Summary by North American Potato Market News
Expect fewer potato shipments from the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota this season.
North Dakota- Growers abandoned 15,000 acres of North Dakota’s 2019 potato crop. That is 1,000 acres more than the November estimate. In addition, USDA reduced its estimate of the state’s average yield to 350 cwt per acre from 355 cwt. That reduced the 2019 crop estimate to 20.30 million cwt, a 645,000 cwt decline. The 2019 crop is down 3.43 million cwt, or 14.4 percent, from the 2018 crop (largest percentage drop in the country). Some of the crop was compromised during harvest, which will result in additional storage losses.
Minnesota – Production is estimated at 18.04 million cwt. That is 665,000 cwt, or 3.6 percent less than Minnesota’s 2018 crop. Minnesota is the only state whose 2019 crop estimate was not adjusted in January. That is a major shift from recent years when USDA has made massive adjustments to the state’s crop estimate.
U.S. Fall Crop – The total U.S. fall crop was adjusted upwards by 439,000 cwt. which is just a 0.1 percent increase. Even with that, the total U.S. fall crop is down nearly 9 million cwt. compared to 2018, or 2.1 percent.