The chip potato market is saturated. Storage potatoes from the 2020 crop have mostly been cleaned up. North Carolina and Virginia are harvesting, and supplies are plentiful. SW Michigan chip potatoes should be ready to harvest in ten days. Growers in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois started harvesting this week. Chip companies may use potatoes from earlier growing areas before they begin using the Michigan crop. Supplies could back up during the summer months and through the 2021 harvest. Transportation continues to be a challenge.
The Michigan crop is in good condition. Recent cool and wet weather has growers concerned about the increased risk of late blight, though it has not been a problem yet. Cloudy conditions have made it difficult to spray fields and fertilize. The crop loss was minimal from the heavy rains a few weeks ago.
Canada reports that it still had 6.42 million cwt of potatoes from the 2020 crop left in storage on July 1. That is down from 11.74 million cwt a year earlier. The data are incomplete since New Brunswick’s stocks were not reported and Alberta’s stocks may be undercounted. This is the second time Canada has reported July 1 stocks. Most of the remaining supplies are intended for frozen processing. However, Ontario reported that it had 271,000 cwt of chip potatoes left in storage on July 1. That is up from 168,000 cwt a year ago. At the June usage rate those potatoes would be gone by today.
US packers shipped 1.466 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending July 10, 2021. That is down from 1.794 million cwt a year earlier. USDA did not report any Michigan table potato shipments for the week ending July 10. Michigan shipped 20,000 cwt of potatoes during the week ending July 3, 2021. Year-earlier shipments from the state totaled 27,800 cwt.
Wisconsin packers are selling size A Russet potatoes in 10# bags for mostly $8.00-$8.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from last week. They are selling 40-70 count Russet count cartons for mostly $19.00 per 50# box, up from $18.00-$19.00 per box a week ago. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Russet Burbanks is $15.67 per cwt, up from