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December Potato Stocks Up 1 Percent from 2003

The 15 major potato states held 272 million cwt. of potatoes in storage Dec. 1, up 1 percent from last year and 3 percent above 2002, according to USDA. Potatoes in storage account for 67 percent of the 2004 fall storage states' production – 1 percentage point above last year. Stocks by type were 3 percent red, 12 percent round white, 4 percent long white (Shepody) and 81 percent russets, with fewer reds and more long whites than a year ago.

Disappearance of 132 million cwt. from the start of harvest to Dec. 1, is down 3 percent from last year and 8 percent below two years ago. Shrink and loss, at 16.8 million cwt., is up 12 percent from last year and 8 percent above the same date in 2002.

Processors used 70.7 million cwt. of 2004 crop potatoes so far this season, down 2 percent from a year ago and 8 percent below two years ago. Idaho and Malheur County, Ore., processing increased less than 1 percent, while Washington and the rest of Oregon processed 1 percent less of the 2004 crop than of the 2003 crop. Dehydrating usage accounts for 13.4 million cwt. of the total processing, down 6 percent from last year and 15 percent below the same date in 2002.

Western states held 184 million cwt. of potatoes in storage on Dec. 1, up 3 percent from last year but 1 percent below two years ago. Idaho's potato stocks are up 9 percent from last year, California increased 19 percent, and Montana's storages held 10 percent more. Potato sheds in Washington and Colorado both stored 2 percent less than last year and Oregon sheds were down 6 percent.

Central states accounted for 68.2 million cwt. of potato stocks on Dec. 1, down 5 percent from last year but 11 percent above two years ago. Wisconsin potato sheds stored 5 percent less than last year, Minnesota and Michigan stocks both decreased 7 percent, Nebraska went down 11 percent, and Ohio's potato sheds stored 33 percent less. North Dakota's sheds are the only ones in the central states storing more potatoes than last year with an increase of 1 percent.

Eastern states stored 19.1 million cwt. of potatoes on Dec. 1, up 6 percent from last year and 17 percent above two years ago. Maine's stocks are up 11 percent from last year, while New York stocks increased 7 percent. Pennsylvania's sheds decreased 37 percent from a year ago.

Originally posted Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2004

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