Michigan’s harvest has been slow this week due to heavy rainfall on Sunday and Monday. Some areas have received 2-5 inches in the past few days and more rain is in the forecast for Thursday and Friday. Approximately 50-60% of Michigan’s storage potatoes are under cover. Reports indicate that up to 75% of chip manufacturers are behind on their field-delivery contracts. Processors may not be able use all their contracted potatoes because of slower than anticipated movement. Growers are expecting contract reductions next year.
The North American potato harvest is wrapping up. Several growing areas have finished digging this year’s crop. More will be finishing by the end of next week. Exceptions will be the Columbia Basin, where processors will continue to use field delivery potatoes through the end of October, and PEI where harvest just ramped up this week. Crops in several key production areas have been disappointing due to excessive heat during the growing season. Yields, size, and quality are off in Idaho, the Columbia Basin, Manitoba, and Alberta. On the other hand, strong yields have been reported in Maine, Colorado, PEI, and New Brunswick.
US packers shipped 1.647 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending October 2, 2021. That is down from 1.933 million cwt a year earlier. Michigan packers shipped 38,300 cwt of potatoes during the week ending October 2, 2021. That is down from 38,100 cwt during the same week in 2020. Last week’s Michigan shipments were 80.7% Russets, 4.2% Round White potatoes, 0.3% Red potatoes, and 14.6% Yellow potatoes.
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 Russet 40-70 count cartons for mostly $18.00-$19.00 per 50# box, unchanged from a week ago. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $19.12 per cwt, down from $19.60 per cwt last week.
Wisconsin packers are selling 10/5# bales of size A Yellow potatoes for mostly $13.00-$16.00 per 50# bale, unchanged from a week ago. They are selling 50# cartons of size A Yellow potatoes for mostly $14.00-$15.50, also unchanged.