Bulletin No.


Document Type



Department of Agronomy


During the past few years the potato raising industry has increased rapidly in South Dakota. The eastern part of the state has come to take rank with the best potato growing sections of the United States. The Sioux Valley now produces potatoes which rank in quantity and quality production with the famous Greeley spuds or the well-known Red River Ohios. Sioux Valley spuds should and will undoubtedly rank high on the market in the future. In 1909, South Dakota raised 50,052 acres of potatoes. These were largely produced east of the Missouri River, with the Black Hills region producing most of the west-of-the-river crop. The average yield for all acres planted was 68.8 bushels per acre. During the next 10 years, or in 1919, the acreage had increased to 58,180 or 16.2 per cent. During the same time the yield per acre had decreased to 49.2 bushels. The total yield for 1909 was 3,441,692 bushels. For 1919 the yield was 2,863,186, a decrease of 578,506 bushels or 12 percent. In short, while we were increasing our acreage 16.2 percent we decreased the yield in bushels 12 percent. With improved methods of seed treatment and spraying, and proper methods of rotation this loss should have been avoided. Intensive methods would have yielded the potato raisers more than extensive methods. Success on a small acreage leads many growers to believe that the same success may be realized on very much larger acreages. This does not necessarily hold true. The folly of such reasoning comes in the lack of anticipation of the needs· of the crop in the way of seed bed preparation, seed treatment, spraying, cultivating, and harvesting. A small acreage well grown may be expected to yield well, whereas, a large acreage poorly attended, where weeds, insect pest and potato diseases are allowed to go unchecked, may be generally expected to result in a poor yield of unmarketable potatoes. For these reasons, and especially because of improper rotation, South Dakota's acreage has not yielded its full capacity. Proper attention of the potato growers in the future to these factors will increase both yield and quality of potatoes.


potatoes, tubers, South Dakota crops



Publication Date









South Dakota Experiment Station, South Dakota State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts