EEUU: Northwest region potato stocks at 4,420,000 tons
Potato stocks in Idaho on April 1, 2018 totaled 2,540,000 tons, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. April 1 potato stocks in Oregon totaled 355,000 tons. In Washington, April 1 potato stocks totaled 1,524,000 tons.
Nationally, the 13 major potato states held 6.81 million tons of potatoes in storage on April 1, 2018. This was up 2 percent from April 1, 2017. Potatoes in storage accounted for 33 percent of the fall storage States’ 2017 production, 1 percentage point more than last year.Idaho Farm Bureau Federation President Brian Searle was recently elected as the president of the Federation. In an article on aginfo.net, he talks about the Idaho potato situation.“We’ve had really wet weather this spring. We didn’t have winter in Southeast Idaho until February. So we’ve been extremely muddy and its backed up grain planting. Our tractors are rolling now, we’re finally planting grain and I know potato planters are getting ready to get hooked up. I think in the next 10 days a lot of those potato planters will start putting potato seed in the ground and we’ll do that the rest of this month.”“Potato prices have always been like a yo-yo, it’s always up and down and it is a gamble. We started out the season with decent prices, above break-even and then we hit January February and March. That’s when we started to see a heavy shift and depressed prices. Today’s markets are below production and some 20 percent below production costs, I’m hopeful that’ll turn around. We’ve had an interesting year and definitely, a yo-yo year.”“At harvest, there were some $8 to 8.50 market prices. Today we’re at the $6-6.50 dollar range for good Russett Burbanks that are packing out in a good way. In the summer I think we will see some strength but that all depends on how many potatoes we have. It’s a guessing game, we do our estimates and then we ship and it seems like some years we make a short year, longer depending on what’s really there and shipped out.”He also addressed the tariff situation, saying: “Any time you enter into a trade war it’s going to affect us and it’s going to affect certain areas we don’t know the full extent of the latest round of tariffs. China is our biggest concern right with the tariffs being assessed there now. Then the backing off of tariffs with Canada and Mexico it was a great move by President Trump, so there are things we need to do, but maybe in a more tactful way because it is going to hurt people and agricultural areas - it’s a game of dominos for us.”