Cultivation/Production, Trends

Smaller crop, growing exports brighten U.S. spud outlook

Wada Farms loads fresh Russet Norkotah potatoes on Aug. 23 in Fort Hall, Idaho. Potato growers recently received some welcome news in reports finding the marketing year ending in June 2016 was the second best for foreign exports on record, and that the size of their current crop should be smaller.U.S. potato growers should have a smaller crop and strengthened export demand as they start to market their 2016 harvest, according to new reports. Recent estimates by United Potato Growers of America’s Supply-Demand Committee place the 2016-2017 crop at about 2 million hundredweight shorter than last year. Furthermore, a new USDA report concludes the marketing year that ended in June 2016 was the second best on record for foreign potato exports, following a down export year. Key growing areas have reported their spuds are a week or two ahead in growth, but tuber sets have been lower, according to UPGA. The exceptions may be in Red River Valley, as well as central and east Canada, where challenging weather could hurt both quality and yields, according to UPGA. More

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