North America, Storage, Trade/Markets/Prices

US: Big crops, trucking woes hurting spud prices

043018.AG.RRVPotatoShipping04.jpgA big 2017 crop of tablestock potatoes and trucking woes have led to lower prices and concerns about how northern Red River Valley storage sheds still filled with spuds will be emptied in coming weeks. “In June, we’ll have a feel for it,” says Paul Dolan, general manager and chief executive officer for Associated Potato Growers in Grand Forks, of the storage situation. He calls the situation a “perfect storm” of market consequences. Associated Potato handles about 30 percent of the valley’s “fresh” or tablestock potatoes and is the largest player in the regional market. High yields in the Red River Valley last year were followed by a near-record crop in Florida that have helped drive prices down. Truck driver shortages and a new electronic logging system for driver hours have exacerbated the marketing challenge for potatoes in the Red River Valley and elsewhere. A strong economy overall has meant more competition for trucking and drivers. More

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