Jan 4, 2018
National potato stocks down, but not across the board  


Nationally, potato stocks are down 13 percent from Dec. 1, 2016. However, in an email, Ted Kreis with the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association (NPPGA) said North Dakota growers, dealers and processors held 18.2 million hundredweight (cwt.) of potatoes in storage on Dec. 1, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This is 1.6 million cwt. more than last year at this time. Current stocks represent 72 percent of the 2017 production. Total stocks are defined as all potatoes on hand, regardless of use, including those that will be lost through future shrinkage and dumping.

In North Dakota, NPPGA said, three varieties accounted for 10 percent or more of acres planted in 2017. Russet Burbank accounted for 29.2 percent of potato acreage planted. This was followed by Umatilla at 14.7 percent of plantings and Prospect at 12.7 percent.

However, Bruce Huffaker, editor of the North American Potato Market News, questioned the accuracy of the type data, pointing out that an independent survey (NPPGA) suggests that over 80 percent of this year’s increase is intended for the table potato market, a combination of red and yellow varieties.  Huffaker noted that USDA type data shows a smaller increase in red potatoes, a large increase in processing varieties, and a decrease in the state’s chip potato holdings.

Minnesota held 11.3 million cwt. of potatoes as of Dec. 1, one million more than last year. Current holdings are 60 percent of the total crop. Find additional stocks and type data from North Dakota, Minnesota and all other top potato producing states in the links below:

Access the national publication for the Potato Stocks release here.

Access the national publication for the Potato Varieties Planted release here.

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