Utah farmers will harvest about 170 million pounds of potatoes this year, up 16 percent from 1989's crop, state Agriculture Department officials said Wednesday.

"The growing conditions and weather conditions may have been a little better this year" in southwestern Utah, said state statistician DelRoy Gneiting of the department's Utah Agricultural Statistics Service.Gneiting said the average yield per acre was 27,500 pounds of potatoes, up from 24,500 pounds in 1989. The state's record potato harvest was 215 million pounds back in 1946, he said.

Most of Utah's potatoes are grown in southern Iron County and northern Washington County, he said. The majority of the state's crop goes to potato chip manufacturing plants.