State-wide drought leads to uneven growth


10 August 2023
Oneida yields still expected to be 'average' says growers association spokesman.

A STATE-wide drought in Oneida County has provided some real challenges for potato growers but they are still on track for an average season.

The severe drought affected farmers and consumers, leaving soils exceptionally dry. May was the eigth driest on record over the past 129 years according to the US Drought Monitor.

Executive Director of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, Tamas Houlihan, said 95% of potato fields have irrigation systems.

“Wisconsin is fortunate to have an abundant underground aquifer,” he said in an interview with local radio station, WXPR. “We have been irrigating, almost daily, owing to the severe drought conditions that have affected the entire state, and so due to irrigation, we have a very good, I'll call it an average-yielding, potato crop. The drought has taken the top off yields, as the growers put it. They're not going to be able to get a bumper yield this year, because it's just been too hot and too dry for too long.”

While the quality of the crops will be good, the heat may have caused some uneven growth, he added.

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Thirty-seven states across the US reported moderate droughts or worse last week, meaning 272.3 million acres of major crops were affected.

Source: WXPR

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