Jul 7, 2016Potato plantings up in Michigan, down nationwide
Plantings for the 2016 fall potato crop are down across the nation by 28,200 acres, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data released June 30. Michigan is bucking the trend by increasing its plantings from 46,000 acres in 2015 to 48,000 acres this year, a rise of 4.3 percent.
The USDA pegs the nationwide fall-crop total at 916,400 acres compared with the 2015 figure of 944,600 acres. Some of the reduction is accounted for by the USDA’s discontinuance of estimates in several states. The same factor is a contributor to a decline of 38,000 acres in the national total for all seasons, including spring and summer crops, from 1,065,200 acres for 2015 to 1,027,200 acres this year.
The USDA report also tracks changes in potato types. Russet plantings fell nationwide from 72 percent in 2015 to 71 percent in 2016. Whites rose from 19 percent to 20 percent and reds from 6 percent to 7 percent, while yellows dropped from 3 percent to 2 percent. Michigan showed greater interest in reds, which accounted for 1 percent in 2015 and 3 percent this year. Russets in Michigan decreased in the year-to-year proportions from 14 percent to 12 percent and yellows from 2 percent to 1 percent. Whites rose from 83 percent last year to 84 percent in 2016.
For fall potatoes most states remained stable in acreage or cut back to a small degree this year. The largest shrinkage was in Washington, where water availability has become an issue and planted acres declined nearly 3 percent from 170,000 to 165,000. New York shows the largest percentage loss at 20 percent on 12,000 acres this year versus 15,000 acres in 2015. Maine’s decrease from 51,000 to 49,000 acres this year figures at nearly 4 percent, while Colorado’s is at 2.75 percent based on 58,200 acres in 2015 and 56,600 in 2016.
Besides Michigan, the only two fall-producing states showing an increase are the seed specialists, Nebraska, which rose from 16,000 acres to 16,500 (up 3.1 percent), and Montana, up 2.7 percent from 11,000 acres to 11,300.
Nationally the sharpest spike in acreage occurred with the California spring crop, which was 25,000 acres this year, 8.7 percent above the 23,000 acres of 2015. The state’s fall crop remains the same at 8,000 acres.
Some of the other spring and summer producers are of note because a portion of their crops enters the chip market and influences availability and pricing. Florida’s spring acreage dropped from 30,000 acres last year to 27,000 this year, down 10 percent. North Carolina’s potato acreage, which the USDA considered a spring crop until reclassifying it as a summer crop this year, fell from 2015’s 13,500 acres to this year’s 12,000, a decline of 11.1 percent. The Texas summer crop fell from 20,000 acres last year to 17,000 this year to slump 15 percent. Missouri boosted its summer plantings from 8,500 acres in 2015 to 8,900 in 2016, a jump of 4.7 percent.
Source: Michigan Potatoes