Billions worth of local produce feel the heat

Idaho potato market woes after pandemic

The heat is having a big impact on the food you buy and billions of local dollars Thursday.

Washington State University Agriculture Expert Dr. Tim Waters has been digging deeper toward the root of the issue now plaguing the 160,000 acres of Washington state potato farms.

“It’s important to maintain uniform moisture in the potato hill but not excessive moisture,” Dr. Tim Waters said.

According to Waters, improper irrigation is one of the main factors leading to potato loss.

“You can exacerbate disease issues with potatoes,” Waters continued.

Oversaturated soils can also be breeding grounds for the “late blight fungus” which easily spreads from one crop plot to another.

“Then you can get what they call kind of a dumb bell,” Waters added.

Also contributing to undesirable shapes on your dinner table.

“Then you can get what they call kind of a dumb bell,” Waters added.

Or possibly worse…. some uninvited guests.

“Spider mites for example, Thrips, Lygus bugs all go through their life stages more quickly,” Waters said.

Dr. Waters also suggesting some of the greatest defenses against the heat and the increased pest populations.

“Be out in the fields digging and checking the soil moisture,” Waters added.

Waters doing his best to help preserve an $850-million dollar crop from the elements.

“So it’s very important to put on protective fungicides,” Waters concluded.