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Substantial losses in the Red River Valley

Two weeks ago potato growers in the Red River Valley were very optimistic about this year's crop -- not so much anymore. “Reality is setting in that there will be some substantial losses for many growers in the valley," according to the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association.flooood

"The latest crop report from USDA-NASS is reporting that just 45 percent of the potato crop in North Dakota is harvested, a number that progressed just 9 percent last week," according to NPPGA, which is headquartered in Grand Forks, ND, across the Red River from Minnesota. "The numbers are better on the Minnesota side (68 percent) but still 17 percent behind average.”

The association said “nearly eight inches of rain has fallen in the past two weeks at the NDAWN (North Dakota Agricultural Network) station on the NPPGA research farm just south of Grand Forks. If the forecast is correct, things could become even worse before they get better. Beginning tomorrow, rain and/or snow is in the forecast for five days straight.”

The group added: “Unfortunately this will put to a stop to the progress some growers in the northern valley have made the past two days. But closer to Grand Forks and points south, the wait continues. Water is still standing in fields and ditches and there has been no harvest activity for about two weeks.”