× Close

Potatoes USA GCC Disclaimer

Please Note: You have clicked on a link to a website maintained by a third party and are about to leave the Potatoes USA website. The external link should not be considered an endorsement by Potatoes USA of the third party website or the company or organization that owns it, and Potatoes USA is not responsible for the accuracy or nature of the content of the linked website.

Click ‘OK’ to continue, or ‘Cancel’ to return to potatoesusagcc.com

OK Cancel

Growing Practices

U.S. potato farmers tap into a wealth of experience and resources to make potatoes grown in the United States some of the best in the world. U.S. potato growing practices are the result of many factors:

World Class Potato Breeding Programs

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service collaborates with researchers at top universities to conduct internationally recognized potato breeding programs. These programs continually develop high-performing varieties to reduce disease and maximize quality and nutrition. The development of new cultivars is the natural result of cross-breeding different varieties of potatoes.

High-Quality Certified Seed Potato

All commercial U.S. potatoes are grown exclusively from certified seed. U.S. fresh seed potatoes pass through the strict seed certification system. U.S. seed potato certification is a formal process in which USDA agencies certify that all national standards have been met. Seed producers must meet the following standards:

Wide Selection of Varieties

U.S. growers produce hundreds of varieties of potatoes and more are constantly being developed to ensure the best possible variety for a wide range of end-uses from fresh consumption to processing.

Ideal Growing Environment

Potato-growing regions of the United States boast rich, fertile soil and a climate that is ideally suited to growing potato tubers. Summers have long sunny days and cool nights, just what potatoes like. Long cold winters keep pests and diseases to a minimum. These factors mean U.S. potato growers can use a minimum of pesticides and fertilizers leading to more sustainable farming practices.

Meticulous Soil and Crop Management

Farmers in the U.S. pay meticulous care to the soil. They rotate their potato crop, meaning potatoes are planted only once every 3-5 years on the same land. This ensures a healthier crop and a more sustainable farm. At the start of the growing season, farmers work with certified agronomists to monitor nutrient levels in the soil. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) enable farmers to target precise amounts of fertilizer exactly where it is needed to avoid over- or under-fertilization. As the potato tubers develop in the ground, growers and agronomists monitor their progress, testing their moisture level, solids and sugar content.

Precision Irrigation

State-of-the-art equipment measures water content in the soil and evaporation rates to determine precise irrigation needs. Irrigation systems use GPS technology to deliver the right amount of water. The latest technology is used to monitor the weather so growers can adapt their irrigation accordingly.

Careful Harvest & Storage Techniques

Harvest time involves a meticulous check to ensure that not only are the potatoes physiologically mature, but their sugar concentrations are at the appropriate level for optimum storage and processing. U.S. potato farmers invest in state-of-the art specialized equipment to protect the potatoes from damage during harvest, handling and transport. Crops are inspected and graded by USDA agencies. Then, they are transported to processing plants or climate-controlled storage facilities that maintain quality and nutrition.