We attended the Washington-Oregon Potato conference in Kennewick, WA, on January 24th and 25th to learn from some of the best growers and researchers in the industry.
Did you know that the combined acreage of potatoes for Washington and Oregon amounts to 20% of the nation’s total? Washington alone grows about 170,000 acres per year with Oregon in at 40,000 acres. The vast majority of the crop is grown on the east side of the Cascade mountain range so, naturally the majority of the research has east side growing conditions in mind. But that still doesn’t mean that we “westsiders” didn’t glean some valuable information from the conference.
Topics such as using hormones to break seed piece dormancy and balance the amount of stems per hill was very interesting. We (the west side) have been doing this for some time but they (the east side) are on the right track. Also the appropriate amount of nutrients to use was very important. Farmers are some of the best stewards of the land on the planet so they are always concerned about using the right amount of the right nutrients for their crop.
Overall, it was very informative and we look forward to sharing that information with the growers of Skagit County.