Michigan growers have had a difficult time harvesting the last part of this year’s crop. Parts of the state have received more than a foot of snow and cold temperatures this week. The forecast is calling for warmer weather and sunshine for the next several days. Growers are hopeful that they can wrap up this year’s harvest season soon. However, adverse conditions could force some growers to leave part of this year’s crop in the ground. Chip potato movement is steady. Chip plants continue to run primarily on contract potatoes.
US packers shipped 6.99 million cwt of fresh potatoes during October. That is 874,000 cwt less than they shipped a year earlier, an 11.1% decline. Fresh potato shipments during October were the smallest for the month in modern history. This year’s largest shipping declines came from Idaho, the Red River Valley, and the Columbia Basin. They were partially offset by stronger movement from NE Colorado, Michigan, and Kern County. Russet, Red, and Round White potato shipments dropped significantly, while Yellow potato movement increased.
US packers shipped 1.818 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending October 30, 2021. That is down from 1.894 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 71,900 cwt of potatoes during the week ending October 30, 2021. That is up from 56,500 cwt during the same week in 2020. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 91.5% Russets, 4.5% Yellow potatoes, 2.8% Round White potatoes, and 1.3% Red potatoes.
USDA reports that Michigan packers are selling size A Russets in 10# bags for $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 $8.50-$9.00 per 50# bale, up from $8.25-$8.50 per 50# bale last week. They are selling Russet 40-70 count cartons for mostly $16.00-$17.50 per 50# box, unchanged from a week ago. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $21.47 per cwt, up from $20.47 per cwt last week.
Wisconsin packers are selling 10/5# bags of size A Yellow potatoes for mostly $17.50-$18.00 per 50# bale, unchanged from a week ago. They are selling 50# cartons of size A Yellow potatoes for mostly $18.00 per 50# box, also unchanged. Red River Valley packers are selling size A Yellow potatoes in 2000# tote bags for mostly $22.00 per cwt, unchanged from last week.