Potato Growing Season

on Sunday, 18 March 2018. Posted in Blog & News

Potato growing season is among us! Farming is a year-round, around the clock job but today we are going to break down the growing season timeline for you. The planting of potatoes begins as early as March and can go through the spring until May. Planting time varies throughout our state because of potato variety and farm location. The second step in the growing process is the bulking and blooms stage. The favorable conditions and long growing season in Washington allow spuds to “bulk up”. The favorable conditions in Washington are what set our potatoes apart from other potatoes. The conditions in Washington allow spuds to form “high solids”. Potatoes that have high solids hold less water which leads to a better product for processing, mashing, frying, and baking. The third step in the potato growing process is irrigation. Stage three occurs from May-August and requires modern technology. Today growers use GPS equipped center pivot irrigation systems to water their crop. These new systems give potatoes the moisture they need without using excess water. The fourth step in the growing process is harvesting season. Every variety is a little different, so harvest can happen anywhere from July-October. Once growers harvest their potatoes, they move them into storage. Storage is the fifth and final stage of the growing process. Most potatoes are stored in state of the art potato storage facilities. During this time, growers must monitor their storage facilities and ensure they have the perfect temperature, lighting, humidity, and ventilation. Clearly, it takes a lot of thought, work, and effort to grow high-quality Washington potatoes.

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Encouraging school foodservice operators to use more poatoes

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WSDA Resilient Food System Infrastructure Grant Program

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Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) recently opened the application period for the Resilient Food System Infrastructure (RFSI) Grant. This one-time grant program is funded by USDA and is designed to bolster the middle of Washington’s food supply chain. The program aims to enhance local and regional food systems by supporting activities like aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storage, transportation, wholesaling, and distribution. Eligible entities include agricultural producers, processors, non-profit organizations, for-profit entities meeting SBA small business size standards, local and tribal governments, and institutions like schools and hospitals. Priority will be given to projects that benefit underserved and socially disadvantaged farmers, small and veteran-owned businesses, and projects that expand processing, aggregation, and distribution capacities. The application period opened on May 30, 2024, and closes on July 15, 2024 at 5:00 PM. WSDA is offering extensive support to help applicants through the process. This includes assistance from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and dedicated office hours every Tuesday and Thursday leading up to the application deadline. Visit the RFSI webpage for more information about what’s available. If you need assistance, please visit the RSI website. WSDA will also be available with office hours of every Tuesday 10am through July 9th and every Thursday at 2pm through June 27th (no office hours on July 4th holiday)

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