Potato production in the U.S. and Canada is down from the year before, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Statistics Canada.
About 8 per cent fewer potatoes were harvested last fall in the U.S., and 4 per cent fewer in Canada, according to the January 21 North American Potatoes report, a joint effort of the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service and Statistics Canada.
About 361 million cwt. of potatoes were harvested in the U.S. and about 97 million cwt. in Canada last fall.
Both lower acreage and lower yields contributed to the decline in U.S. production, according to the report. Harvested acreage fell from 917,000 acres in 2009 to 881,000 acres in 2010. Yields dropped from 429 cwt. to 409 cwt. per acre.
Potato production in 2010 was the lowest in the 2000's, according to the report. The second-lowest was 379 million cwt. in 2008.
Prince Edward Island and Canadian production has been on a steady decline since 2002 and 2003.
"In the last few years there's been a real attempt at the North American level for the potato producers to try and cut their acreage back so that the production would actually meet the demand, and try to encourage better prices," said Barbara McLaughlin, an official with Stats Canada's agriculture division.
Canadian production was at 457,000 acres in 2003. P.E.I. grew 106,000 acres that year and 109,000 in 2002.
While acreage has been tailing off, yield has been going up - 282.8 hundredweight per acre for Canada in 2010, compared with 277.3 in 2008. P.E.I.'s average yield has gone up from 280 cwt/acre in 2008 to 300 cwt in 2009 and 2010.
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