Wisconsin potato harvest slowed by weather, yields lower

Wisconsin’s potato growers are fighting to finish the harvest with cold and wet field conditions.  Mark Finnessy  with Okray Family Farms tells Brownfield, “We’re a little over 60% done and we got a quarter inch of snow yesterday and just now, it’s starting to melt off our roof.  We probably won’t start digging for stores again until Thursday.”

Finnessy says most of their sand fields are harvested and they have fields of saturated dark, heavy soil to finish.  He says overall, potato yields and quality are down this year.  “We don’t know exactly how far down yet, no.  The real issues I think are still in the ground and we’ve got to see what we got.”

Finnessy is hopeful the ground can dry out enough to finish harvesting before November.

Tamas Houlihan with the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association says many Wisconsin growers are getting nervous about the wetness and cold temperatures.

USDA reporters say 84% of Wisconsin’s potatoes are in, with harvest around eight days behind average.

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