Although the potato was grown in South America for millennia, the first potato patch in North America was only planted in 1719, in New Hampshire (the first french fries were served at the White House during the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson some 80 years later).
In 2007, the United States harvested 20.3 million tonnes of potatoes, enough to make it the world's fourth biggest producer. Potatoes in the United States are grown in nearly every state, although about half of the crop comes from Idaho, Washington, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Colorado, Oregon, Maine, Minnesota, California and Michigan. Most potatoes are harvested in September and October.
(Click to enlarge)
US Fall Potato Production: Top Ten States. Source: USDA-NASS: Potato Stocks (December 2014)
Only about one third of US potatoes is consumed fresh. Around 60 percent of annual output is processed into frozen products (such as frozen fries and wedges), crisps, dehydrated potato and starch, while 6 percent is re-used as seed potato.
Each American eats more than 54 kg of potatoes every year. However, fresh potato consumption has declined from more than 22 kg per person in 1993 to just 16 kg in 2006.