Whatcom County seed potato harvest off to slow start, but product looks good

This year’s seed potato harvest is off to a slow start, but it has the potential for being a decent one this year.

The harvest has begun at Ebe Farms, which is one of the Whatcom County farms that grows seed potatoes. The warm and dry weather has slowed work because farmers want to avoid bruising the seeds, which can happen in warm weather, said Greg Ebe.

“Ideally we are hoping for cooler temperatures and some rain would be nice,” Ebe said, adding that the one thing they want to avoid is too much rain that would create muddy conditions and slow down the equipment.

Ebe may get those ideal conditions this week. The weather forecast calls for cooler temperatures and some showers through Friday, Sept. 19.

Once work gets into full gear, Ebe is expecting a decent harvest. The weather this year leading up to the harvest has been good.

According to Whatcom Farm Friends’ website, Whatcom County harvests about 38,000 tons of seed potatoes each year on about 1,900 acres of land.

Ebe Farms, founded in 1919, has about 700 acres of farmland for seed potatoes. Once harvested, the seeds are sent to other parts of Washington and California to be planted and grown to maturity.