Jan 20, 2006
January Potato Stocks Down 7 Percent from 2005

The 13 major potato states held 219 million cwt. of potatoes in storage Jan. 1, down 7 percent from last year and 6 percent below Jan. 1, 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 59 percent of the 2005 fall storage states’ production, unchanged from last year. Stocks by type were 2 percent red, 10 percent round white, 2 percent long white (Shepody) and 86 percent russets, with a smaller percentage of reds and long whites but a larger percentage of russets than a year ago for comparable states.

Disappearance of 154 million cwt. from the start of harvest to Jan. 1 is down 7 percent from last year for comparable states. Shrink and loss, at 16.2 million cwt., is down 14 percent from last year for comparable states.

Processors have used 81.7 million cwt. of 2005 crop potatoes so far this season, down 5 percent from a year ago and 7 percent below two years ago. Both Idaho and Malheur County, Ore., Washington and the rest of Oregon total processing dropped 6 percent from last season. Dehydrating usage accounts for 16 million cwt. of the total processing, down 14 percent from last year and 13 percent below the same date in 2004.

Western states held 156 million cwt. of potatoes in storage on Jan. 1, down 5 percent from last year. Idaho’s potato stocks are down 12 percent from last year, Colorado’s potato sheds stored 11 percent less than in 2005, stocks in Montana are 3 percent below last season and California’s stocks decreased 43 percent from last year. Oregon’s potato stocks are up 14 percent from last year and Washington’s potato sheds stored 7 percent more than last season.

Central states accounted for 49.5 million cwt. of potato stocks on Jan. 1, down 14 percent from last year for comparable states. Minnesota’s potato stocks decreased 4 percent from last year, Wisconsin’s stocks are down 7 percent from 2005, Nebraska’s potato sheds stored 8 percent less than last season, and stocks in North Dakota are 35 percent below Jan. 1, 2005. Michigan potato sheds stored 2 percent more than last year.

Eastern states stored 13.8 million cwt. of potatoes on Jan. 1, down 4 percent from last year for comparable states. Maine’s potato sheds held 10 percent less than last year, while New York’s potato stocks increased 44 percent from a year ago.

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