Cultivation/Production, North America, Trade/Markets/Prices, Trends

Fewer potatoes emerging from the 2018 US crop

Supplies of potatoes look to be lower this year across the U.S. “It appears we’re going to have a short supply of potatoes this year which we haven’t had in a long time,” says Ken Gad of South Easton, MA-based Cambridge Farms Inc.

Gad notes that potatoes across the country have come in in uneven amounts. “We have a lot of potatoes out West, so from Idaho, Oregon, Washington,” he says, adding that Idaho potatoes came in with a large size profile this season.

“In the Midwest, North Dakota lost a percentage to frost that they didn’t get out of the ground in time. And part of what they harvested could have issues. Wisconsin has a lot of potatoes but they were planted in bad conditions, and harvested in even worse conditions. Excessive rains and cold during harvest affected a very large percentage of their crop. Issues such as water rot and freeze damage are showing in their storage facilities.”

Gad notes another indicator of a potential shorter supply—that buyers who normally buy red potatoes from North Dakota in January have already been turning to the state for red potatoes.

Meanwhile in Canada, he says Quebec, New Brunswick and PEI were not able to complete harvest before wet and cold weather moved in. Several thousand acres have been left in those fields as well.

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