But Idaho, with its lock on the foodservice russet market, still drives the carton market, Wysocki said.
“From that standpoint, Wisconsin has a better crop this year to work with, but Idaho’s market on cartons by far is very good,” he said. “They have a smaller size profile than normal, but they also have a strong demand in foodservice due to the Idaho name.”
Wysocki said the agriculture statistics service report, while containing accurate information, can be misleading.
Although the potatoes are in storage and viable in March, storage losses always rise as the deal finishes because some potatoes won’t hold up to the end of the season, he said. This is particularly true of processing potato overages that aren’t put in the best storage facilities.
“All potatoes can’t last until July,” Wysocki said.
Chris Voigt, executive director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, Monte Vista, said that although Colorado shippers had about 3 million cwt. less in storage on March 1 than in 2003, last year’s crop was larger than normal.
“The storage is holding up well and the size profile is great, with some bigger potatoes maybe than what’s coming out of the northwest,” Voigt said. “We’re pretty happy with what we have in storage.”