Dec 14, 2016
What potato growers can expect in 2017

{Sponsored} Planning for 2017 is in full swing — how will potato growers make their planting decisions? Some growers will expand their acreage and some will plant fewer potatoes, either way, they will let the market forces decide.

The 2016 growing season varied across the country. Growers in Idaho had a very successful, high yielding season while growers in the Red River Valley faced a series of challenges due to bad weather causing slightly decreased yields. The rest of the U.S. experienced a rather normal year with good yields.

Total potato production in the U.S. is up.

“Advances in crop protection have helped potato growers increase yield and quality of their crop,” said Tye Shauck, Technical Service Representative, BASF.

Just like every other market, the law of supply and demand will pave the way for potato growers in the coming months.

Why? Because higher production without increased demand means lower prices and a lower return on investment for growers. With increased production coming from Idaho, potato prices will likely remain depressed.

The trend line for fresh market consumption continues to be flat, except for specialty potatoes that continue to show growth but comprise a small segment of the fresh market.

The chip market, on the other hand, seems to be doing fairly well. Chip and fry potatoes continue to be heavy lifters in the industry. Contract negotiations are slated to begin in early 2017 and will likely determine the total acreage of the chip and fry market moving forward.

With global commodity prices depressed, growers may not have alternative crops to plant. Should commodity prices remain down, growers may plant more potatoes making crop protection decisions all the more important.

“The best way to offset low market prices is to increase potato yield and quality by implementing a strategic crop protection plan,” said Shauck. “Include quality chemistries that have a proven record of performance, such as the potato portfolio from BASF.”

For much of the Midwest, late blight is almost always to be expected. Growers will begin applying preventative measures early and often. Growers in the arid West will wait and see which strains, if any, appear and apply fungicides as recommended with the first indication of late blight in their area.

“Having a plan for your inputs will keep your production on track to yield more, higher quality potatoes,” Shauck said. “Sit down with a trusted advisor, such as your BASF representative, to plan out your year start to finish.”

“BASF offers a complete portfolio of products for potato growers, including world-class chemistries that offer excellent control of some of the toughest diseases and weeds.”

For more information, visit www.GrowSmartPotatoes.com or contact your local BASF representative.

C. 2016 BASF Corporation


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