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March Potato Stocks Up 8 Percent from Last Year

The 13 major potato states held 172 million cwt. of potatoes in storage March 1, up 8 percent from last year and 10 percent above 2006, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Potatoes in storage accounted for 43 percent of the 2007 fall storage states' production, up 2 percentage points from last year. Klamath Basin stocks totaled 2.05 million cwt. on March 1, 7 percent lower than last year. Klamath Basin includes California and Klamath County, Ore., potato stocks.

Disappearance of 228 million cwt. from the start of harvest to March 1 was down 1 percent from last year but up 4 percent from 2006. Shrink and loss, at 19.7 million cwt., was down 3 percent from the previous year but 7 percent above the same date in 2006.

Processors have used 123 million cwt. of 2007 crop potatoes so far this season, down 3 percent from a year ago but 8 percent above 2 years ago. Idaho and Malheur County, Ore., total processing decreased 1 percent from a year ago, as did Maine's total processing. Washington and the rest of Oregon total processing was down 5 percent from last season. Dehydrating usage was 25.2 million cwt. of the total processing, down 10 percent from last year but 11 percent above the same date in 2006.

Western states held 129 million cwt. of potatoes in storage on March 1, up 13 percent from last year and 11 percent above 2006. Idaho's potato stocks were up 6 percent from last year; Washington's potato sheds held 40 percent more than last year; and Oregon's stocks increased 20 percent from last
season. Montana's potato sheds held 6 percent more stocks than last year. California's and Colorado's potato stocks decreased 8 percent and 16 percent, respectively, from last year.

Central states accounted for 34.6 million cwt. of potato stocks on March 1, down 3 percent from last year but 13 percent above the same date in 2006. Wisconsin's potato stocks were down 2 percent from last year; North Dakotas' sheds held 19 percent less; and potato stocks in Nebraska were 12 percent
below last season. Minnesota's potato stocks increased 2 percent from the same date in 2007 and Michigan's potato sheds held 39 percent more than a year ago.

Eastern states stored 8.7 million cwt. of potatoes on March 1, down 19 percent from last year and 9 percent below March 1, 2006. Maine's potato sheds held 18 percent less than last year, while New York's potato stocks declined 30 percent from a year ago.

Originally posted Monday, Mar. 17, 2008

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