The Wisconsin russet crop likely won’t start shipping until about Aug. 18-19, five to seven days later than the five-year average, estimates Bob Johnson, president of Katz Produce Sales LLC, Plover, Wis.
“I can’t recall them starting much later than that,” Johnson said.
Other leading spud-producing states also are expecting late starts to the 2011-12 season, Johnson said.
That could raise the specter of volumes piling up when the first autumn frosts hit, possibly jeopardizing some storage spuds, Johnson said.
That scenario would be more likely if retailers continue to price spuds high, even after new-crop harvests get under way.
Wisconsin potato prices were in the low $20s for 50-pound cartons of 40-70s russet norkotahs in early July, about double what they were last year at the same time.