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Market Report

Market Report December 5th, 2018
Published on: 12/5/2018
Chip potato industry experts are concerned that storage potato supplies will run short before there are sufficient supplies of new-crop potatoes to keep plants running. Wisconsin growers anticipate falling at least 2.5 million cwt short on 2018 contract volumes. The shortfall could be much bigger.
Market Report November 28th, 2018
Published on: 11/28/2018
Chip potato markets are quiet. Chip companies are concentrating on cleaning up problem lots in areas that were hurt by rains at harvest. They also may be trying to move western potatoes further east, in an effort to ease the eastern supply shortages. As a result, movement from Michigan has slowed down.
Market Report November 22nd, 2018
Published on: 11/22/2018
Chip potato markets are quiet ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Chip plants are running almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Dealers are concerned about potential shortages, but growers are holding any potential overages, and are unwilling to commit to sales at this time. The worst shortages appear to be concentrated in Wisconsin, New York and Pennsylvania.
Market Report November 14th, 2018
Published on: 11/14/2018
USDA estimates that growers harvested 417.4 million cwt of fall potatoes during 2018. That exceeds 2017 production by 16.7 million cwt, a 4.2% increase. However, much of the production data is questionable. The government puts Wisconsin’s abandonment at 2.000 acres. We can identify 7,000 acres of abandonment without digging too hard. USDA says that Columbia Basin growers produced 14.3 million cwt more potatoes than they did in 2017. It that is accurate, the Basin has more potatoes than processors would be able to use. However, processors are buying every open potato they can find.
Market Report November 7th, 2018
Published on: 11/7/2018
Michigan growers still have a few potatoes left to harvest. Elsewhere in the US, harvest is complete, though it appears that Wisconsin growers have abandoned over 10% of their crop, due to either drowned out low spots in fields of severe frost damage. Another 20%-25% of the Wisconsin crop was harvested after a series of hard freezes. Those potatoes have at least 25%-30% frost damage.
Market Report October 31st, 2018
Published on: 10/31/2018
Weather is continuing to slow harvest in eastern growing areas. There are more potatoes left to harvest on October 31 this year, in eastern growing areas of the US and Canada than industry veterans can remember. Wet weather continues to be a problem. Weather forecasts for the next ten days do not include any hard freezes in growing areas east of Wisconsin, but pulp temperatures are likely to remain below ideal levels for harvest, which may complicate reconditioning of late-harvested crops.
Market Report October 24th, 2018
Published on: 10/24/2018
Wisconsin’s chip potato harvest came to an abrupt halt last weekend. Temperatures dropped below freezing for 20 hours, and held steady at 19º F for over 8 hours. Wisconsin growers estimate frost damage on tubers remaining to be harvested. Between the frost damage and loss of color, most chip growers decided that it was pointless to attempt to salvage the remaining potatoes. A substantial part of the chip potatoes that have been harvested are at risk, due to being stored too warm, too cold, or too wet.
Market Report October 17th, 2018
Published on: 10/17/2018
Michigan growers have been able to harvest some potatoes this week, but cool temperatures are limiting harvest activity to the afternoon. While harvest will wrap up for some growers this week and next week, it is likely to take through the first week of November to wrap up the 2018 harvest. Tonight will be the first hard freeze of the season.
Market Report October 10th, 2018
Published on: 10/10/2018
Weather continues to delay harvest in several key growing areas, including Michigan, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. There is a lot less rain in the forecast after a cold front moves through Michigan, but cold temperatures are likely to take chip potatoes off color, and could result in increased bruising. The situation is much worse in Wisconsin, where fields are waterlogged, and in North Dakota, which is being hit by a winter storm today, and where temperatures may stay below freezing for more than 24 hours straight on one to two separate occasions over the next ten days.
Market Report October 3rd, 2018
Published on: 10/3/2018
Wet weather continues to plague harvest in key chip potato growing areas, including Michigan, Wisconsin, New York and Pennsylvania. Harvest is falling behind normal, and the weather outlook for the next ten days is calling for frequent rains in the affected areas. Wisconsin growers are reporting the worst conditions but conditions in Michigan are also disconcerting. Growers in both states will need at least a month of open weather to get crops under cover. That is more likely for Michigan than for Wisconsin, as Wisconsin does not have warm winds off of a lake to protect its crop.
Market Report September 19th, 2018
Published on: 9/19/2018
Michigan growers have been able to make good progress on harvest during the last week. Progress is somewhat behind in other growing areas, including Wisconsin and New York. Storability of this year’s crop is a major concern for growing areas from Wisconsin through Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania. Soft rot is showing up in potatoes being harvested. We are picking up reports of chip potatoes breaking down in transit to chip plants. Everyone is hopeful that the recent dry weather will hold through the end of harvest, which might allow rot to dry up in the field and only sound potatoes to go into storage.
Market Report September 12th, 2018
Published on: 9/12/2018
Dryer weather has come to Michigan and Wisconsin this week. Growers are starting to store potatoes in both states. However, the prolonged wet weather is raising concerns about the potential for storage losses. Growers need to take precautions to make sure that the potatoes that they are putting away are sound. While central Michigan has been wet, the situation in Wisconsin appears to be much worse.
Market Report September 6th, 2018
Published on: 9/6/2018
Persistent rains are slowing harvest in Michigan and in Wisconsin. Chip companies have been able to get enough potatoes to keep plants running, though they are having to scramble to replace missed loads. Demand has remained relatively strong during the traditional post-Labor Day slump. Companies are chewing through field delivery contracts rapidly. They are likely to start taking storage contracts off the field, perhaps as early as the beginning of October.
Market Report August 30th, 2018
Published on: 8/30/2018
Wet weather is slowing harvest is Michigan and Wisconsin. The ten-day forecast is calling for more wet weather. The weather is causing logistical issues for chip plants. In addition, low spots in fields are being lost. Solids are going down on the remaining potatoes. Yields on early fields have not been spectacular. Growers are not anticipating much improvement as the harvest progresses. Growers will want to start putting potatoes in storage in the next ten days, weather permitting.
Market Report August 23rd, 2018
Published on: 8/23/2018
Widespread wet weather is dominating chip potato markets this week. Buyers are scrambling to find enough potatoes to fill orders. Plants are happy to get their orders filled. Normal preferences for suppliers and size are of little concern. Rains have slowed harvest in Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania. Harvest has moved north to Massachusetts and Maine. Chip plants are running on contract potatoes, except when rains make that impossible, but nobody seems to be aware of open market purchases.
Market Report August 15th, 2018
Published on: 8/15/2018
Chip potato harvest has expanded into central Michigan this week. Chip companies are running plants primarily on contract potatoes. Supply conditions appear to have eased, now that plants have a more diversified selection of growing areas to pull from. Supplies are unlikely to be as burdensome as they were a year ago. However, chip companies are not likely to be scrambling to find raw product for the next 2-3 months, the way they were having to do during July.
Market Report August 8th, 2018
Published on: 8/8/2018
The southwest Michigan harvest is rained out. A few central Michigan growers are starting to dig chip potatoes. Chip companies are hoping that supply conditions will improve as more growers come on line by the weekend. They are in the process of cleaning up crops in Virginia and southern Indiana. Demand for chip potatoes remains strong. Field delivery contracts remain on track to clean up earlier than usual, which will reduce the supply of chip potatoes going into storage.
Market Report August 1st, 2018
Published on: 8/1/2018
Southwest Michigan chip potato movement is heavy, because chip companies are unable to get potatoes from areas that they usually rely on at this time of the year. Harvest in Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey has been rained out. Harvest is just getting under way in upstate New York, about two weeks earlier than had been planned. Chip companies also are pushing for an early start to this year’s central Michigan harvest. Chip plants are struggling to find enough potatoes to maintain production schedules.
Market Report July 25th, 2018
Published on: 7/25/2018
East Coast chip plants are scrambling to find enough potatoes to keep plants operating. Heavy rains have stalled harvest in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey. Reports suggest that North Carolina’s remaining potatoes have been lost. Missouri’s harvest is done. Yields in that state and in southern Indiana have been extremely disappointing. Dealers indicate that they have been purchasing Superiors for chip plants unable to find chipping varieties.
Market Report July 18th, 2018
Published on: 7/18/2018
The heat appears to have moderated, allowing crops in Wisconsin and Michigan to recover from last week’s heat. However, rain will be welcome (as long as it does not come too fast). Chip companies will be anxious to start harvest in Michigan and Wisconsin, as crops in several growing areas, including Missouri, North Carolina and Vincennes, appear to have come up short, this year.
Market Report July, 11th 2018
Published on: 7/11/2018
Heat appears to have displaced wet weather as the largest concern for chip potatoes, this week. North Carolina growers are back in the fields. Yields on early crops, from North Carolina and Virginia, to Michigan, are expected to be “average at best.” Virginia did not get the rains that slowed North Carolina’s harvest. In fact, some Virginia fields are getting too dry. Southwest Michigan is still on track to start delivering chip potatoes by the last week of July.
Market Report July 7th, 2018
Published on: 7/5/2018
Wet weather continues to create logistics issues for potato chip processors. Harvest is now under way in Virginia as well as in North Carolina and Missouri. We believe that the last storage chip potatoes have been cleaned up, in Wisconsin. That is almost two weeks before the contract was scheduled to end.
Market Report June 27th, 2018
Published on: 6/27/2018
Wet weather in North Carolina and Missouri is creating severe logistical issues for potato chip producers. Growers are having difficulty getting in fields, to harvest potatoes. When they can dig, it is difficult to find trucks to move the crop. Missouri yields could be down as much as 30%, due to this year’s challenging growing season. Dealers do not believe that North Carolina growers will be able to cover their contract obligations, either.
Market Report June 20th, 2018
Published on: 6/20/2018
Chip companies are pulling new-crop potatoes from Florida, North Carolina and Missouri. The Florida harvest is winding down. North Carolina is wet, and supplies are limited. Missouri’s harvest started late. Growers are not looking to sell open potatoes at this time. Growers in Wisconsin, Maine, the Red River Valley and New York are still shipping chip potatoes from storage. Wisconsin will be shipping from storage through the end of the month
Market Report June 13th, 2018
Published on: 6/13/2018
Michigan’s planting season is wrapping up. Wet weather has resulted in spotty stands, in some fields. However, the southwest Michigan chip crop should be ready to harvest by the end of July. Chip companies are likely to be anxious to start the harvest, due to the difficulty that they are having getting trucks in other growing areas. In addition, supplies of early new-crop potatoes may be falling short of earlier expectations.
Market Report June 6th, 2018
Published on: 6/6/2018
Michigan storage chip potatoes are cleaning up rapidly. Several operations shipped their last potatoes today. A few will be going for another week. Dealers indicate that they could have moved more storage potatoes, had they been available. At least one Wisconsin chip operation will continue to ship storage potatoes through July 1. That company had contracts that ran through July 15, but demand has been strong enough to shorten up supplies.
Market Report May 30th, 2018
Published on: 5/30/2018
Chip companies continue to run almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Florida has a big crop, but continual rain is taking a toll on quality. Dealers indicate that soft rot is becoming a problem for loads not delivered on time. The industry believes that it will be able to run on Florida potatoes until the North Carolina crop is ready.
Market Report May 23rd, 2018
Published on: 5/23/2018
Wet weather continues to slow planting progress in Michigan and New York. Planting is only about 50% complete in central Michigan. On the other hand, fair weather is allowing the Maine crop to go in rapidly. Though that state’s planting got off to a slow start, experts expect most of the crop to be planted by the end of this week.
Market Report May 16th, 2018
Published on: 5/16/2018
Chip manufacturers continue to pull potatoes from storage at a rapid pace. Most storage potatoes should be cleaned up by the end of May, but it could be the middle of June before the last potatoes are gone. Dealers report that Florida has good quality chip potatoes, but it is difficult to find trucks to move those potatoes to northern plants. Buyers also are concerned that wet weather and heat could result in deterioration of Florida’s remaining potatoes.
Market Report May 9th, 2018
Published on: 5/9/2018
Storage chip potato movement has been strong. Supplies may clean up somewhat earlier than anticipated earlier. Some storage potatoes have gone out of condition and will no longer fry. Florida growers are looking for buyers for open potatoes that need to be harvested now. There is some concern that supplies could tighten during the last half of the Florida harvest, particularly if storage supplies clean up earlier than buyers had planned for. Some Florida fields were hurt by up to 7 inches of rain during the last half of April.
Market Report May 2nd, 2018
Published on: 5/2/2018
Growers in central Michigan and Wisconsin were finally able to start planting potatoes late last week. The start of planting is 10-14 days behind normal. One Wisconsin grower has indicated that he started planting one day later than his latest start on record, which was in 2013. The late start may push back the start of harvest, but it is not a strong indicator of yield potential in either Michigan or Wisconsin.
Market Report April 25th, 2018
Published on: 4/25/2018
Wet weather continues to slow field work and planting progress in the upper Midwest. Planting will be at least two weeks behind average in Michigan.
Market Report April 18th, 2018
Published on: 4/18/2018
Snow and cold weather continue to delay planting across the northern tier of states. Observers believe that the potato crop is at least 10 days behind in central Michigan. Wisconsin growers doubt that they will be able to plant any potatoes before May 1. They usually want to get started by April 10. Though potato crops seem to have a way of catching up during the summer, this year’s delays will push back the start of harvest for both table potatoes and chip potatoes, in the affected areas. That has created more interest in storage potatoes.
Market Report April 11th, 2018
Published on: 4/11/2018
Chip potato markets remain quiet. Business is steady. Plants are running almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Central Florida growers are looking for more business. The first Hastings area chipstock will be harvested this weekend. However, volume shipments will not start until April 20. The Hastings crop looks extremely good, though we are picking up reports of rainfall in excess of seven inches in the last three days. Based on data from Florida reporting stations, it appears that the rainfall was spotty. It is too early to assess damage to the crop.
Market Report April 4th, 2018
Published on: 4/4/2018
Chip potato markets are quiet. Chip plants are running almost exclusively on contract potatoes. A few plants are switching to new-crop potatoes from central Florida. Buyers are pleased with the quality of potatoes coming out of storage. Though supplies are heavier than usual for this time of the year, buyers are likely to take every potato remaining in storage, as long as they meet quality standards.
Market Report March 28th, 2018
Published on: 3/28/2018
Chip potato markets are quiet. Chip plants are running almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Some companies may need extra time to work through their contracts this spring. Northern plants have cut back on contract volumes. Some observers think that the cuts may leave companies short on supplies, unless there are open potatoes available to fill the void.
Market Report March 22nd, 2018
Published on: 3/22/2018
Chip potato markets remain quiet. Chip companies are running plants almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Movement is steady, with supplies expected to last into June for some northern plants. Contract negotiations are ongoing. Virginia growers are planting potatoes.
Market Report March 14th, 2018
Published on: 3/14/2018
Chip companies continue to run almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Movement is steady, and quality is good. At the current pace, Michigan will continue to ship storage potatoes through June 10. Central Florida has a good crop, on reduced acreage. Harvest should get under way during the first week of April, though chip companies are in no rush to get started
Market Report March 7th, 2018
Published on: 3/7/2018
Chip manufacturers continue to run plants almost exclusively on contract potatoes. We have picked up some concerns about the quality of potatoes currently being delivered. Some Snowdens have excessive pressure bruising. Companies are starting to switch to late-season varieties, that are expected to hold quality for longer in the season.
Market Report February 28th, 2018
Published on: 2/28/2018
The typical late-winter shipping slowdown is continuing. Movement is steady, at the slower pace. We continue to pick up reports of supplies being shuffled between chip potato growers with contract overages and those who are coming up short on contracts. Nevertheless, chip plants continue to run almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Northern plants are planning to run on storage potatoes through much of May, with some going into June.
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.

Industry News

MPIC Elects New Leadership
Published on: 12/5/2018
Today at Michigan Potato Industry Commission elected new leadership for 2019. The Commision recognizes and appreciates Former Chair Phil Gusmano's hard work and dedication for the past two years.
Michigan Potatoes Teams Up With Spartan-Nash Stores For 2019 In-Store Marketing Campaign
Published on: 11/14/2018
Michigan Potato Industry Commission is excited to announce the awarding of a USDA Block Grant which will be used in a retail marketing partnership with 90 Spartan-Nash corporate and independent stores across the state. 90 Michigan Potatoes branded orchard bins will be placed in Spartan-Nash corporate and independent stores to help consumers identify and ultimately purchase Michigan potatoes.
APRE Potato Nutrition News
Published on: 7/11/2018
This week the Alliance for Potato Research & Education (APRE) highlighted two recent reports, How Potatoes Can Be Enjoyed as Part of a Low Energy-Dense Healthy Dietary Pattern that Supports Weight Loss and a BBC documentary, The Truth About Carbs.
Avoid large quantity water withdrawal fines and penalties
Published on: 6/13/2018
Unregistered water users have until Sept. 28 to participate in the Unreported Large Quantity Withdrawal Initiative through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
After the deadline, unregistered large quantity withdrawals (LQW) in existence prior to Oct. 1, 2008 could be required to go through the screening process as a new water user and be subject to current withdrawal limits. A LQW is defined as the capacity to pump more than 100,000 gallons per day, roughly 70 gallons per minute.
Michigan Potatoes in Washington D.C.
Published on: 6/13/2018
This past week MPIC Executive Director and Intern Brandon Remy were in Washington, D.C. for SNaC International Legislative Summit.
Commission Sets 2018 Crop Assessment Rate
Published on: 6/13/2018
Tuesday, June 13th the Michigan Potato Industry Commission (MPIC) voted to set the assessment rate on the 2018 crop at 6-cents per hundredweight (4 ½-cents paid by the grower and 1 ½-cents paid by the shipper).
2018 Potato Research Underway
Published on: 5/9/2018
As potato growers across Michigan are underway planting their crops, so too are the many researchers from Michigan State University that have received finding from the Michigan Potato Industry Commission (MPIC).
This year’s research continues to focus on the industry’s priorities including further understanding of key nutrient uptake and optimization, variety development, pest and disease management, and optimizing soil health in potato systems.
FCC Commissioner Gains Insight Into Potatoes and Technology
Published on: 5/2/2018
During a visit to Michigan this week, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr and his Legal advisor Will Adams had to the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into how technology and the need for connectivity relate to potato production while visiting Walther Farms in Three Rivers, Michigan.
Conway Releases Farm Bill
Published on: 4/25/2018
Conway Releases Farm Bill (MPIC)
The House Agriculture Committee Chairman reported out its version of the 2018 Farm Bill (H.R. 2) on a party line vote 26-20 last week. There were few changes made to the original draft.
USDA Clarifies Oversight on New Breeding Techniques
Published on: 4/4/2018
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued a statement providing clarification on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) oversight of plants produced through innovative new breeding techniques which include techniques called genome editing on March 28th.
USDA Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visits Michigan
Published on: 4/4/2018
Secretary Sonny Perdue was in Michigan on Tuesday learning more about Michigan agriculture and the relationships between Michigan State University (MSU) and Michigan’s diverse agricultural commodities.
Industry priorities for 2018 Farm Bill shared with US Senate staff
Published on: 3/28/2018
The staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry held an informational meeting related to the Farm Bill with a focus on Specialty Crops Tuesday in Ottawa County.
“The 2014 Farm Bill will expire on September 30, 2018. Without reauthorization, many key programs important to our industry will no longer be available.” Stated, Mike Wenkel, executive director of the Michigan Potato Industry Commission(MPIC).
Free Semi-Load of Potatoes Heading to the Motor City
Published on: 3/14/2018
Debbie O'Malley of Better Made Snack Food in Detroit was the winner of the semi-load of Michigan chipping potatoes that was given away at the 2018 Snaxpo in Atlanta, Georgia this week by the Michigan Potato Industry Commission (MPIC).
MPIC at Potatoes USA Annual Meeting
Published on: 3/14/2018
Michigan Potatoes is in Denver, Colorado this week for the Potatoes USA annual meeting.
Thorlund Appointed, Lennard Reappointed to Potatoes USA Board
Published on: 3/7/2018
On February 26th, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of 30 members to serve three-year terms on the National Potato Promotion Board (also known as Potatoes USA) beginning March 1, 2018. Included in the appointments were two Michigan growers, Blake Thorlund and Kyle Lennard.
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.
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.

MSU Extension News

Potato Outreach Program Bulk Plantings
Published on: 9/19/2018
The Potato Outreach Program (POP) continually evaluates and selects promising potato varieties with commercialization potential in Michigan. This includes both selections from the MSU Potato Breeding and Genetics Program and potatoes from other breeding programs in the United States and Europe. After growing a variety in strip trials around the state, the POP chooses some varieties for bulk plantings.
Managing Colorado Potato Beetle Insecticide Resistance
Published on: 8/30/2018
Colorado potato beetles are notorious for quickly becoming resistant to insecticides. Since the development of new insecticide active ingredients by agrochemical companies has slowed in recent years, many growers are nervous about the future of managing this pest.

National Potato Council News

Farm Bill Agreed Upon By Leaders
Published on: 12/5/2018
Last week, the "Big Four" leaders of the Farm Bill Conference Committee announced that they had reached a tentative agreement that would allow the bill to move toward completion before the end of December.
House Passes Farm Bill - Senate Awaits
Published on: 6/27/2018
Last week, the House of Representatives narrowly passed their version of a new Farm Bill (H.R. 2) by a vote of 213-211. This was the second time that the bill came to the House floor, having failed in May due to conservative defections primarily related to immigration legislation.
Senate Farm Bill Unveiled
Published on: 6/13/2018
The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee released their draft of the Farm Bill which is being considered by the full committee this week.
DOT Agrees with Industry on HOS/ELD Changes
Published on: 6/6/2018
Last week, major new guidance was announced on the ELD and Hours-of-Service issue that should lessen some of the burden on agricultural operations. In the release, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration agreed with NPC's position that packinghouses, cold storage facilities and other loading areas should be considered the "source" of an agricultural commodity.
NPC Grower Supporter Campaign
Published on: 5/30/2018
NPC's Grower Supporter Ag-vocacy Campaign supports daily legislative efforts and promotes tools to keep growers engaged and informed on critical industry issues.
House May Try Farm Bill Again in June
Published on: 5/30/2018
Last week, the House Rules Committee took a procedural step that would enable the Farm Bill to be reconsidered on the House floor until mid-June. It is believed that this action was taken in response to pressure from the House "Freedom Caucus" who have been demanding a vote on an immigration enforcement bill in exchange for passing the Farm Bill.
Senate Ag Appropriations Funds Potato Research
Published on: 5/30/2018
Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY19 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. Included within in it is $2.75 million for the National Institute of Food & Agriculture's Potato Breeding Program. This funding level matches FY18 as the highest in history for this vital program.
FMCSA Announces New ELD Waiver for Transporters of Ag Commodities & Additional Transition Guidance
Published on: 3/14/2018
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Tuesday announced additional steps to address the unique needs of the country’s agriculture industries and provided further guidance to assist in the effective implementation of the Congressionally-mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule without impeding commerce or safety.
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.

Potatoes USA News

FDA Announces New FSMA Guidance for Produce
Published on: 10/24/2018
This morning, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb tweeted an announcement that FDA was releasing new guidance intended to assist producers in complying with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) including the Produce Safety Rule.


Governor Signs Water Registration Bill
Published on: 6/27/2018
Gov. Rick Snyder last week in Lansing signed House Bill 5638 into law as Public Act 209 of 2018, finalizing science-based improvements to the state’s water withdrawal program.
Water Withdrawal Legislation Passes Senate
Published on: 6/6/2018
Today the Michigan Senate passed House Bill 5638, with the goal of making science-based improvements to the water withdrawal registration program to provide clarity for water users and DEQ staff. Supported by PGMI, the legislation addresses farmers’ concerns with the site-specific review process used to determine if a new water withdrawal will cause an adverse resource impact.
Pollinator Protection Act
Published on: 5/15/2018
House Bills 5903-HB 5904 would create the Pollinator Protection Act, including three new components managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
HB5638 "Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act" Moves Out Of Committee
Published on: 5/9/2018
A Substitute of HB5638 moved out of the House Natural Resources Committee today, with a few minor clarification amendments, on a 6-2-1 (yea, nay, pass) vote.
The bill, introduced by Representative Aaron Miller (R-Sturgis) provides 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.
Agriculture’s Sales and Use Tax Exemption Clarified
Published on: 4/25/2018
The Michigan House and Senate finalized legislation to preserve the state’s agricultural sales and use tax exemptions and clarify which farm-related purchases qualify. House Bills 4561 and 4564, sponsored by Reps. Dan Lauwers and Tom Barrett, now await Gov. Snyder’s approval.
Seed Potato Act signed by Governor Snyder (PGMI)
Published on: 3/28/2018
On Monday March 26, HB5227 – The Seed Potato Act, was signed by Governor Snyder as Public Act 94 of 2018. The bill will require that all potato seed sold or planted in Michigan, in combined lots greater than one acre, must be Certified Seed beginning January 1, 2021.
Seed Potato Act, HB 5227 heading to Governor’s Desk
Published on: 3/14/2018
Today the Michigan Senate passed HB 5227, known as the “Seed Potato Act”, and the bill is on its way to Governor Snyder for his signature. Of the 38 members, 35 members voted in support of the legislation with only 1 opposing.
Michigan Potatoes Busy From Lansing to D.C.
Published on: 2/28/2018
Michigan Potatoes busy in both Lansing and Washington, D.C. this week
While a delegation representing the Michigan potato industry were in Washington, D.C. this week, significant activities were taking place in at the state capital as well.
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.
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