Potato shipments should be strong during the holidays and well into 2019, despite bad weather in some growing regions and an overall reduction in production.
Potatoes USA of Denver is the marketing organization for the 2,500 commercial potato growers operating in the United States. It reports overall shipments may be slightly below last year, which was the period July 2017 to July 2018.
It believes shipments to foodservice and retail chains will continue to grow this year.
Potandon Produce of Idaho Falls, Idaho reports excessive rain hit many potato growers, particularly in Wisconsin, and Michigan, while there has been an early snow season in North Dakota. Meanwhile, Colorado, Texas, Idaho and Washington were experiencing good-sized crops.
The Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association of Antigo reports the state’s potato shipments may be down 10 to 15 percent, which would mean a total production of just over 2.3 billion pounds — down from about 2.6 billion last year.
In Grand Forks, N.D., Black Gold Farms reduced its acreage slightly this year because the company had too many potatoes last year.
Black Gold Farms grows and ships norland and dark norland potatoes for the early season, red potatoes for mid-season and the sangre variety for late season.
The company is now shipping a few more yellow potatoes.
Mountain King Potato of Monte Vista, CO., is reporting excellent quality and average yields.
Mack Farms of Lake Wales, FL has planted mostly red potatoes and some gold and white varieties. It will begin harvesting in early February, and is the first Florida operation to ship new potatoes to market. The company does not ship potatoes out of storage.
Most South Florida potato growers are expected to have about the same acreage as last year.
Russet potatoes continue to be the variety most widely shipped, but they continue to decline each year with the increasing popularity of red and gold potatoes.