent from last year’s production of 2.55 million cwt. Planted acreage of 95,000 and harvested acreage of 94,000 decreased from last year’s 135,000 acres planted and 134,000 acres harvested. Average yield was 2,000 pounds per acre, up 100 pounds from the previous year. Chickpea (garbanzo) production continued to increase and surpassed pintos for the first time to account for the largest portion of Idaho’s dry bean crop. Chickpea production accounted for 41.2 percent of the total. The majority of chickpea production is the large type. Acreage of dry beans other than chickpeas decreased to the lowest level since 1923. Pinto production decreased 56 percent from last year to account for 22.6 percent of Idaho’s production.

Nationally, United States dry edible bean production is forecast at 19.7 million cwt for 2011, down 38 percent from 2010. Planted area is estimated at 1.21 million acres, down 37 percent from last year. Harvested area is forecast at 1.15 million acres, 38 percent below the previous year. The average United States yield is forecast at 1,719 pounds per acre, a decrease of 7 pounds from 2010. Production is estimated to be lower in 17 of the 18 States in the dry bean program in 2011. The top five producing States expect decreased production from last season.

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