KENNEWICK, Wash. -Apples and cherries may get the most
attention, but potato growers say spuds are the most consistent and reliable crop in the Northwest.
Potato growers and
processors from throughout Washington and Oregon are attending the annual
potato conference at the Three Rivers Convention Center.
Dale Lathim, who is coordinating the
conference, says apple and cherry crops can have boom and bust years, but he says the potato
fields churn out high yields and high quality spuds year after year.
the fourth largest commodity in terms of farm gate volume, but add in
processing, we make 25 percent of the world's French fries here in the Columbia
Basin. So it's a multi-billion dollar industry."
are one of the most susceptible crops to pests, and Lathim says harvesting once
acre of potatoes costs about $5,000. The conference is where potato growers
will find out what new tools are available to them to produce healthy, pest
free crops, and harvest them efficiently.