Major U.S. producing states held 267 million cwt. of potatoes in storage on Dec. 1, down 4% from a year ago.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported potatoes in storage accounted for 63% of the states’ 2019 production. For comparable states, potatoes in storage accounted for 67% of the states’ 2019 production, unchanged from the previous year. Processors in the eight major states used 76.3 million cwt of potatoes for the season, up 3% from December 2018.
Compared with a year ago, the USDA reported lower volumes of potatoes were in storage in North Dakota, Minnesota and Idaho. Cold weather in Idaho and a combination of wet conditions followed by cold weather reduced output in those growing regions.
The USDA reported that potato stocks on hand in Idaho were 95 million cwt. on Dec. 1, down 6% from 101 million cwt. the same time a year ago. In North Dakota, Dec. 1 holdings were 14 million cwt., down 18% from 17 million cwt. on Dec. 1 2018. In Minnesota, Dec. 1 holdings were estimated at 12.3 million cwt., off 4% from 12.8 million cwt. on hand a year ago.
In those states, prices for fresh market potatoes also were running above a year ago.
In Idaho, the USDA reported that prices for 60 counts russet burbank potatoes were $17.50 to $19 per 50-pound carton, more than double compared with $8.50 to $10 per carton the same time a year ago.
In the Red River Valley, the USDA said that prices for 50-pound sacks of size B round red potatoes were $20 to $21.50, 66% above $12 to $13.50 per sack at the same time a year ago.