Michigan growers still have 6,000-7,000 acres of potatoes left to harvest. Some growers are finished digging, while others still have a lot of potatoes in the ground. Rain has kept fields wet for the past several weeks. The few dry days have been followed by more rain, which has prevented growers from making much progress. Growers are back in the fields today, but more rain is in the forecast for Friday. Temperatures are expected to cool down next week making harvest conditions even more difficult. Chip potato markets are quiet. Movement is steady with chip plants running almost exclusively on contract potatoes.
US chip potato movement through October 23 is running 9.1% short of the 2020 pace. At 11.6 million cwt, this year’s shipments are 1.2 million cwt less than the year-earlier movement (during the same 12-weeks). Michigan’s chip potato movement fell 793,000 cwt, or 23.4%, short of last year’s shipments. Shipments from the Midwest states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and South Dakota) dropped 20.8% below year-earlier movement. Shipments from Wisconsin are running 5.1% behind last year’s pace. Movement from Maine and Pennsylvania is down 8.4% and 15.3%, respectively. New York’s shipments increased 8.8% relative to 2020 movement.
US packers shipped 1.714 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending October 23, 2021. That is down from 1.840 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 64,300 cwt of potatoes during the week ending October 23, 2021. That is up from 37,900 cwt during the same week in 2020. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 89.9% Russets, 7.6% Yellow potatoes, and 2.6% Round White 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 $8.25-$8.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from last week. They are selling Russet 40-70 count cartons for mostly $16.00-$17.50 per 50# box, down from $16.00-$18.00 per 50# box a week ago. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $20.47 per cwt, up from $19.89 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, up from $13.00-$16.00 per 50# bale a week ago. They are selling 50# cartons of size A Yellow potatoes for mostly $18.00 per 50# box, up from $14.00-$15.50 per 50# box last week. Red River Valley packers are selling size A Yellow potatoes in 2000# tote bags for mostly $22.00 per cwt.