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Industry sets expectations for Idaho, U.S. potato crops

The transition from old crop to new crop potatoes is taking place right now, and two potato industry observers report that expected reduced fresh shipments during the 2021-22 marketing year should provide a firm market.

As Tom Karst reports in a news story for The Packer, acreage is expected to be up slightly, but yields will be down for Idaho growers this year, said Mark Klompien, president and CEO of the United Potato Growers of America. Along with Klompien, Rick Shawver, CEO of the United Potato Growers of Idaho,  spoke to attendees of the Idaho Grower Shippers Association 93rd annual convention on Sept. 1 about the Idaho and U.S. potato crop outlook.

Klompien said the group’s shipping forecast for the U.S. fresh potato crop is 88 million cwt., 1.9 million cwt. less than the 2020-21 crop. Idaho is expected to ship about 32 million cwt.  of russets, about 1.8 million cwt. down from a year ago and the lowest shipment total in about six years.

According to Klompien, the past 18 months presented unusual circumstances for the industry. The pandemic, which started mid-March 2020, slowed down sales and pulled down grower prices during a year when supplies were tight, and prices were on the high side.

For the 2020-21 season, Klompien said that fresh potato pricing seems to be finding stable footing this fall.

Source: The Packer. Full story here
Photo: Blair Richardson, president and CEO of Potatoes USA, (left) visits on Sept. 3 with Mark Klompien, president and CEO of the United Potato Growers of America at the Idaho Grower Shippers Association 93rd annual convention. Courtesy The Packer.

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