Storage chip potato supplies are cleaning up. Harvest is under way in the Hastings area this week. Central Florida has been going for some time. Florida growers appear to be disappointed with this year’s crop. Chip potato supplies should be adequate through the end of May, but there is concern that supplies could be tight during June. Ontario and Quebec still have large chip potato supplies, which could be exported to US manufacturers.
Cold and wet weather is delaying planting in Michigan. Some potatoes have been planted in SW Michigan, though planting progress and crop development have been set back. Michigan weather is expected to improve this weekend, then turn cold and wet again next week. Temperatures fell below freezing in parts of North Carolina on Tuesday night. That will slow crop development, but it is too early to tell the full extent of the damage.
USDA reports that growers in the 11 traditional storage states held 128.15 million cwt of potatoes on April 1. That is 4.25 million cwt more than those same states had in storage a year ago, a 3.4% increase. USDA made several major downward revisions to last year’s reported April 1 stocks. Six of the 11 reporting states had fewer potatoes in storage on April 1 than they held a year ago. At 68.65 million cwt, US February-March potato disappearance fell 10.55 million cwt short of the 2020/21 pace, a 13.3% decline.
USDA puts Michigan’s April 1 potato stocks at 4.1 million cwt. That is 700,000 cwt more than the state held a year earlier, a 20.6% increase. At 3.2 million cwt, February-March disappearance exceeded the year-earlier movement by 500,000 cwt, or 12.8%. Chip potato usage rose by 185,000 cwt, while fresh potato shipments increased by 9,000 cwt from last year.
US packers shipped 1.586 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending April 16, 2022. That is down from 1.728 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 54,500 cwt of potatoes during the week ending April 16, 2022. That is up from 40,500 cwt during the same week in 2021. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 96.7% Russets, 2.5% Round White potatoes, 0.4% Red potatoes, and 0.4% Yellow potatoes.
USDA reports that Michigan packers are selling size A Russets in 10# bags for mostly $11.00-$12.00 per 50# bale, unchanged from a week ago. Wisconsin packers are selling size A Russet potatoes in 10# bags for mostly $10.00-$11.00 per 50# bale, up from $10.00-$10.50 per 50# bale last week. They are selling Russet 40-70 count cartons for mostly $18.00-$19.00 per 50# box, up from $17.50-$19.00 per 50# box a week ago. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $21.15 per cwt, unchanged from last week.