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. Growers may be able to bunch planting together more than usual, once the weather straightens out, but the delays are likely to limit early supplies of potatoes from the region. They also could reduce the yield potential for the 2018 potato crop.
Chip companies are running on a mix of storage potatoes and new-crop potatoes. Storage potato quality remains good, for the most part. Movement is good. There is no surplus of chip potatoes in spite of the start of the north Florida harvest. Supplies appear to be well-balanced with demand, at this point.
US fresh potato shipments for the week ending April 21, 2018 totaled 1.558 million cwt. That is down from 1.784 million cwt shipped cwt during the same period, in 2017. Michigan packers shipped 55,575 cwt of fresh potatoes during the week ending April 21. That is down from 59,770 cwt a year earlier. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 59.7% Russet potatoes, 2.0% Round White potatoes, 17.1% Yellow varieties, and 0.9% fingerlings.
Michigan packers are selling 10# bags of Size A Russet potatoes for $1.70-$2.00 per bag, unchanged for the week. Wisconsin packers are selling 5/10# Russet potatoes for mostly $8.75-$9.00 per 50# bale, up from $8.50-$8.75 per bale a week ago. Wisconsin 40-70 count cartons are selling for mostly $15.00-$16.00 per box, unchanged for the week. USDA has stopped reporting Idaho Russet Norkotah shipments for the season. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Russet Burbanks is 15.51 per cwt. That is up $0.07 per cwt from last week.
Maine shippers are selling 5/10# bags of 2” min Round White potatoes for $9.00-$9.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from last week at this time. Florida growers are selling 50# cartons of Round White potatoes for mostly $22.50-$24.00 per box, up from $20.00-$22.50 per box a week ago.