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December Potato Stocks Down 6 Percent from Last Year

The 13 major potato states held 253 million cwt. of potatoes in storage Dec. 1, down 6 percent from last year and 5 percent below Dec. 1, 2003, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Ohio and Pennsylvania were dropped from the potato stocks program, starting with the 2005 storage season.

Potatoes in storage account for 68 percent of the 2005 fall storage states’ production, 1 percentage point above last year. Stocks by type were 3 percent red, 12 percent round white, 2 percent long white (Shepody) and 83 percent russets, with fewer long whites and more round whites and russets than a year ago for comparable states.

Disappearance of 120 million cwt. from the start of harvest to Dec. 1 is down 8 percent from last year and 10 percent below two years ago for comparable states. Shrink and loss, at 14 million cwt., is down 9 percent from last year and 6 percent below the same date in 2003 for comparable states.

Processors have used 65.9 million cwt. of 2005 crop potatoes so far this season, down 7 percent from a year ago and 9 percent below 2 years ago. Idaho and Malheur County, Oregon, total processing decreased 7 percent from a year ago. Washington and the rest of Oregon total processing dropped 6 percent from last season. Dehydrating usage accounts for 12.2 million cwt. of the total processing, down 16 percent from last year and 14 percent below the same date in 2003.

Western states held 176 million cwt. of potatoes in storage on Dec. 1, down 5 percent from last year and 1 percent below 2 years ago. Idaho’s potato stocks are down 10 percent from last year, Colorado’s potato sheds stored 9 percent less than in 2004, stocks in Montana are 6 percent below last season, and California’s stocks decreased 47 percent from last year. Oregon’s potato stocks are up 12 percent from last year and Washington’s potato sheds stored 4 percent more than last season.

Central states accounted for 61.2 million cwt. of potato stocks on Dec. 1, down 9 percent from last year and 14 percent below two years ago for comparable states. Wisconsin’s potato stocks are down 2 percent from last year, North Dakota’s potato sheds are 29 percent below last season, and Nebraska’s stocks decreased 10 percent from Dec. 1, 2004. Michigan and Minnesota’s potato sheds both stored 4 percent more than last year.

Eastern states stored 16 million cwt. of potatoes on Dec. 1, down 8 percent from last year and 1 percent below two years ago for comparable states. Maine’s potato sheds hold 14 percent less than last year, while New York’s potato stocks increased 35 percent from a year ago.

Originally posted Thursday, Dec. 15, 2005

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