Michigan News

 Michigan Potatoes announces new IQF Potatoes at Michigan Restaurant Show
Michigan Potatoes announces new IQF Potatoes at Michigan Restaurant Show
October 18th, 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 on October 17 & 18 to great success. The frozen potato products were developed in part by a Michigan Value Added Grant through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). In addition to this new product MPIC highlighted the quality and availability of Michigan potatoes to restaurant owners and food services professionals from across the country. 

“Our goal is to strengthen our relationships across the food service industry and food service providers give us the perfect opportunity to give consumers new and exciting ways to experience Michigan potatoes.” said Mike Wenkel, the Commission’s Executive Director.  “We haven’t had a frozen potato product produced in Michigan in over 20 years. We’re excited to have Michigan Freeze Pack on board to provide Michigan potatoes to the frozen market. 

Located in Hart, Michigan, Michigan Freeze Pack is a leading processor of frozen vegetables for the ingredient industry. “There was a definite need in the market place for a Michigan based, family owned company to provide IQF potatoes at a competitive price. The Michigan Restaurant Show was a great opportunity for us to connect with the key decision makers and other professionals in the industry.  We met some new contacts and hope to build on these new relationships moving forward.” said Amy Mathews, Director of Sales for Michigan Freeze Pack.

The Michigan Potatoes team handed out over 40 pounds of hashbrowns to attendees to great reviews. For additional information on Michigan Freeze Pack IQF potatoes availability, go to michiganfreezepack.com.

 Michigan Potatoes Secures New USDA Block Grant for Soil Research

Michigan Potatoes Secures New USDA Block Grant for Soil Research
October 11th, 2017

The Michigan Potato Industry Commission (MPIC) has received a federal grant designed to improve nutrient and water management, and the control of soil-borne disease in Michigan potatoes.

“This grant is vital to our continuing effort to improve soil health in the state.” said Mike Wenkel, the Commission’s Executive Director.

The $100,000 grant was awarded by the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant program, which is aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of producers of fruits, vegetables, and other specialty commodities. State applicants compete for a portion a USDA appropriation allocated to Michigan and submit their requests to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for evaluation.

The Commission working with researchers from Michigan State University plan to test the capability of remote sensing technologies from several different platforms (UAV, airborne and satellites) to detect differences in nutrient status, potato early die disease, nematode infestation and various soil parameters that affect potato growth and yield. The goal of the research is to better identify and understand the conditions that lead to within-field variability of potato fields.

“Great soil is key to a great crop,” Wenkel adds. “and the Michigan potato industry is fully committed to utilizing new technologies that can help improve soil conditions state-wide.”

The research is planned for the 2018 and 2019 crop seasons. 

NPC News articles are from the NPC Insider Report published by the National Potato Council and used with permission. 

Potatoes USA News articles are provided by Potatoes USA and used with permission. 

Current Market Report

 October 18, 2017 Market Report

October 18 2017 Market Report

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, so far this year, in spite of the heat at the beginning of the storage harvest. Some growers will need to find extra storage for their potatoes, but storage will not be as tight as it was two years ago.

Chip potato markets are quiet. Chip companies are running mostly on contract potatoes. Chip potato crops are good in Michigan and growing areas to the east, with strong yields, and near-record solids. North Dakota also has an excellent chip crop. Wisconsin is reporting that yields are down this year, but that high solids will offset some of the shortfall, relative to contracted volumes.

While chip potato supplies are plentiful this year, supplies for frozen processing and for the Russet table potato market will be tight. Chip potato growers may be able to find other markets for their extra potatoes, at reasonably good prices. French Fry producers may be interested in chip potatoes, to produce products that are not sensitive to tuber length. The Russet table potato market is likely to be the strongest in at least five years.

US fresh potato shipments for the week ending October 14, 2017 totaled 1.692 million cwt. That is down from 1.768 million cwt shipped cwt during the same period, in 2016. Michigan packers shipped 35,873 cwt of fresh potatoes during the week ending October 7. That is down from 38,140 cwt a year earlier. This week’s Michigan shipments were 83.8% Russets, 10.0% Round White potatoes, 5.0% Red potatoes, and 1.1% Yellow varieties.

Wisconsin packers are selling 5/10# Russet potatoes for mostly $6.50-$7.00 per 50# bale, unchanged for the week.  Wisconsin 40-70 count cartons are selling for mostly $12.00 per box, also unchanged for the week. The weighted average price for Idaho Norkotahs is $15.50 per cwt, up from $14.50 per cwt a week ago.

Long Island packers are selling Size A Round White potatoes for $8.00-$8.25 per 50# sack, down from $8.50-$9.00 per sack at this time last week. They are selling Chefs for $900.-$9.50 per 50# sack, down from $10.75-$11.00 per sack a week ago.

This information comes from Bruce Huffaker, publisher of North American Potato Market News. This weekly newsletter has more complete potato market information. For subscription information call (208) 525-8397, fax (208) 525-8569, write 2690 N Rough Stone Way, Meridian ID  83646, or e-mail napmn@napmn.com.