Chip potato markets remain quiet. More northern plants will be transitioning to new-crop potatoes next week but supplies of storage potatoes remain plentiful. Some growers anticipate shipping potatoes from storage through the month of June, though there is some concern that potatoes might go out of condition before they can be used. New-crop shipments continue to lag behind last year’s pace, reflecting this year’s contract volume reductions. Chip plants are running almost exclusively on contract potatoes.
Planting is virtually complete in Michigan, 2-3 weeks earlier than usual. The early planting will test theories about the correlation of yields with planting dates as well as on issues such as physiological aging and its impact on late-season fry color.
North Carolina growers are concerned about dry conditions in that state, though reports indicate that crop development is on schedule and this year’s tuber set is excellent. Timely rains are in the forecast for this weekend, which could alleviate fears of crop damage, but the rains will need to continue through June for the crop to reach its potential. Crops in other growing areas appear to be in good shape.
US packers shipped 1.683 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending May 22, 2021. That is down from 1.799 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 34,402 cwt of potatoes during the week ending May 22, 2021. That is down from 45,180 cwt during the same week in 2020. Last week’s Michigan shipments were all Russet potatoes.
USDA has discontinued reporting Michigan table potato prices for the 2020 crop. Wisconsin packers are selling size A Russet potatoes in 10# bags for mostly $8.00-$9.00 per 50# bale, unchanged for the week. They are selling 40-70 count Russet count cartons for mostly $14.00-$15.00 per 50# box, up from $13.00-$14.00 per box a week ago. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Russet Burbanks is $14.22 per cwt, up from $13.85 per cwt last week.
Florida new-crop size A Yellow potatoes are selling for mostly $20.70-$21.50 per 50# carton, unchanged from last week.
Florida packers are selling 50# cartons of size A Round White new-crop potatoes for $20.70-$22.70 per box, unchanged for the week.