Fine weather for many crops, as long as farmers irrigate


August 2, 2023

A potato field with pink blooms

Ken Stern

LET A THOUSAND POTATO FIELDS BLOOM – If it is July in Skagit County, potato fields are blooming pink or white as here, just north and west of the La Conner roundabout. These potatoes, grown by Maplewood Farm, are a few of the thousands of acres planted in the Valley this year.

Skagit County is officially in a drought emergency – but so far, some area farmers are having a pretty good year.

Swanson Family Farm's berry crop was bountiful. "We went from a 10 percent crop and lots of freeze damage last year to a 110% crop this year," said Dean Swanson. He is already picking corn and thinks his cucumber and bean crops will be good.

Potatoes "look good," said John Thulen of Pioneer Potatoes, "not lackluster, but not a crasher either, although some plants look stressed."

Planting conditions were "pretty close to ideal," said Jason Vander Kooy of Harmony Dairy, with...

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