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Market Report September 19th, 2018

North American Potato Market News  | 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.
Wisconsin has picked up more rain this week, but amounts have fallen short of forecast levels. The ten day forecast for central Michigan is calling for showers on seven of the ten days, beginning this evening. Predicted amounts are not heavy, but the showers could make it more difficult for fields to dry out, which may complicate harvest.
Chip plants continue to run almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Michigan shipments have slowed, as other areas have started to move potatoes. Nevertheless, field-delivery contracts are likely to clean up on or before contract end dates. Buyers are worried about supplies and the quality of chip potatoes that will be available during the storage season. They already are thinking about increasing contract volumes in Florida and North Carolina, though they will wait for a better assessment of this year’s storage crop before setting volumes. 
US fresh potato shipments for the week ending September 15, 2018 totaled 1.915 million cwt. That is down from 2.207 million cwt during the same period in 2017. Michigan packers shipped 6,500 cwt of fresh potatoes during the week ending September 15, down from 42,525 cwt a year earlier. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 69.4% Round White potatoes. The variety for the remaining shipments was not reported.
Wisconsin packers are selling Size A Russets in 10# bags for mostly $8.000 per 50# bale, down from $8.00-$8.50 per bale a week ago. They are selling 40-70 count cartons for mostly $12.00-$13.00 per box, down from $13.00-$14.00 a week ago. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Norkotahs is $13.41 per cwt. That is down from $14.08 per cwt a week ago.
Delaware’s harvest has been interrupted by rain. Therefore, no prices are being reported for the state. Long Island pacers are selling Size A Round White potatoes in 5# bags for $11.00-$12.00 per 50# bale. FIRST REPORT. They are selling 50# bags of large Round White potatoes for $10.00-$11.00 per bag.
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