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December Potato Stocks Down 1 Percent from 2005

The 13 major potato states held 252 million cwt. of potatoes in storage Dec. 1, down 1 percent from last year and 6 percent below 2004 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 66 percent of the 2006 fall storage states' production, down 2 percent from last year. Klamath Basin stocks have been added to the potato stocks program starting with December 2006 and total 4 million cwt. Klamath Basin includes California and Klamath County, Ore., potato stocks.

Disappearance of 130 million cwt. from the start of harvest to Dec. 1 is up 8 percent from last year. Shrink and loss, at 14 million cwt., is up 10 percent from the previous year.

Processors have used 72.3 million cwt. of 2006 crop potatoes so far this season, up 10 percent from a year ago and 2 percent above two years ago. Idaho and Malheur County, Ore., total processing increased 14 percent from a year ago, Maine's total processing was 29 percent above the same date in 2005, and Washington and the rest of Oregon total processing was up 2 percent from last season. Dehydrating usage accounts for 12.9 million cwt. of the total processing, up 8 percent from last year but 11 percent below the same date in 2004.

Western states held 171 million cwt. of potatoes in storage Dec. 1, down 4 percent from last year. Idaho's potato stocks are down 1 percent from last year, Washington's potato sheds held 7 percent less than last year and Oregon's stocks declined 16 percent from last season. Colorado and Montana's December potato stocks were unchanged from 2005. California's potato stocks are up 13 percent from last year.

Central states accounted for 63.4 million cwt. of potato stocks on Dec. 1, up 6 percent from last year. Wisconsin's potato stocks increased 7 percent from last year, North Dakota's sheds held 24 percent more than the previous year, and Michigan and Nebraska's stocks are both 4 percent above 2005. Minnesota's potato stocks declined 11 percent from the same date in 2005.

Eastern states stored 17.5 million cwt. of potatoes on Dec. 1, up 14 percent from last year. Maine's potato sheds held 18 percent more than last year, while New York's potato stocks decreased 3 percent from a year ago.

Originally posted Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2006

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