With frost damage in Idaho and flooding hampering potato harvest in North Dakota and the Red River Valley, the potato market could take buyers on a wild ride.

Shippers will need to meter their supplies to keep customers supplied. Even so, next May could bring market conditions not seen in decades, one shipper told me.

Some Idaho potato leaders project 20% damage there; in North Dakota in mid-October, only  64% of the state's potatoes had been harvested, compared with last year when 89% of the state's potatoes were in the bin. In Minnesota, 90% of the potatoes were harvested, but that number is much lower in the immediate Red River Valley.