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February Potato Stocks Down 1 Percent from 2006

The 13 major potato states held 188 million cwt. of potatoes in storage Feb. 1, down 1 percent from last year and 7 percent below Feb. 1, 2005, for comparable states, according to the USDA 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 49 percent of the 2006 fall storage states' production, down 2 percentage points from last year. Klamath Basin stocks were added to the potato stocks program starting with December 2006 and total 2.60 million cwt. on Feb. 1. Klamath Basin includes California and Klamath County, Ore., potato stocks.

Disappearance of 194 million cwt. from the start of harvest to Feb. 1 is up 5 percent from last year. Shrink and loss, at 18.2 million cwt., is up 8 percent from the previous year.

Processors have used 106 million cwt. of 2006 crop potatoes so far this season, up 10 percent from a year ago and 5 percent above two years ago. Idaho and Malheur County, Ore., total processing increased 11 percent from a year ago, Maine's total processing was 17 percent above the same date in 2006 and Washington and the rest of Oregon total processing was up 4 percent from last season. Dehydrating usage accounts for 21.3 million cwt. of the total processing, up 11 percent from last year but 3 percent below the same date in 2005.

Western states held 131 million cwt. of potatoes in storage on Feb. 1, down 6 percent from last year. Idaho's potato stocks are down 2 percent from last year, Washington's potato sheds held 10 percent less than last year and Oregon's stocks declined 19 percent from last season. Colorado potato sheds held 2 percent more stocks than last year, Montana's stocks are up 3 percent from 2006 and California's potato stocks increased 18 percent from last season.

Central states accounted for 44.7 million cwt. of potato stocks on Feb. 1, up 13 percent from last year. Wisconsin's potato stocks increased 11 percent from last year, North Dakota's sheds held 28 percent more, Minnesota stocks are up 8 percent and potato stocks in Michigan are 13 percent above last season. Nebraska's potato stocks are unchanged from the same date in 2006.

Eastern states stored 12.6 million cwt. of potatoes on Feb. 1, up 11 percent from last year. Maine's potato sheds held 19 percent more than last year while New York's potato stocks declined 35 percent from a year ago.

Originally posted Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007

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