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March Stocks Down 1 Percent from Last Year

The 13 major potato states held 153 million cwt. of potatoes in storage on March 1, down 1 percent from last year and 8 percent below March 1, 2005, for comparable states. Ohio and Pennsylvania were dropped from the potato stocks program starting with the 2005 storage season. Potatoes in storage account for 40 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 2.2 million cwt. on March 1. Klamath Basin includes California and Klamath County, Ore., potato stocks.

Disappearance of 229 million cwt. from the start of harvest to March 1 is up 5 percent from last year. Shrink and loss, at 20.1 million cwt., is up 9 percent from the previous year.

Processors have used 125 million cwt. of 2006 crop potatoes so far this season, up 9 percent from a year ago and 5 percent above two years ago. Idaho and Malheur County, Ore., total processing increased 10 percent from a year ago, Maine's total processing was 12 percent above the same date in 2006 and Washington and the rest of Oregon total processing was up 3 percent from last season. Dehydrating usage accounts for 25.6 million cwt. of the total processing, up 12 percent from last year but 2 percent below the same date in 2005.

Western states held 107 million cwt. of potatoes in storage on March 1, down 7 percent from last year. Idaho's potato stocks are down 4 percent from last year, Washington's potato sheds held 12 percent less than last year, Oregon's stocks declined 16 percent from last season and potato stocks in Montana are down 6 percent from 2006. Colorado potato sheds held 1 percent more stocks than last year and California's potato stocks increased 33 percent from last season.

Central states accounted for 35.2 million cwt. of potato stocks on March 1, up 15 percent from last year. Wisconsin's potato stocks increased 11 percent from last year, North Dakota's sheds held 32 percent more, Minnesota stocks are up 11 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 10.8 million cwt. of potatoes on March 1, up 13 percent from last year. Maine's potato sheds held 19 percent more than last year, while New York's potato stocks declined 33 percent from a year ago.

Originally posted Friday, Mar. 16, 2007

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