Potato Bytes

News from Northland Potato Growers Association
Serving the potato industry in North Dakota and Northwest Minnesota.
NPGA Chairman's and Meritorious Service Award Banquet is Tomorrow!
Peter Imle
Mike Oosterwijk
Brian Vculek
The Northland Potato Growers Association (NPGA) winter meetings kick off tomorrow evening with the Chairman's and Meritorious Service Award Banquet at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. The social begins at 5:30 and the program and dinner at 6:30. Peter Imle will become the new NPGA Chairman and Mike Oosterwijk and Brian Vculek will receive Meritorious Awards.

The rest of the week is plenty busy too. Here is a complete run-down of the week's events, all events are at the Alerus Center unless otherwise noted:

Click on the links for more information!

  • NPGA MSA and Chairman's Banquet - Social Hour 5:30, Banquet 6:30
  • NPGA Potato Associates - Annual Business Meeting, 4:00 PM


  • International Crop Expo - 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Crop Expo Potato Programming - Alerus Center 8:30 AM - Noon
  • RRV Fresh Co-op Annual Meeting - 1:30 PM Altos Cafe at Canad Inn
International Crop Expo Runs this Wednesday and Thursday
The International Crop Expo kicks off at the Alerus Center on Wednesday morning at 9:00 AM. Hours for the big expo are 9 - 5 on Wednesday and 9 - 4 on Thursday (Feb. 22-23).
Rob Sharkey
Brian Carroll
The AgCountry keynote speaker on Wednesday at 1:00 PM will be Rob Sharkey, known as The SharkFarmer. Sharkey is not your average Illinois grain farmer. He’s a disruptor who is unwavering in his ability to directly address difficult topics. His provocative style parallels a story-based structure, which resonates with thousands of weekly, global listeners of his podcasts and TV shows.

On Thursday at 1:00 PM, Grand Farm Director Brian Carroll will host a panel discussion titled “Grand Farm’s AgTech Ecosystem - What the heck is it and why does it work?”

As always, the Alerus Center arena will be packed with big equipment and hundreds of smaller exhibits from our local ag businesses. And don't forget the special programming for potatoes, soybeans & dry beans and small grains. For more information on the International Crop Expo including a schedule for all the crop programming visit CropExpo.com.
NDSU Projects Crop Profits for 2023

Most crops in all regions project a profit for the year.

The North Dakota State University Extension projected crop budgets for 2023 are available for the state’s farmers, says Ron Haugen, NDSU Extension farm management specialist.

The 2023 projected profits vary by region and crop.

“The budgets are guides for large multi-county regions,” says Haugen. “Returns and costs can vary considerably between producers within a region. Also, the budgets estimate returns to labor and management with no consideration of price and yield variability or risk. A perfect comparison of crops is not achieved because different levels of labor, management and risk exist.”

“Generally, most crops in all regions project a profit for the year,” says Haugen. “With the increase in all commodity prices, the bottom line looks good. With higher gross income there is a negative note, expenses are higher overall. Fertilizer prices and pesticide prices are far above average.”

 “Generally, for most crops, the projected total costs per acre have increased,” adds Haugen. “Fertilizer costs per acre have decreased somewhat but are still near the high levels of 2022. Pesticide costs are flat to higher for most crops in most regions. Seed costs are somewhat flat. With our high inflation rate, fuel, repairs and ownership expenses have had increases. Cropland rents for most regions are up.”

“Specialty crops may show a positive return, but usually have limited contracts and acreages, and also may have higher risk,” says Haugen.

The NDSU Extension-developed budgets are available online at ndsu.ag/projectedbudgets or by searching online for NDSU Crop Budgets.
NDSU Extension also offers an updated Crop Compare Program for 2023, which is a spreadsheet designed to compare cropping alternatives.

The program uses the direct costs and yields from the 2023 projected crop budgets for nine regions of North Dakota, but farmers are encouraged to enter the expected yields and input costs for their farm.

The user designates a reference crop and enters its expected market price. Depending on the region, a broad selection of nine to 18 crops are compared. The program provides the prices for competing crops that would be necessary to provide the same return over variable costs as the reference crop.

“Producers can compare these ‘break-even’ prices to expected market prices to see which crop is most likely to compete with the reference crop,” says Haugen. “The program provides a tool for farmers to check changing scenarios until final planting decisions are made.”

The program includes an underlying assumption that fixed costs, such as machinery ownership, land, and the owner’s labor and management, do not vary among crop choices, and therefore do not need to be included in the analysis.

“In practice, there may be differences in fixed costs that should be considered,” says Haugen.

“For example, there may be additional labor, management and risk associated with a competing crop,” Haugen adds. “If all the labor and management is provided by the owner-operator, it would be considered a fixed cost and could be excluded. However, the farmer should add some cost if he or she would only want to produce the crop when an adequate reward would be received for the extra time and management required relative to the reference crop.”

A similar rationale could be used if a competing crop is considered higher risk.
The Crop Compare program is available online at ndsu.ag/cropcompare.
February 1 Potato Stocks Report

North Dakota growers, dealers, and processors held 13.2 million cwt of potatoes in storage on February 1, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Current stocks represent 57% of the 2022 production. One year ago, North Dakota 13.1 million cwt which was 58% of the 2021 crop. Total stocks are defined as all potatoes on hand, regardless of use, including those that will be lost through future shrinkage and dumping.

Comparing North Dakota stocks by type, Russets accounted for 55% of the total, down from 58% in 2022. Whites were 24% of the total, unchanged in 2022. Reds, at 16% of total stocks, were up from 13% in 2022. Yellows, at 5%, were unchanged in 2022.

Minnesota held 12.5 million cwt on February 1 which is 62% of 2022 production. One year ago, Minnesota held 9.1 million cwt which was 52% of the 2021 crop. Minnesota stocks remaining by type is withheld by the USDA to avoid disclosing data for individual operations.

Access the National publication for this release at:
Number of Farms in ND and MN Dropped in 2022

North Dakota - North Dakota's number of farms and ranches decreased during 2022, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. The number of farms and ranches in the state, at 25,900, was down 100 farms from 2021.

Numbers of farms and ranches in North Dakota with less than $100,000 in agricultural sales increased 200 farms from a year earlier while operations with more than $100,000 in agricultural sales decreased 300 farms.

Land in farms and ranches in North Dakota totaled 39.2 million acres, down 100,000 acres from 2021. The average size of operation, at 1,514 acres, was up 2 acres from a year earlier.

Minnesota - The total number of farms in Minnesota in 2022 was 67,100, down 300 farms from 2021, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Farms and Land in Farms 2022 Summary report.

Total land in farms for Minnesota during 2022 was 25.4 million acres.

The average farm size in Minnesota for 2022 was 379 acres, up 2 acres from 2021.

Access the National publication for this release at:
Potato Bytes TV & Movie Trivia
Last Week's Photo

Last week's trivia photo was from the History Channel series American Pickers.

It was answered correctly by Karen Radke, Craig Magnusson, Darcy Blazek, John Lundeen, Gary Gray, Dorothy Viker, Derek Sanda, Todd Forbush, Keith Bjorneby and Butch Kraska.

This Week's Photo

What movie is this scene from? Send your answer by clicking on the red tab below.

All those answering correctly will be recognized in the next Potato Bytes
Grilled Potato Toast with Guacamole

Grilled planks of russet potatoes, topped with spicy pickled corn relish and edamame guacamole.

Dish: Breakfast/Brunch, Main Dish
Potato Type: Russet
Prep Method: Grilled

Get one delicious, potato recipe delivered to you each week. You’ll always have new, tasty ideas to surprise and delight your family and friends—even on a busy weeknight. Sign up
Coming Events @ a Glance

February 21 - Alerus Center, Grand Forks

February 22 - Alerus Center, Grand Forks

February 23 - Alerus Center, Grand Forks

  • RRV Fresh Co-op Annual Meeting - 1:30 PM Altos Cafe at Canad Inn

February 27 - March 3

March 7