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January Potato Stocks up 2 Percent from 2004

The 15 major potato states held 238 million cwt. of potatoes in storage Jan. 1, up 2 percent from last year and 3 percent above 2003. Potatoes in storage account for 59 percent of the 2004 fall storage states' production, 1 percent above last year. Stocks by type were 2 percent red, 11 percent round white, 4 percent long white (Shepody) and 83 percent Russets, with a smaller percentage of reds and round whites but a larger percentage of long whites and Russets than a year ago.

Disappearance of 165 million cwt. from the start of harvest to Jan. 1 is down 3 percent from last year and 6 percent below two years ago. Shrink and loss, at 20 million cwt., is up 15 percent from last year and 10 percent above the same date in 2003.

Processors used 86 million cwt. of 2004 crop potatoes so far this season, down 2 percent from a year ago and 7 percent below two years ago. Idaho and Malheur County, Ore., processing increased less than 1 percent from a year ago, while Washington and the rest of Oregon processed 1 percent less than last season. December usage, at 15.2 million cwt., is 1 percent below last year and down 2 percent from two years ago. Dehydrating usage accounts for 17 million cwt. of the total processing, down 8 percent from last year and 13 percent below the same date in 2003.

Western states held 163 million cwt. of potatoes in storage on Jan. 1, up 4 percent from last year but 1 percent below two years ago. California's potato stocks are up 33 percent from last year, while Idaho's and Montana's storages both hold 10 percent more. Potato sheds in Oregon are down 8 percent, and Washington's and Colorado's sheds both stored 2 percent less than last year.

Central states accounted for 59.4 million cwt. of potato stocks on Jan. 1, down 4 percent from last year but 13 percent above two years ago. Ohio's potato stocks are down 37 percent, Michigan potato sheds stored 10 percent less than last year, and Minnesota's stocks decreased 6 percent. Nebraska's potato stocks went down 5 percent and Wisconsin's sheds stored 3 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 15.7 million cwt. of potatoes on Jan. 1, up 3 percent from last year and 12 percent above two years ago. New York's stocks are up 13 percent from last year, while Maine stocks increased 6 percent. Pennsylvania's sheds decreased 27 percent from a year ago.

Originally posted Friday, Jan. 14, 2005

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