Sep 24, 2010
USDA: 2009 potato production up 4 percent over 2008

Potato production for 2009 totaled 431 million cwt., according to a press release by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Production was up 4 percent from 2008 while acreage, 1.04 million acres, was down 1 percent from 2008.

The average yield of 414 cwt. for 2009 represents a new high, up 18 cwt. from 2008’s record year of 396 cwt. The 2009 fall harvest statistics showed a record yield of 429 cwt., up 18 cwt from the previous record of 411 in 2008.

Total value for all potatoes sold was $3.26 billion, an increase of 7 percent from 2008, though the average price of $8.19 per cwt. represented a decrease of $0.90 from 2008.

The process market used 256 million cwt. in 2009, up 1 percent from 2008 but down more than 8 percent from 2007’s total of 276,892 cwt. Table stock amounted to 115 million cwt., up 5 percent from 2008 and seed sales of 20.2 million cwt. represented a decline of 3 percent from 2008.

In the process sector, potatoes for chipping and shoestrings totaled 42.9 million cwt., down 16 percent from 2008. Frozen fries and other frozen products totaled 159 million cwt., up 4 percent from 2008 and potatoes for dehy was up 9 percent from 2008 to a total of 44.4 million cwt.

A number that best illustrates the glut of potatoes in the 2009 market place is the increase sale of potatoes for livestock feed. Coming in at 6.53 million cwt., for 2009 that represents an 813 percent increase from 2008.

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