Potato harvest progressing throughout San Luis Valley 

Photos by Mechel Meek

SAGUACHE COUNTY — The potato harvesting throughout the San Luis Valley is progressing with farmers seeing good yield from their fields with minimal bruising.

“Conditions were once again ideal for fieldwork and harvest activities last week,” according to the Mountain Region Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA.

Harvesting and transportation of field crops could be seen throughout the valley with semitrucks headed to the train yards and storage barns filled with potatoes and carrots.

The USDA also reported that “in the San Luis Valley the potato harvest moved forward. The third cutting of alfalfa was coming to a close and a limited number of barley acres remained to be harvested. Range and pastures remained dry, but livestock were in good condition.”

The reports coming from processors and shippers of potatoes were also positive. Houston-based MountainKing expressed that they have been seeing the fall harvest tests indicate that potato sizes were excellent and very little bruising was noted.

MountainKing grows several varieties of potatoes including the ever popular Butter Russet in the San Luis Valley.

Other Valley farmers noted that the early season hail storm appears to have not caused damage to crops except for in isolated fields.

As of Sept. 26, 39 percent of potatoes, and 87 percent of alfalfa third cutting have been completed, with moisture in the fields described as adequate in most areas. 

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