Wisconsin Potato Shipments Could be Affected by Frost; Red River Valley is Barely Underway

Wisconsin Potato Shipments Could be Affected by Frost; Red River Valley is Barely Underway


Volume in terms of hundredweight is expected to be down only slightly for Wisconsin potatoes shipments this season.  Meanwhile, the Red River Valley has very limited potato shipments at this point.

Wisconsin’s potato shipments are expected be off about 5 percent this season from a year amounting to 27 million hundredweight (cwt) the 2017 18 growing. storage and shipping season.  The 2016=17 fresh volume totaled 28.5 million cwt.

Due to a late weather related planting, growers will be leaving the potatoes in the ground as long as possible to give time to gain size.  This resulted in diggings getting underway September 11th instead of September. 1st.  Updated forecasts will be needed as growers are rolling the dice a bit as the latter harvest increases the change of a damaging frost.  Wisconsin’s potato farmers normally complete harvest by October. 10th.   Digging of potatoes this fall could continue as late as October 20 to gain as much growing time as possible for a product that is gauged by weight.  Thus, growers are praying for a late frost.

Russet potatoes currently make up about 70 percent of potato shipments in the U.S., followed by red potatoes that have increase to 20 percent and yellow potatoes amounting 10 percent.  Russets also continue make up the biggest volume of Wisconsin potato shipments.

How Wisconsin  Potato Volume Ranks
Wisconsin is the nation’s third-largest potato shipping state, and ranks number one No. 1 east of the Mississippi River.  Frito Lay has become a big presence in the Badger State and accounts for 25 percent of Wisconsin’s potatoes shipped for the processing market.  Another 10 percent of the state’s potatoes are shipped as seed.

Red River Valley Potato Shipments

Shipments haven’t really ramped up yet but red potatoes from the nation’s largest “red” production region have got underway.  While red potatoes continue to grow in popularity, about 18 percent of the Valley’s fresh potato production will be yellows this fall, a number that has tripled in the last six years.