Columbia River Basin

About the region

The picturesque farms of the Columbia River Basin in Washington and Oregon stretch as far as you can see, hard at work growing some of the highest quality potatoes in the world. Ancient Missoula floods left behind the area’s volcanic sandy-loam soil, and the nearby Columbia River delivers steady irrigation. Combined with long, sun-filled days and cool nights, this region is ideal for growing the perfect potato.

Meet the farmers

Orman, Nick and Gavin Johnson

Johnson Agriprises – Othello, WA

Nick adds, "A lot of time, effort and care go into raising these potatoes. We do everything we can to make sure we're growing high-quality food." It's a job that requires long hours – the busy season can reach 75 hours a week during harvest – but Nick wouldn't have it any other way. "Producing food, feeding people – it's a sense of accomplishment that makes it all worth it."

Ted Tschirky

Tschirky Farms – Pasco, WA

"I’m proud that our potatoes are so wholesome and nutritious," says Ted. "We eat them ourselves. We feed them to our kids, our grandkids, our parents, so we’re careful to conserve resources for the next generation.

"Farming is tough work. The growing season is long, and lots can go wrong. Ted says if he can vacation for more than three days during the growing season, it’s a win for his wife. "She wants to know what I’d do if I wasn’t farming," he says. He doesn’t have an answer – farming is what he loves.

Potatoes by Numbers

French Fry Icon

180,000 acres

Potato crop acres in the Columbia River Basin

60,000 lbs

Average potato yield per acre

10,800,000,000 lbs

Pounds of potatoes grown annually



The Columbia River Basin grows enough potatoes for 13.5 billion servings of fries every year – that’s enough potatoes for almost every person on earth to enjoy two servings of fries!

All figures are approximate and are intended to reflect industry-wide grower production in region.
<h3>62% of consumers want to know where their food comes from.*</h3>

62% of consumers want to know where their food comes from.*

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*IFMA/Datassential CPP 2019/2020