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. Reports indicate that field delivery contracts continue to back up. Some of those contracts are likely to be converted to storage contracts.
Elsewhere, we are picking up reports that Wisconsin’s chip potato crop is disappointing, this year. Wet and cloudy weather through August slowed bulking. Recent heat has slowed harvest. Yields are down, but record-high solids will make up for some of the shortfall in tonnage. Crop quality is good, but growers will have to handle potatoes carefully, to avoid issues with bruising.
US fresh potato shipments for the week ending September 30, 2017 totaled 1.753 million cwt. That is down from 1.789 million cwt shipped cwt during the same period, in 2016. Michigan packers shipped 32,400 cwt of fresh potatoes during the week ending September 30. That is down from 32,800 cwt a year earlier. This week’s Michigan shipments were 87.3% Russets, 5.2% Round White potatoes, 7.1% Red potatoes, and 0.3% Yellow varieties.
Wisconsin packers are selling 5/10# Russet potatoes for mostly $6.50-$7.00 per 50# bale, down from $6.75-$7.00 per bale a week ago. Wisconsin 40-70 count cartons are selling for $12.00-$13.00 per box, unchanged from last week at the same time. The weighted average price for Idaho Norkotahs is $14.54 per cwt, down from $15.46 per cwt a week ago.
Long Island packers are selling Size A Round White potatoes for $8.50-9.00 per 50# sack, unchanged for the week. They report a few sales of Chefs for $10.75-$11.00 per 50# sack, also unchanged. USDA has finished reporting Delaware potato prices for the 2017 crop.