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March Potato Stocks Up 1 Percent from 2004

The 15 major potato states held 168 million cwt. of potatoes in storage March 1, up 1 percent from last year and 2 percent above 2003. Potatoes in storage account for 42 percent of the 2004 fall storage state production, 1 percentage point above last year.

Disappearance of 235 million cwt. from the start of harvest to March 1 is down 1 percent from last year and 3 percent below two years ago. Shrink and loss, at 24.6 million cwt., is up 9 percent from last year and 10 percent above the same date in 2003.

Processors have used 119 million cwt. of 2004 crop potatoes so far this season, down 1 percent from a year ago and 5 percent below two years ago. February usage, at 18.4 million cwt., is 2 percent below both last year and two years ago. Idaho and Malheur County, Oregon, processing increased 2 percent from a year ago, while Washington and the rest of Oregon processing decreased 1 percent from last season. Dehydrating usage accounts for 23.7 million cwt. of the total processing, down 9 percent from last year and 15 percent below the same date in 2003.

Western states held 118 million cwt. of potatoes in storage on March 1, up 4 percent from last year but 2 percent below two years ago. Montana's potato stocks are up 14 percent from last year, Idaho's storages hold 10 percent more, and Colorado's potato sheds stored 4 percent more than last year. Oregon's potato stocks are down 18 percent and Washington's sheds hold 2 percent less than last year. California's stocks are unchanged from a year ago.

Central states accounted for 40 million cwt. of potato stocks on March 1, down 6 percent from last year but 12 percent above two years ago. Michigan's potato stocks are down 24 percent, Minnesota potato sheds stored 8 percent less than last year, and Wisconsin's stocks decreased 2 percent. Combined, Nebraska and Ohio potato stocks decreased 15 percent from last year. North Dakota's sheds are the only sheds in the Central states storing more potatoes than last year, with an increase of 1 percent.

Eastern states stored 10.8 million cwt. of potatoes on March 1, up 5 percent from last year and 19 percent above two years ago. Maine's potato sheds hold 6 percent more than last year, while New York and Pennsylvania's sheds remain unchanged from a year ago.

Originally posted Tuesday, Mar. 15, 2005

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