Sales of table stock potatoes in the 2017-18 season totaled 107 million cwt., a 6% drop from the previous year, but the national average price-per-cwt. rose $1.13, to $11.73, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The USDA released its annual summary of the previous season on Sept. 13. Overall production for the season, including frozen and dehydrated products, on 1.02 million acres was 442 million cwt., compared to 1.09 million acres and 441 million cwt. in the 2016-17 season.
While the fall harvest of all potatoes, including those for processors, yielded 401 million cwt., a 1% drop from the previous fall, spring potato production was 19.8 million cwt., 30% more than the previous year, and summer production was 21.7 million cwt., an 11% increase from year to year.
In three out of the four states that the USDA breaks down the average prices received by growers, they saw a drop in returns. And although Idaho’s average returns were lower than other states, the percentage increase there wiped away losses when considered as part of overall returns.
Those four states and average prices received for fresh potatoes (per cwt.), are:
- Idaho — $7.14 in 2017, $4.90 in 2016, and $5.55 in 2015;
- Colorado — $10.80 in 2017, $11.20 in 2016, and $9.95 in 2015;
- North Dakota —$9.86 in 2017, and $15.10 in 2016 (2015 data withheld to avoid disclosing data for individual operations, according to USDA);
- Wisconsin — $13.60 in 2017, $13.70 in 2016, and $9.45 in 2015; and
- U.S. average —$11.73 in 2017, $10.60 in 2016, and $9.79 in 2015.