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February Potato Stocks Up 2 Percent from 2004

The 15 major potato states held 204 million cwt. of potatoes in storage Feb. 1, up 2 percent from last year and 3 percent above 2003, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Potatoes in storage account for 51 percent of the 2004 fall storage states' production, 1 percent above last year. Stocks by type were 2 percent red, 11 percent round white, 2 percent long white (Shepody) and 85 percent russets, with a smaller percentage of reds and round whites but a larger percentage of russets than a year ago.

Disappearance of 199 million cwt. from the start of harvest to Feb. 1, is down 2 percent from last year and 4 percent below two years ago. Shrink and loss, at 22.5 million cwt., is up 10 percent from both last year and the same date in 2003.

Processors used 101 million cwt. of 2004 crop potatoes so far this season, down 1 percent from a year ago and 6 percent below two years ago. Idaho and Malheur County, Ore., processing increased 2 percent from a year ago, while Washington and the rest of Oregon processing is virtually unchanged from last season. December usage, at 15 million cwt., is 5 percent above last year and up 1 percent from two years ago. Dehydrating usage accounts for 20 million cwt. of the total processing, down 9 percent from last year and 16 percent below the same date in 2003.

Western states held 141 million cwt. of potatoes in storage Feb. 1, up 4 percent from last year but 2 percent below two years ago. California's potato stocks are up 19 percent from last year, while Idaho's and Montana's storages both hold 12 percent more. Potato sheds in Colorado stored 2 percent more than last year. Oregon's potato stocks are down 13 percent and Washington's sheds stored 4 percent less than last year.

Central states accounted for 49.5 million cwt. of potato stocks on Feb. 1, down 5 percent from last year but 14 percent above two years ago. Michigan's potato stocks are down 15 percent, Minnesota potato sheds stored 8 percent less than last year, and Wisconsin's stocks decreased 3 percent. Nebraska and Ohio potato stocks combined decreased 10 percent from last year. North Dakota's sheds are the only ones in the Central states storing more potatoes than last year, with an increase of 2 percent.

Eastern states stored 13.3 million cwt. of potatoes on Feb. 1, up 5 percent from last year and 18 percent above two years ago. New York's stocks are up 18 percent from last year, while Maine stocks increased 6 percent. Pennsylvania's sheds decreased 18 percent from a year ago.

Originally posted Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2005

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