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Smallest North Dakota potato crop in five years?

United States Department of Agriculture-National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) is estimating only 64,000 out of 80,000 planted potato acres in North Dakota will be harvested. Potato production is forecast at 19.8 million hundredweight (cwt.), down 28 per cent from last year. NASS estimates the average yield in the state at 310 cwt. per acre, down 35 cwt. from last year. If accurate, this would be the smallest North Dakota potato crop in five years; however the accuracy of the USDA estimate is in question. Bruce Huffaker, editor of North American Potato Market news, cites several reasons he believes the estimate might be as much as 4 million cwt. too low.

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