Heavy rains followed by freezing cold weather created the perfect storm during the growing and harvest season in the Red River Valley. As a result, fresh potato shipments from North Dakota and Minnesota could be slashed by more than 50 percent.
With the close of October , the Red River Valley potato harvest was basically shot down.
The Northern Plain Potato Growers Association in East Grand Forks, MN reports there were several days of freezing temperatures, probably ruining in potatoes left in the fields.. Industry observers are estimating shipments may down down by 45 to 55 percent. Additionally shipments could be over sometime in February, weeks ahead of a more normal season.
Shippers are expected to take care of their long-standing customers first, Some packing sheds are operating at partial capacity and running only a few days a week.
The Red River Valley accounted for about 25 percent of the U.S. red potato shipments last season.