State Rank for US Production (1996):
1st in nation
Percent Total US Production (1996):
Dollar Value of Production (1,000s):
Idaho grows more potatoes than any other U.S. growing region, annually producing about 30 percent of U.S. fall production (or an average of 13.8 billion pounds per year). Bingham County in eastern Idaho alone produces almost as many potatoes as the entire state of Maine.
Potatoes contribute $2.5 billion or 15 percent of Idaho's gross state product. Potatoes contribute 6.8 percent of southwest Idaho economy, 27.4 percent of south central Idaho's economy, and 32.8 percent of eastern Idaho's economy.
In the 1500s Spanish Conquistadors transported the potatoes plant, a native of the Americas, to Europe where it slowly spread to eventually become a diet staple. In 1719, the earliest settlers took the plants to North America. In Idaho, the first potatoes were grown at the Spalding Mission in 1837.
The state's "famous potato" is a strain that arose in 1873, and was developed by Luther Burbank, a Massachusetts horticulturist. This potato variety is called the Russet Burbank.
Idaho Department of