Just a little over a month ago, we announced the “official” beginning of the 2014 potato harvest. Now, just a little over a month later, we’re announcing it’s officially over. And what a spud harvest it has been!
As we say every year, every harvest brings it’s own challenges and this one is no different. With our grain, hay and potato fields all over the Klamath Basin, it’s a dance of moving equipment and trucks over the same highways and roads the public uses. Not to mention you’re always keeping an eye warily on the weather to see when, and some days if, the crews will get to dig.
This year, for the most part, the weather was beautiful for digging potatoes. With very little precipitation, the warm, sunny days made you remember why Klamath Falls is called the Sunshine City of Oregon. The scant bit of rain we did receive barely slowed down potato harvest and helped knock the dust out of the air (not to mention perk up the hay crops all over the Basin!).
While we’ve built a reputation for providing high quality chipping potatoes, this year we also had a few fields planted with organic potatoes and seed potatoes. The organic red and fingerling potatoes turned out beautifully, just like our chipping potatoes did. The last field we dug was seed potatoes, and while the constant sterilization of equipment made the last days of harvest drag on, Monday, October 13 saw it all come to an end. And yes, the potato seed looks great too!
To put our harvest season into perspective, from August through October, we were cutting around 5,000 acres of grain and approximately 1,600 acres of 4th cutting alfalfa hay while digging about 2,300 acres of potatoes. Some days all three crops were being harvested though towards the end we were only digging potatoes. But as you can see, it takes a large, dedicated crew to make sure our crops are cut, dug and put into storage.
The photos below are from the last chipping potato field we harvested on October 9th, known around Gold Dust and Walker Brothers as “The Elk Field” on the Running Y. How’d it get that name? Earlier in the year, you could see where the elk were coming down from the trees on the hillside to eat a few spuds, wallow in the tilled up dirt and make trails through the field to neighboring hay and grain fields. Who says wildlife doesn’t like farming?
Before we wrap up this post, John, Bill, Weston and Tricia would like to thank everyone who worked with us through harvest. It’s takes a lot of people to not only get the crops into storage, but to keep the crews moving, the spuds going to customers and everyone getting paid. Whether you work in the office, on the packing shed floor, out in the fields, on the storage shed lines, in the spud trucks, in the potato bulkers or are the managers that make it happen, thank you very much. It’s been another successful harvest, and we know we can’t do it without having the best crews in the Klamath Basin. Thank you.