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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Aberdeen, Idaho » Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #347648

Research Project: Potato Genetic Improvement for Western U.S. Production

Location: Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research

Title: An economic analysis of the effects of harvest timing on yield, quality, and processing contract price for three potato varieties

Author
item WAXMAN, ADDIE - 1,4group, Inc
item STARK, JEFF - University Of Idaho
item GUENTHNER, JOSEPH - University Of Idaho
item OLSEN, NORA - University Of Idaho
item THORNTON, MICHAEL - University Of Idaho
item Novy, Richard - Rich

Submitted to: American Journal of Potato Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/17/2018
Publication Date: 6/22/2018
Citation: Waxman, A., Stark, J., Guenthner, J., Olsen, N., Thornton, M., Novy, R.G. 2018. An economic analysis of the effects of harvest timing on yield, quality, and processing contract price for three potato varieties. American Journal of Potato Research. 95:549-563. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12230-018-9663-z.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12230-018-9663-z

Interpretive Summary: Interpretative Summary: Timing of harvest can impact tuber size, marketable yield, and processing quality of potatoes. Three potato varieties, Russet Burbank, Clearwater Russet, and Alpine Russet were compared for revenue obtained by growers in a typical contract with processors. Three different harvest dates were compared. Early harvest resulted in decreased profit for growers relative to other harvest dates due to a significant reduction in tuber starch content. Early harvest incentives provided to growers in contracts by processors did offset associated early harvest revenue loss for Clearwater Russet and Alpine Russet, but not Russet Burbank. Across all harvests, Clearwater Russet and Alpine Russet had agronomic characteristics that provided increased revenue to growers relative to industry standard, Russet Burbank.

Technical Abstract: Technical Abstract-Waxman et al. Harvesting potatoes at or near physiological maturity maximizes the production of high quality tubers and produces the highest quality processed end-product. Some growers harvest earlier than recommended in order to meet contract requirements and supply processors with early potatoes. Early harvest impacts the incentive-adjusted price (IAP) and revenue even after an early harvest incentive is applied. This study utilized a typical frozen processor contract and compared the economic impact of harvest timing (early, normal, and late) on the IAP of three potato varieties: Russet Burbank, Clearwater Russet, and Alpine Russet, grown in field trials at Parma, Idaho during 2014 and 2015. Contract quality incentives included percent of tubers greater than 170 grams, percent sugar ends, percent of U.S. No. 1’s, and specific gravity. Harvesting early resulted in a decrease in the IAP and overall profit due to a significant reduction in specific gravity. Early harvest incentive did not offset the loss of revenue with Russet Burbank, but did offset revenue loss with Clearwater Russet and Alpine Russet. Clearwater Russet and Alpine Russet have agronomic characteristics that can provide an increase in IAP over Russet Burbank.