Potatoes and sweet potatoes are both popular commodities that are grown in states all over the nation. Both tubers provide healthy carbohydrates, fiber, and an array of vitamins and minerals, making the demand for them high. Opportunities abound for those considering potato farming.
Potato Ag Facts
Idaho is the largest producer of potatoes, with Washington not far behind, according to 2012 data from the National Potato Council. The rest of the potato’s top producers like Wisconsin, North Dakota, Minnesota and Michigan.
While Michigan boasts of being the second most agriculturally diverse state in the country, their largest commodity is potatoes. According to the Michigan Potato Industry Commission, potatoes are grown in every region in the state, as the state’s rich soil and cool summer nights are perfect growing conditions for a variety of different spuds. Michigan ranks 8th in the nation for total potato production.
Sweet Potato Ag Facts
Potato-growing states that are south of the Mason-Dixon line include North Carolina and Louisiana. Both states are also top producers of sweet potatoes, with North Carolina leading the country. Sweet potatoes prefer much warmer weather than their white potato cousins.
Production of the sweet potato has increased dramatically in the last decade and a half, according to data from the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS). South Carolina has been responsible for a large part of the increase. In 2000, South Carolina’s production totaled 5.6 million cwt; by 2014, it was at 15.8 million cwt, producing more than half of the country’s sweet potatoes.
In Louisiana, farmers started growing the vitamin-rich tubers in the 1930s when cotton harvests failed, according to information from the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission. Louisiana farmers call them ‘yams’ to distinguish their products from the rest of the nation’s sweet potatoes, and they produce about 20 percent of the country’s total sweet potato harvest.
At AgAmerica Lending, we constantly take the pulse of agricultural commodities to better serve the country’s farmers and ranchers. We make it our business to help the nation’s growers and producers grow and succeed with our farm ag loans that feature low interest rates, long amortizations, and an outstanding 10-year line of credit.
Read more about two sweet potato farm loans put together by the land loan specialists. One loan package allowed a family sweet potato farm to expand, and a second sweet potato loan and refinance package that saved the family-owned operation over 18 percent.