Higher potato prices would probably be cause for celebration in Idaho this year if growers didn't also expect an increase in production costs.
The cost of seed, fertilizer and some chemicals declined a bit last year, but growers won't be so lucky this year.
Overall production costs could be up 6 to 9 percent this year, according to Paul Patterson, University of Idaho Extension agricultural economist.
Patterson expects fertilizer and machinery costs -- including fuel, oil, lubricants and repair -- to be up 8 to 12 percent and seed costs to be up 25 to 35 percent this year.
"The bottom line is that costs are going up," he told growers at a workshop at the Idaho Potato Conference