May 15, 2007
May Potato Stocks Down 4 Percent

The 13 major potato states held 73.2 million cwt. of potatoes in storage May 1, down 4 percent from last year and 17 percent below May 1, 2005, 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 19 percent of the
2006 fall storage states’ production, down 1 percent from last year. Klamath Basin stocks were added to the potato stocks program starting with December 2006 and totaled 600,000 cwt. on May 1, 2007. Klamath Basin includes California and Klamath County, Ore., potato stocks.

Disappearance of 309 million cwt. from the start of harvest to May 1 is up 4 percent from last year. Shrink and loss, at 23.7 million cwt., is up 8 percent from the previous year.

Processors have used 162 million cwt. of 2006 crop potatoes so far this season, up 8 percent from a year ago and 5 percent below two years ago. Idaho and Malheur County, Ore., total processing increased 8 percent from a year ago, Maine’s total processing was 8 percent above the same date in 2006, and Washington and the rest of Oregon total processing was up 2 percent from last season. Dehydrating usage accounts for 34.6 million cwt. of the total processing, up 15 percent from last year and 3 percent above the same date in 2005.

Idaho’s potato stocks are down 11 percent from last year, while sheds in Washington held 20 percent less than last year and Oregon’s stocks dropped 4 percent from last season. Stocks in Wisconsin decreased 10 percent from 2006. Maine’s potato stocks increased 26 percent from last year, North Dakota’s sheds held 50 percent more and stocks in Minnesota are up 52 percent. Potato sheds in Nebraska held 17 percent more than last season, while potato stocks in Michigan increased 80 percent and California’s stocks are up 13 percent from last year. Montana and New York’s potato sheds combined held 30 percent more than on the same date in 2006. Colorado’s potato stocks are unchanged from last year. Comparisons by region are not made in this narrative to avoid disclosure of individual operations.

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