North America’s fall potato harvest is moving forward on schedule. However, light rain showers have slowed digging in Michigan during the past week. Approximately 45-50% of Michigan’s storage potatoes are under cover. The Michigan forecast is calling for ten days of excellent harvest weather, which should help growers catch up. The weather has been cooperating well in Wisconsin. Close to 60% of Wisconsin’s potatoes have been harvested. Chip potato markets remain quiet. Plants are running almost exclusively on contract potatoes. Open market chip potatoes are worth contract prices, though there are not many available.
Tropical storm Fiona hit PEI last weekend with hurricane-force winds up to four inches of rain in some areas. Growers were just getting ready to harvest the province’s potato crop. The Island’s power lines, roads, and docks have been severely damaged. Several potato storage buildings have been destroyed. Potatoes in low-lying areas have been ruined by flooding. Heavy rainfall will likely cause storability problems for PEI’s 2022 potato crop. Parts of New Brunswick also received heavy rainfall from the remnants of hurricane Fiona.
US packers shipped 1.612 million cwt of table potatoes during the week ending September 24, 2022. That is down from 1.729 million cwt shipped a year earlier. Table potato business has been slow in Michigan. Michigan packers shipped 30,500 cwt of potatoes during the week ending September 24, 2022. That is down from 54,900 cwt during the same week in 2021. Last week’s reported Michigan shipments were 83.3% Russets, 7.6% Red potatoes, 5.3% Yellow potatoes, and 3.8% Round White potatoes.
Wisconsin packers are selling size A Russet potatoes in 10# bags for mostly $14.00-$15.00 per 50# bale, unchanged from last week. They are selling Russet 40-70 count cartons for mostly $30.00-$35.00 per 50# box, down from $34.00-$37.00 per 50# box a week ago. The weighted average shipping point price for Idaho Russet Norkotahs is $31.20 per cwt. That is down from $37.13 per cwt a week ago.
Big Lake and Central Minnesota packers are selling 2000# tote bags of size A Yellow potatoes for mostly $25.00 per cwt, unchanged from last week. Wisconsin packers are selling 10/5# bales of size A Yellow potatoes for mostly $16.00-$19.00 per bale, unchanged from a week ago. They are selling 50# cartons of size A Yellow potatoes for mostly $16.00-$19.00 per 50# box, also unchanged.