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April Potato Stocks Down 11 Percent from 2005

The 13 major potato states held 114 million cwt. of potatoes in storage April 1, down 11 percent from last year and 9 percent below April 1, 2004, storage for comparable states, 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 31 percent of the 2005 fall storage states' production, down 1 percentage point from last year.

Disappearance of 259 million cwt. from the start of harvest to April 1 is down 5 percent from last year for comparable states. Shrink and loss, at 21.6 million cwt., is down 20 percent from last year for comparable states.

Processors have used 133 million cwt. of 2005 crop potatoes so far this season, down 2 percent from a year ago and 3 percent below two years ago. Idaho and Malheur County, Ore., total processing decreased 2 percent from a year ago and Washington and the rest of Oregon total processing dropped 3 percent from last season. Dehydrating usage accounts for 27.2 million cwt. of the total processing, down 9 percent from last year and 10 percent below the same date in 2004.

Western states held 85.7 million cwt. of potatoes in storage on April 1, down 7 percent from last year. Idaho's potato stocks are down 18 percent from last year, Colorado's potato sheds held 13 percent less than last year, Montana's stocks dropped 11 percent from last season, and stocks in California decreased 22 percent from 2005. Washington's potato stocks are up 11 percent from last year and Oregon's stocks increased 37 percent from last season.

Central states accounted for 20.9 million cwt. of potato stocks on April 1, down 27 percent from last year for comparable states. North Dakota's potato stocks decreased 53 percent from last year and Minnesota's stocks are down 31 percent from 2005. Michigan and Wisconsin potato stocks are unchanged from the same date in 2005.

Eastern states stored 7.3 million cwt. of potatoes on April 1, down 6 percent from last year for comparable states. Maine's potato sheds held 9 percent less than last year, while New York's potato stocks increased 67 percent from a year ago.

Originally posted Thursday, Apr. 13, 2006

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