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Potato shortage could have positive impact on Wisconsin farmers

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CENTRAL WISCONSIN (WAOW) -- A late spring and an early frost in some parts of the country has caused a nationwide potato shortage. According to Tamas Houlihan, the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, the United States crop could be down between five and six percent.

But despite a tough growing season, Wisconsin Farmers were able to avoid an early killing frost and were able to meet their production quotas.

"The week that Idaho and Montana and even North Dakota had some really severe problems with frost, it was ideal harvest conditions in Wisconsin," Houlihan said.

That luck in the weather, could mean more money coming to Wisconsin Farmers.

"The upside for our growers is that they should get a little bit more money for their potatoes, because when there's a short supply the price tends to go up," Houlihan said.

That boost is certainly welcome, especially after nearly 5,000 acres were left in ground last year.

Because of the unpredictable conditions year to year, researchers at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station work to make sure Wisconsin farmers have the best shot at a successful harvest each year.

"Have that potato yield much better for the grower so that when there are shortages in neighboring regions, they have enough surplus that they can fill that gap in other states," said Potato and Vegetable Storage Research Facility Manager Troy Fishler.

All to ensure Wisconsin potatoes are the cream of the crop.

Sarah McGrew

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