Weekly Potato Report
Michigan Potato Industry Commission
June 24, 2015
Chip potato harvest is continuing in North Carolina and Missouri. Illinois and Indiana are scheduled to start digging next week, followed by Virginia on July 5. Though there have been some disappointments, chip plants have been able to procure enough potatoes to run smoothly. Reports indicate that they are able to purchase open potatoes for $7.00-$8.00 per cwt, though little business is being done at those levels. Plants are running primarily on contract potatoes.
Potato crops appear to be developing rapidly, though growers are reporting some challenges. Southwest Michigan potatoes could be ready for the market about a week ahead of normal. Wisconsin growers report that they could have potatoes ready for harvest 10-14 days earlier than they did last year, though there is some dispute as to whether that puts the crop on schedule or whether it is ahead of normal.
USDA reports that growers in the 13 reporting states held 56.5 million cwt of potatoes in storage on June 1. That is 9.6 million cwt more than they held at the same time in 2014, a 20.5% increase. June 1 stocks are at their highest level since 2001. The biggest stocks increases occurred in Idaho and Wisconsin, which held 75% of the extra potatoes between them. However, the Wisconsin numbers do not appear to match up with reports from local growers, who indicate that supplies are much lighter than USDA data show.
US fresh potato shipments for the week ending June 20, 2015 totaled 1.806 million cwt. That is down from 1.861 million cwt shipped cwt during the same period, in 2014. Michigan shipments for the week ending June 20 totaled 41,271 cwt, up from 25,600 cwt during the same week last year. The Michigan shipments were 77.7% Russets and 22.3% Round White varieties
USDA has discontinued reporting Michigan Russet potato prices for the 2014/15 season. Wisconsin packers are selling baled 10# bags of size A Russets for mostly $5.00-$5.50 per bale, unchanged from last week. They are selling 40-60 count cartons for mostly $14.00-$15.00 per 50# box, unchanged from last week at this time. Wisconsin 70 count cartons are still selling for $14.00 per 50# box, also unchanged. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Burbanks is $12.28 per cwt. That is down from $12.38 per cwt a week ago.
USDA has stopped reporting Round White prices for both Michigan and Florida. Prices for North Carolina should be available next week.
This Weekly Potato Report includes current Michigan grower issues, in depth market news, and other time sensitive information. This report contains market sensitive information and your candor in using this information is appreciated. Your comments and suggestions are vital to improving this report and other services.
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