Wisconsin potato growers see above-average yields

Brownfield Ag News- Potato growers in Wisconsin are nearly finished harvesting a very good crop.  Tamas Houlihan with the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association tells Brownfield the hot and dry early growing season had producers concerned, but irrigation helped most fields. “We’ve been able to harvest a really good quality crop. High yield, outstanding tuber size, and so all told, we are looking at a very good crop this year, a large size profile, and I’ll say average to above-average yields overall.”

Houlihan says modern technology has helped growers better manage water usage.  “We’ve also learned a lot with conservation practices, variable rate irrigation systems, soil moisture sensors, just the technology that the growers use now is really, really good and so they’ve learned to apply just the right amount at just the right times where and when they need it.”

Houlihan says many of the canned and frozen vegetables also had good production years in the irrigated central sands region but, “We’ve heard stories from the southern part of the state right down by the (Illinois) border in the Janesville area where they don’t have as much irrigation for those crops, and those crops really suffered. In fact, we’ve heard disastrous yields on corn and some of the other processing vegetables.”

Houlihan says yields were very good in central Wisconsin for peas, green beans, carrots, onions, and sweet corn, and he says more growers are adding cabbage to their rotations.

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