Apr 21, 2017
April potato report: Stocks up 6 percent from 2016

The USDA-National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) released its April 1 potato stocks report. The 13 major potato states held 133 million cwt. of potatoes in storage April 1, up 6 percent from April 1, 2016. Potatoes in storage accounted for 33 percent of the fall storage states’ 2016 production, 1 percent more than last year. Potato disappearance, at 273 million cwt., was down slightly from April 1, 2016. Season-to-date shrink and loss, at 20.9 million cwt., was 6 percent higher than the same time last year. Processors in the eight major states used 145 million cwt. of potatoes for the season, up 2 percent from April 2016.

Potato disappearance as of April 1, for the 2016 crop is 272,612,000 cwt. Disappearance of the 2015 crop as of April 1, 2016 was 272,782,000 cwt. 2017 disappearance of the 2016 crop is slightly down at -0.06%.

According to this April 1, 2017, USDA-NASS April 1 Potato Stocks report, potato processing is up over last year by 1.6 percent. For 2017 processing to date (Dec. 1, 2016 – April 1, 2017) 637,590,000 cwt. of potatoes have been processed, versus 2016 processing of 627,735,000 cwt. (Dec. 1, 2015 – April 1, 2016).

Frozen processing increased from 528,910,000 cwt. (Dec. 1, 2015 – April 1, 2016), to 542,385,000 cwt. (Dec. 1, 2016 – April 1, 2017). This is an increase of 13,475,000 cwt. in frozen processing over last year (a 2.5 percent increase).

Dehy processing declined from 98,825 cwt. (Dec. 1, 2015 – April 1, 2016) to 95,205,000 cwt. (Dec. 1, 2016 – April 1, 2017). This is a decline of 3,620,000 cwt. in dehy use (a 3.7 percent decline).

According to the USDA-NASS Potato Stocks report, reliability of the stocks and processing data must be treated separately because the survey designs for the two surveys are very different. The stocks estimates are subject to sampling variability because all operations holding stocks are not included in the sample.

Monthly processing data is collected from all known potato processing facilities in eight states (Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin). An effort is made to obtain a report from all facilities. Estimates are made for missing facilities to make the survey complete.

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