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Market Report February 21st, 2018
Published on: 2/22/2018
Chip potato markets are extremely quiet. Chip manufacturers are running plants almost exclusively with contract potatoes. A Florida plant has switched to new-crop potatoes from the Melbourne area. February tends to be a slow time for chip potato movement. This year is no exception.
Market Report February 14th, 2018
Published on: 2/17/2018
Chip potato markets are quiet. Plants are running almost exclusively on contract potatoes. There is some swapping among growers, in order to align supplies with contracted volumes. We are picking up indications that some chip companies have more potatoes under contract than they can use.
Market Report February 7th, 2018
Published on: 2/7/2018
Chip potato markets remain quiet. Dealers are expecting movement to slow down seasonally, but report that movement remains steady, at this point. Chip companies are running almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Companies are holding contract discussions with growers in North Carolina and Missouri, but contracts are not yet settled.
US fresh potato shipments for the week ending February 3, 2018 totaled 1.691 million cwt. That is down from 1.832 million cwt shipped cwt during the same period, in 2017. Michigan packers shipped 49,955 cwt of fresh potatoes during the week ending February 3. That is down from 51,950 cwt a year earlier. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 74.0% Russet potatoes, 17.6% Round White potatoes, 7.6% Yellow varieties, and 0.8% Red potatoes.
Market Report January 31st, 2018
Published on: 1/31/2018
Chip potato business is steady, though dealers anticipate a seasonal slowdown following the Super Bowl. Quality is good. Potatoes are storing well. Chip companies are running almost exclusively on open market potatoes. The only open market activity appears to be swapping potatoes between growers who have overages and those who need extra potatoes to fill their contracts.
Market Report January 24th, 2017
Published on: 1/24/2018
The chip potato market is extremely quiet. Chip companies are running almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Some have more potatoes under contract than they need, but we haven’t heard of any potatoes being turned back to growers, at this point. Recovery rates are running much higher than usual this year, which is putting a drag on movement. Business appears to be good, as movement is flat to down slightly, much less than the increase in recovery rates.
Market Report January 17th, 2018
Published on: 1/17/2018
USDA has revised its estimate of 2017 fall potato production up 908,000 cwt. To 399.8 million cwt. The agency trimmed its estimate of Michigan’s harvested area by 1,500 acres, to 45,000 acres. Local observers indicate that that is a conservative estimate of the area abandoned due to frost damage. USDA held its yield estimate, for the state, at 400 cwt per acre. Our sources believe the real yield is closer to 380 cwt per acre. If that is accurate, Michigan’s actual production may be 1.1 million cwt less than the 18.0 million cwt reported in USDA’s crop production annual. USDA also added 2.05 million cwt to its estimate of Spring potato production, and 1.43 million cwt to its estimate of summer potato production. We suspect that those increases reflect primarily chip potato production that was previously underreported.
Market Report January 10th, 2018
Published on: 1/10/2018
Market Report January 3rd, 2018
Market Report January 3rd, 2018
Published on: 1/3/2018
Michigan growers picked up additional orders for chip potatoes due to truck shortages in other areas. Chip plants continue to run almost exclusively on contract potatoes. The open market is quiet. USDA indicates that Michigan shipped 1.389 million cwt of chip potatoes during December. That is 5.6% less than December 2016 shipments. Reported national chip potato shipments were down 2.9% from 2016 movement. The downturn probably reflects better recovery rates this year, rather than a downturn in potato chip consumption.
Transportation is likely to be a continuing issue for the chip potato industry, in 2018. Truck shortages have become more common in recent years. Regulations that require an electronic log of truck drivers’ hours and mileage are expected to further reduce trucking capacity, if and when they are implemented. That is a major factor in the industry’s push to limit reliance on new-crop potatoes from Florida.
Market Report December 27th, 2017
Published on: 12/27/2017
Chip potato markets are quiet. Chip plants are running almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Movement is steady. Storage potatoes appear to be holding well. Very little happening during the holidays. Reports indicate that one large player is cutting Florida contract volume by 15%. Another player does not plan to contract any pota-toes in Florida this year. Many Florida contracts remain to be settled, though planting is getting under way in the Hastings area. Some Florida growers have been turning back seed potatoes due to the lack of demand.
Market Report December 20th, 2017
Published on: 12/20/2017
Chip potato markets are quiet in the lead up to Christmas. The major buzz in the market regards Campbell Soup’s purchase of Snyder-Lance for $4.87 billion. That deal also includes Kettle Foods. It is our understanding that Kettle was in the process of consolidating its supplier base ahead of the announced merger. The deal should improve Snyder-Lance’s ability to compete in certain distribution channels. It probably will be a net positive for the potato chip industry.
Market Report December 13th, 2017
Published on: 12/13/2017
Chip potato markets remain flat. Dealers are concerned that slow movement might be backing up the crop. Market News data put Michigan chip potato shipments from the 2017 crop, through December 9, at 4.964 million cwt.
Market Report December 6th, 2017
Published on: 12/6/2017
The chip potato market is extremely quiet. Dealers are showing no interest in open chip potatoes, though there may be some trading between growers, to cover those who came up short on their contracts. We still hear concerns about the storability of this year’s crop, but chip companies are counting on enough storage potatoes to carry northern plants into June.
Market Report November 29th, 2017
Published on: 11/29/2017
Chip plants continue to run almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Dealers believe that open potatoes would sell for close to contract prices, but they cannot verify any business at that level. Buyers are in discussions with Florida growers, but there have been no deals so far. The trade expects contract volumes to be down from last year, but buyers are still trying to determine how many potatoes they need.
Market Report November 22nd, 2017
Published on: 11/22/2017
Chip potato markets are quiet ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Buyers are confident that growers have plenty of potatoes to fill contracts, in spite of Michigan’s late-season loss..
Market Report November 15th, 2017
Published on: 11/15/2017
USDA estimates US fall potato production at 398.9 million cwt. That is down 7.7 million cwt from the 2016 crop, a 1.9% decline. In general, production losses in the Pacific Northwest (Idaho, Washington and Oregon) were partially offset by increased production in the central states. However, industry experts throughout the Midwest believe that USDA is overstating the size of crops in those regions.
Market Report November 8th, 2017
Published on: 11/9/2017
Michigan is the only place in North America with potatoes left to harvest. Growers have managed to dig a few more potatoes over the last week, but more than 3% of the crop is left to dig. Any potatoes left in the ground after tomorrow night are likely to be abandoned. Temperatures are forecast to drop as low as 18º F, and remain below freezing for close to 60 hours. Losses could exceed 500,000 cwt of chip potatoes.
November 1, 2017 Market Report
Published on: 11/1/2017
Michigan growers were able to get back in the field this week. They still have 3%-4% of this year’s crop left in the field. Those potatoes continue to fry, in spite of low pulp temperatures. They are being shipped against storage contracts. They are delivering as well, or better than potatoes coming out of storage.
October 25, 2017 Market Report
Published on: 10/25/2017
The Michigan potato harvest has come to an abrupt halt, as central Michigan picked up 4-5 inches of rain on October 23 and 24. Between 5%-10% of the crop is left to harvest. Growers have harvested potatoes into November in the past, and may be able to do so again this year, but the 10-day forecast is not promising.
October 18, 2017 Market Report
Published on: 10/18/2017
Weekend rain has slowed the Michigan harvest this week, but harvest is close to 80% complete, and growers are getting back in the field today. Dealers expect to continue shipping potatoes off the field for at least another 10 days. It will take that long to wrap up field-delivery contracts. Storage problems have been limited...
October 4, 2017 Market Report
Published on: 10/4/2017
The Michigan potato harvest is progressing on schedule. However, we are picking up reports that a few potatoes may have been stored with elevated pulp temperatures. Concerns about storability are starting to surface. The crop appears to be in good conditions, with stronger yields than last year, and high solids. Chip plants are running almost exclusively on contract potatoes.
September 27, 2017 Market Report
Published on: 9/27/2017
The chip potato market is extremely quiet. Most chip manufacturers have more field delivery potatoes under contract than they can use. Growers are concerned about handling the extra supplies. In recent years, Michigan growers have been able to continue shipping potatoes off of the field through most of October, though there is no guarantee that that is a possibility this year.
September 20, 2017 Market Report
Published on: 9/20/2017
Chip potato movement is slow. Dealers indicate that plants need fewer potatoes to make chips, because solids are up 15-20 points from last year. Yields are up from last year in most eastern growing areas, which is adding to the current oversupply situation. Markets are extremely quiet, as a result of the current supply conditions.
September 6, 2017 Market Report
Published on: 9/6/2017
Chip potato supplies are plentiful. Growers are gearing up to start storing chip potatoes, across the northern tier of states, this week and next. Current temperatures are ideal for storing potatoes. Yields appear to be average, or better, in most of the storage growing areas. Chip companies are running late on taking field-delivery contracts, but the duration varies, depending upon company and growing region. Some companies may be as much as two weeks late taking contracts. Dealers anticipate that the companies will run on the field delivery potatoes longer than usual, which will push back the start dates for storage potatoes.
August 30, 2017 Market Report
Published on: 8/30/2017
Chip potato movement is slow. Dealers indicate that plants need fewer potatoes to make chips, because solids are up 15-20 points from last year. Yields are up from last year in most eastern growing areas, which is adding to the current oversupply situation. Markets are extremely quiet, as a result of the current supply conditions.
August 23, 2017 Market Report
Published on: 8/23/2017
Chip potato markets are extremely quiet. Growers and dealers are complaining that movement is not keeping up with expectations. That says more about the size of this year’s crop than it says about demand for potato chips. Supplies appear to be plentiful.
August 16, 2017 Market Report
Published on: 8/16/2017
Michigan chip potato movement is starting to pick up. Chip companies are running about a week behind on running contract potatoes, which could result in some field delivery contracts being converted to storage contracts toward the end of harvest. Michigan crop quality is excellent, with good size. Yields are about average for this time of the year...
August 2, 2017 Market Report
Published on: 8/2/2017
Potato crops are in generally good condition across North America at this time. While we pick up concerns about production in some localized area, there is nothing out of the ordinary. Chip manufacturers are about a week behind on using contracts for summer potato crops. They came to the market for fill-in loads from Michigan last weekend, due to wet weather on the East Coast, but they are concentrating on cleaning up earlier contracts before the pull much volume out of Michigan.

Industry News

2017 Michigan Potato Research Report Now Available
Published on: 2/7/2018
The annual research report that compiles the results of the multiple research projects funded by the Michigan Potato Industry Commission (MPIC) is now available for growers, shippers and industry partners to download.
Michigan Potato Industry Urges Extension of ELD Ag Exemption
Published on: 1/24/2018
On January 19, Potato Growers of Michigan, Inc. and others in the potato industry sent a letter to the Department of Transportation urging them to reconsider certain portions of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) rule and to extend its temporary agricultural exemption for an additional nine months.
Join MPIC Growers to "Stand Up For Potatoes" on Capitol Hill
Published on: 1/3/2018
Michigan potato growers are preparing to take their stories on the key issues impacting potato production in Michigan and across the nation to our elected officials in our nation’s capital.
Those attending with join with other potato growers as a part of the National Potato Council’s Potato DC Fly-In: Standing Up for Potatoes on Capitol Hill, February 26- March 1, 2018. Meetings will be held at the Capital Hilton, just blocks from the White House.
USDOT Grants Agriculture 90-day Waiver for Electronic Logging Device
Published on: 12/13/2017
The US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced a 90-day waiver from the requirement that agricultural and livestock haulers install Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) in their vehicles. Over those 90 days the department plans to look closely at agriculture’s request for an exemption while developing additional guidance for agricultural haulers.
Michigan Potatoes Gives Back
Published on: 11/22/2017
Michigan Potatoes and Horkey Brother Farms are proud to donate 10,000 pounds of Michigan potatoes for Higher Hopes "1,000 Turkeys, 10,000 Smiles" event feeding Detroit area families in need this Thanksgiving.
New Potato & Sugar Beet Pathologist Announced
Published on: 11/15/2017
The Michigan Potato Industry Commission is excited to welcome Jamie Willbur as the new Potato & Sugar Beet Pathologist at Michigan State University. Jamie, currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Wisconsin Madison, will begin her new role March 1, 2018. She will be the responsible for pathogen research and extension related to potatoes and sugar beets in Michigan.
Michigan Potatoes Showcases Unique Potato Recipe for School Food Service Professionals
Published on: 10/25/2017
New Michigan Potato Industry Commission (MPIC) Marketing Manager Nate Chesher highlighted a unique and fun new potato recipe at the School Nutrition Association of Michigan Show on Saturday, October 21st at the Amway Grand Plaza.
Michigan Potatoes announces new IQF Potatoes at Michigan Restaurant Show
Published on: 10/18/2017
The Michigan Potato Industry Commission (MPIC) joined by Michigan Freeze Pack introduced a new line of individually quick frozen (IQF), water-blanched potato products at the 50th Anniversary Michigan Restaurant Show...
Michigan Potato Industry Commission 2018 Scholarship
Published on: 10/4/2017
The Michigan Potato Industry Commission (MPIC) is proud to continue an annual $1,000 scholarship for one Michigan post-secondary student pursuing an agriculture-related major.
National remote sensing conference related to potato production, November 14
Published on: 9/6/2017
Many potato growers, agronomists, and researchers are interested in the use of remote sensing to improve crop management and variety development. A national effort is underway to coordinate these efforts and obtain federal funding for research and extension.

A one-day Remote Sensing Conference will be held November 14 in Madison, Wisconsin to hear about the latest research, share ideas and contribute to the development of a strategic plan for the potato industry.
Potato Industry Leadership Institute applications being accepted
Published on: 8/20/2017
In February of 2018 a group of potato industry professionals will make their way to Colorado, to kick off another class of the Potato Industry Leadership Institute (PILI). The National Potato Council developed this long-running program, to train growers, and show the complete picture of agriculture. The Michigan Potato Industry Commission has funding to send two growers to join the group.
National potato leadership to attend field days
Published on: 8/16/2017
To ensure growers in Michigan are up-to-date on national efforts representative of the National Potato Council and Potatoes USA will be in the state the week of August 28th including attendance at the Rogers City and Upper Peninsula Field days, August 29th and 30th respectively. In addition to field day attendance farm stops are being coordinated for the week.

National Potato Council News

MPIC Joins NPC and Other Potato Organizations in Support of Registration for Metribuzin
Published on: 12/20/2017
The following comments are offered on behalf of the National Potato Council (NPC) and individual
state potato associations across the U.S. NPC represents potato growers that produce more than 95
percent of the Irish potatoes grown in the United States. Potato production in the U.S. is valued at
more than $4 billion at farm gate and with significantly greater economic effects resulting from value
added processing and distribution.
National Potato Sales On The Rise
Published on: 11/22/2017
In September, the total potato category was up .08% in pounds when compared to the same time frame last year. The total potato category was carried by Deli (+2.4%), Frozen (+1.3%), and Fresh (+.6%) with Dehydrated and Refrigerated declining, -.03% and -1.0% respectively.
Potato Expo Innovation Hub to Focus on Hot Issues
Published on: 11/27/2017
New this year at Potato Expo 2018 is the Innovation Hub. The Innovation Hub will be the center of activity in the trade show and will feature 18 ag-focused sessions on topics voted on by the Potato Expo community. Topics include aerial imagery, biological controls, ag data management, nutrition and performance, and so much more.
Export Promotion Bill Gains Cosponsor Momentum
Published on: 10/27/2017
As the Farm Bill process ramps up, efforts to increase resources for agriculture export promotion are in high gear. Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Senator Angus King (I-ME) have introduced bills in the House and Senate to provide additional funds to combat the actions of foreign governments in promoting their own agricultural exports.
Guestworker Bill Advances After Difficult Mark-Up
Published on: 10/27/2017
On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee passed the "Agricultural Guestworker Act" (Guestworker Bill - H.R. 4092) by a vote of 17-16 (two Republicans voted against the bill with no Democrats in support). This vote was preceded by a contentious two-day committee mark-up.

Changes to the bill were made prior to the mark-up, and subsequent amendments were agreed to that gathered the necessary committee votes. Several of those provisions have practical flaws that fall short of the overall goal to provide "a workable solution to agriculture's labor crisis."

Potatoes USA News

Potatoes Featured in Leading Consumer Magazines
Published on: 11/2/2017
Potatoes graced the pages of many top print publications in September and October. Here’s a snapshot of the coverage:


House Bill 5638 introduced provides relief in Site Specific Review process for Large Quantity Water
Published on: 2/22/2018
HB 5638 was introduced today by Representative Aaron Miller (R-Sturgis) to provide means to address farmer concerns about how Site Specific Review (SSR) is conducted, offer consistency in solutions and testing that meet the SSR checklist, and to provide a streamlined process as an alternative to SSR in locations or circumstances where sufficient data exists to run appropriate solutions to determine potential impact from a proposed withdrawal.
Certified Seed Bill 5227 Passes Michigan House
Published on: 1/17/2018
The Michigan Seed Potato Act, HB5227, passed the Michigan House of Representatives yesterday with bipartisan support. Of the 110 members, 102 members voted in support of the legislation with only five opposing.
Potato Growers of Michigan to Host Congressional Reception, Feb 28
Published on: 1/17/2018
PGMI will be hosting a breakfast reception for US Representatives, US Senators, and their staff in conjunction with the 2018 National Potato Council’s DC Fly-in that runs from February 26 to March 1, 2018.
PGMI Testifies In Support of Seed Potato Act to Michigan House Ag Committee
Published on: 12/6/2017
Today Potato Growers of Michigan Manager Mike Wenkel testified before the Michigan House Agriculture Committee in support of HB5227 known as the Seed Potato Act.
PGMI Supports DEQ Oversight Legislation
Published on: 11/29/2017
Potato Growers of Michigan, Inc. (PGMI) today submitted support in the Senate Natural Resources Committee for a three-bill package to increase accountability and transparency within the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
Certified Seed Potato Legislation Introduced
On Wednesday, November 8th, HB5227, known as the Seed Potato Act was introduced to the Michigan Legislature by State Representative Roger Victory (R) of Hudsonville.
Farmers, Grocers, Small Businesses Praise Governor Snyder for Signing Reform to Keep Michigan Food A
Published on: 10/26/2017
Michigan farmers, grocers, small businesses, social service providers and labor leaders today praised Governor Rick Snyder for signing into law bipartisan legislation to guarantee Michigan families’ food and grocery items will remain free of new local taxes.
Public Act 135 was sponsored and advanced in the House by state Representative Rob VerHeulen, and championed in the Senate by state Senator Peter MacGregor.

SNaC International News

Inventure Foods, Inc. to be Acquired by Utz Quality Foods, LLC
Published on: 10/26/2017
Inventure Foods, Inc., a leading specialty food marketer and manufacturer, and Utz Quality Foods, LLC, the largest privately-held and family-managed branded savory snack manufacturer and marketer in the United States, today announced they entered into a merger agreement pursuant to which Utz has agreed to acquire all of the Company's outstanding shares of common stock in an all-cash transaction.