Posts Tagged “potato shipments”

Potato Shipments Exceed Volume from Last Year in 4 Areas, But Down in Others

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By North American Potato Market News

According to the USDA, January Yellow potato shipments climbed 25.8% above 2023 movement, to a record 819,000 cwt. Strong movement from Idaho, the San Luis Valley, the Red River Valley, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Kern County contributed to January’s Yellow potato sales growth.

January Red potato movement exceeded 2023 shipments by 24,000 cwt, or 4.0%. Increased sales from Kern County, Central Minnesota, the Red River Valley, and the Klamath Basin offset reduced shipments from the Columbia Basin, Idaho, Wisconsin, and Maine.

For all types, (red, yellow and russet), The Red River Valley showed a 12% increase in January 2024 shipments over January 2023.

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A Lot More Potato Shipments are Seen for the 2023-24 Season

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Growers estimate 12.7 percent more acres were planted in Idaho this year compared to last.

There will be enough supply to meet demand through the rest of the 2023-24 season due to higher yields, according to Markon Cooperative of Salinas, CA, in a press release.

The North American Potato Market News reported growers produced 434.22 million cwt. of potatoes this season, about 35.48 million cwt. more than 2022 (cwt. is the abbreviation for hundredweight, which is roughly 100 pounds).

The warm summer months contributed to excellent quality and a high pack-out of No. 1 quality potatoes.

40- through 50-count potatoes will remain limited; 90- through 100-count will be readily available throughout the season.

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Potato Shippers Looking to Stretch Supplies to Avoid Running out of Product

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USDA estimates harvested acreage in the U.S. for 2022 at 902,200 acres. That’s down from 935,700 in 2021, which itself had fewer shipments.

Many U.S. potato grower-shippers in 2023 are stretching their volume to last through the season.

Th Idaho Potato Commission of Eagle Idaho notes growers are shipping less in attempting to have supplies last through June and July.

O.C. Schulz & Sons Inc., Crystal, N.D. has an excellent crop this season of which 65% are red potatoes, but wishes it had more, especially with the strong demand and markets.

NoKota Packers Inc., Buxton, N.D., also reports a good crop, but would certainly like to have bigger volume this season.

Wada Farms Marketing Group, Idaho Falls, Idaho reports a good quality crop, but is bee care to be sure and manage it effectively to make supplies last throughout the storage season.

J.G. Hall & Sons of Hoople, ND reports a great crop this season with their storage bins being full.

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U.S. Potato Shipments Predicted Down; ND, Wash Up, While Idaho is Off

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The North American Potato Market News (NAPMN) recently forecasted North Dakota and Washington as the only two states that will have significant increases in potato shipments this fall. The report shows North Dakota’s production to be up 1.8 million hundredweight (cwt.) and Washington’s production to be up about 6 million cwt. Harvested acres are expected to be up significantly in both states.

The national scene is much different however, NAPMN is forecasting U.S. production at 402.1 million cwt. which would be down about 7.7 million cwt. compared to 2021. Idaho is forecast to lead all states with the largest decrease in production; down 11.9 million cwt. compared to last year. Idaho planted 290,000 fewer acres to potatoes this spring.

Wada Farms Marketing Group of Idaho Falls, ID concluded its potato harvest several weeks ago, with quality looking very good for the 2022/23 season.

It has acreage similar to last season, with yields a little higher. Quality is reported very good, although sizing of the crop is a mixed bag depending on what field they came from.

Wada Farms has been a family-run company for over 80 years, and grows more than 30,000 acres, of which about a third of that is in potatoes. 

The company started with russets but has added colored potatoes, chippers and other specialty potatoesl as well as organic potatoes.

Wada Farms is monitoring its crop and shipping schedule to have supply until next crop becomes available in August of 2023. With limited supplies, a strong market is seen all season.  There will be a lot of outside factors that the potato industry will have to contend with such as fryers and dehydrators and what they may do to upset the market.

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U.S. Potato Shipments Should be Similar to the Past Season

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U.S. potato shipments for the 2021-22 shipping season is forecast by the USDA to be down slightly compared a year ago, according to the agency’s November crop production report.

The USDA notes U.S production of potatoes for the 2021 crop year is forecast at 413 million cwt., down 2% from 420.02 million cwt. produced last season.

Planted acreage, at 951,000 acres, is up 1% from the June estimate and up 4% from last season.  Potato area harvested, at 942,300 acres, is up 3% from the previous year, while the yield forecast, at 438 cwt per acre, is down 23 cwt. from last year’s yield. 

Idaho’s forecast is  132.09 million cwt., down 2% from 134.77 million cwt. last year. Yields in Idaho were 420 cwt. per acre, off 7% from 450 cwt. per acre last year.

Washington’s output is 93.3 million cwt., down 6% from 99.65 million cwt. last year. Yields in Washington were 585 cwt per acre, off 9% from 645 cwt. per acre last year.

The potato production estimate in North Dakota is 21.0 million cwt., down 12% from last year.

Idaho potato freight rates are up anywhere from 25 to 40 percent over last week, depending on destination. Idaho Falls to Atlanta, grossing about $7200.

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A Look at the Top 5 Potato Shipping Regions

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Moving into summer the focus on produce trucking tends to be with hot weather items such as cherries, other stone fruit, and salad items. Still there are a good amount of “cold” weather potatoes still being shipped, although almost entire from 5 states.

Idaho is shipping over 1800 truck load equivalents per weeks, while the other four shipping areas are shipping a little over 1600 truck loads weekly combined: San Luis Valley, Colorado, 595; Kern District, California, 420; Columbia Basin in Washington and adjacent Umatilla Basin in Oregon, about 400 but in a seasonal decline; and finally, Central Wisconsin about 200 and also in a seasonal decline.

With a total volume of 3.9 billion pounds, Idaho accounts for 37.5 percent of the total supply, with Colorado, 15.3 percent; Canada 10 percent; Washington 7 percent; Wisconsin 6.3 percent; and Florida with 4.8 percent.
All these regions make 80 percent of the total market supply. Canada has had explosive growth in potato shipments. Last year this region only supplied 77 million pounds compared to the 387 million in 2020.

San Luis Valley potatoes – grossing about $2200 to Chicago.

Twin Falls potatoes – grossing about $5600 to New York City.


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Red and Yellow Potato Loadings Underway in Texas

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By Black Gold Farms

Pearsall, TX – Black Gold Farms began colored potato shipments of the 2019 fresh crop from Texas last week.

Texas grown red and yellow potatoes will ship from Pearsall, TX as well Black Gold Farms’ Arbyrd, MO packing facility until early June. After that, Black Gold Farms will transition to their Missouri fresh colored potato crop that will pack and ship out of the Arbyrd location for the summer.

The first run fields have indicated that the quality will be better than ever. Steve Wright, Farm Manager of the Pearsall farm says, “I’m really excited to be digging our fresh red and yellow spuds. I’ve seen a lot of really good-looking potatoes come out of this area year after year – and this particular season, I’m especially excited.” Wright recognizes that optimal weather, timing, variety and land selection as triggers that set up the season for success.

Keith Groven, Sales Manager at Black Gold Farms explains, “Getting into fresh crop for the year is always exciting – for us at the farm and for our customers. Retailers are thrilled to get their hands on fresh, red and yellow potatoes.” Black Gold Farms recently finished up a strong storage season out of their North Dakota location.

Texas is a prime example of where local makes a difference. Black Gold Farms has truly leveraged that consumer demand for local potatoes. “Texas retailers particularly, have witnessed the demand that Texas-grown colored potatoes can create. A lot of product can move when consumers know it’s local” Groven remarks.


Black Gold Farms is a fourth-generation family farm and grower, shipper, marketer of all types of Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, and other commodities. They have an extensive network of farm locations throughout the United States, and are headquartered in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

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California Potato Shipments are Underway by Cal-Organic

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A new crop of potato shipments are now underway with both red and gold varieties from Cal-Organic Farms of Bakersfield, CA.

The organic potatoes will be followed by russet and rainbow fingerling varieties, also organic, in June.

The company is harvesting the red and gold potatoes in California’s desert region and will move to Kern County in late May, when harvest of the company’s complete portfolio of potatoes will begin, according to a news release.

Cal-Organic, a division of Grimmway Farms, will ship potatoes through October.

“We are anticipating outstanding quality and consistent supply to launch our fresh crop potato program,” Bob Borda, vice president of organic sales at Grimmway Farms, said in the release.

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Potato Shipments have Small Decline Last half of 2018

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Russets, which easily lead the spud category in volume, experienced a drop in potato shipments the last six months of 2018.

Although there was small increase in fresh potato sales during this period, the decline in russet volume dragged the overall fresh potato category down in volume.

Potatoes USA of Denver, CO, the nation’s potato marketing and research organization, reports fresh sales were up 1.3 percent, but shipments of russets, which make up two-thirds of the category, dropped 7.3 percent. That resulted to a decline of fresh potato volume of 4.3 percent. Overall fresh sales were $769.3 million, almost $1 million more than sales in the same quarter a year ago.

The average price-per pound of all varieties rose from 64 cents to 68 cents.

Smaller pack sizes saw a small decline in volume (although dollar sales for 1- to 4-pound packs rose 3.8percent), but the industry moved more 8-pound bags and in the bulk category. Eight-pound packs were up 4.6 percent in sales and 0.5 percent in volume. Bulk sales saw a 1.4 perent drop, with a volume increase of 0.8 percent.

According to the report, which uses data from IRI, fresh sales of yellow potatoes, which contribute 11.6 percent of the overall volume of varieties, were up 4.8 percent.

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U.S. Potato Shipments are Looking Good Well into 2019

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A21aPotato 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.

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