The Physics
Factbook
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Mass of US Potato Production

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Standardized
Result
Smith, Ora. Potatoes: Production, Storing, Processing. Westport, Connecticut: Avi Publishing, 1977: 9. "Production (1000 cwt) US Total:
342,060–1974
315,647–1975"
1.73 × 1010 kg
(1974)
1.60 × 1010 kg
(1975)
The World Almanac and Book of Facts. New Jersey: Primedia Reference, 1998: 140. "Potatoes (1,000 cwt) Production by US: 459,912–1997" 2.33 × 1010 kg
(1997)
Smith, Ora & William F. Talburt. Potato Processing. Westport, CT: Avi Publishing, 1975: 3. "Production of Potatoes by Countries: US (1,000,000 cwt):
311.9–1969
325.6–1970
317.5–1971"
1.58 × 1010 kg
(1969)
1.65 × 1010 kg
(1970)
1.61 × 1010 kg
(1971)
Information Please. Agricultural Output by State, 1998 Crops. The Family Education Network. 13 December 1999. "Potatoes (1,000 cwt)
Total US:
477,754–1998"
2.43 × 1010 kg
(1998)
US Bureau of the Census. Statistical Abstract of the United States:1998. Washington, DC: US GPO. 1998. "Production (1,000 short tons) Potatoes:
22,180–1995
24,932–1996
22,996–1997"
2.01 × 1010 kg
(1995)
2.26 × 1010 kg
(1996)
2.09 × 1010 kg
(1997)

What do you say to an angry 300 pound potato? Anything, just butter him up!

The potato, one of the most popular vegetables in the United States, was first cultivated in the United States sometime during the 19th century. Russet potatoes were specifically bred by a man named John Russet, who happened to create these potatoes through cross-pollination. Since then a variety of potatoes have evolved, and today they are a precious commodity. French fries for example, are made of potatoes. What would America do without french fries? (Lose weight most likely. But seriously.) French fries are the most eaten form of potatoes in the United States. In order for the fast food industry and other french fry merchants to be successful and to sell their goods, a massive amount of potatoes have to be produced to supply America with its favorite side dish. I think most people would concur that 2 billion kilograms is plenty (or approximately 4.5 billion pounds, for all of you who have some sort of metric phobia). Fortunately for the United States, we have good soil and excellent potato farming techniques that will hopefully increase our potato production in the years to come as it has in the past. Since the 1970s, our potato production has increased tremendously. The USDA has made vast improvements in the fashion in which we farm our potatoes, and with any luck they will bring potato production to its peak and make Uncle Sam very proud.

Ashley Fleischer -- 2000