Posts Tagged “Washington potato shipments”

Average Volume for Onion Shipments Expected from Columbia Basin, Treasure Valley

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Average volume for onion shipments are expected this season from the Columbia Basin, as well as from Treasure Valley, according to extension personnel at Washington State University and Oregon State University.

With total acreage virtually unchanged from a year ago, yellow onions account for about 80% of total onion acreage. Red onions now account for 15% of total Columbia Basin onion acreage, with white onions totaling about 5%.

Columbia Basin’s early onion harvest will likely start in early August, with storage onions beginning at the end of August or early September. Onions will be harvested and put in storage through September and into October.

Most of Washington’s storage onions are grown in the Columbia Basin, with the majority planted in Grant, Franklin and Adams counties.

Onion acreage in the Columbia Basin shared by Oregon and Washington totals about 25,000 acres. Onion harvest begins in the region begins in the late summer and can extend into the fall. Storage onions can be marketed from storage for up to eight months.

Storage onion acreage in the eastern part of Oregon and southwest Idaho, called the Treasure Valley region, accounts for about 20,000 to 25,000 acres. 

Many onions in the Treasure Valley will be shipped to the East, while many of the Columbia Basin onions will move north and south, as well as to export markets.

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New Season for Washington Potatoes Just Getting Started

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The new fresh potato crop for Washington state is just getting under way and normal volume is seen for the 2022-23 season.

The Washington State Potato Commission of Moses Lake, WA reports the crop outlook is favorable.

Although the official acreage report has not been issued, Washington’s potato acreage is expected steady in a range from 165,000 to 170,000 acres.

Early varieties were slowed by a later season due to weather factors. Potato processors usually start shipping new crop potatoes around July 5, but even by mid July, early potato volume was more limited than usual.

Washington fresh potato grower-shippers were running out of potatoes in late May, as last year’s hot weather drove down yields about 10%. 


Washington shippers do not expect a gap between old crop and new crop potatoes, although there has been an escalation in pricing to ration supply.

Processing accounts for at least 90% of the Washington potato crop and that percentage continues to climb because of the demand for processed potato products.

The USDA reported that Washington’s growers in 2020 planted 80% russet varieties, compared with 84% in 2019 and 2018. The percentage of yellow varieties planted in Washington state accounted for 4% of the planted acreage, up from 2% in 2019 and 2018. The percentage of red varieties planted in Washington state in 2020 accounted for 6% of the total, up from 4% in 2019 and 5% in 2018.  The percentage of white potatoes planted in Washington state was 10% of the total in 2020, the same as 2019 and up from 9% in 2018.

Washington’s Skagit Valley is seeing a shift over time from red potato varieties to increased yellow-fleshed potato varieties.

The percentage of reds and yellows grown in the Skagit Valley now are roughly 50-50.

The growth in consumer demand for yellow-flesh potatoes has growers increasing acreage to meet demand.

Petite potatoes grown in eastern or central Washington were harvested starting in early July, followed by red and yellow potatoes later in July, followed by the first of the russet norkotah harvest by early August. Skagit Valley harvest will begin in September.

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Washington and Oregon Potato Shipments will be Down

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Northwest potato shipments will be down this season from Oregon due to drought, and from Washington state because of too much rain. The COVID-19 virus also plays a role.

Washington and Oregon rank second and third, respectively, among the 50 states in potato production, with processing accounting for as much as 90 percent of shipments. Demand is reported strong, for both processed and fresh product.

An estimated 80 to 85 of Oregon grown spuds go to processing, and the hard hit foodservice industry has affected all potato growers in the Northwest and the nation.

Riverside Potato Inc. of Merrill, OR reports no snow pack, and a lack of rain resulting in 300,000 to 330,000 acre feet of water being cut to 140,000. The result is the company estimating it will be down 30 to 35 percent in potato acreage in the valley this season.

Riverside will ship product from 200 to 250 acres this year, compared to 550 to 580 acres a year ago.

Wong Potatoes Inc. of Klamath Falls, OR reports drought conditions were worse than any since 2006. Last season, the operation planted over 900 acres, compared to this year, which totals a little over 600 acres.

To the north in the Columbia Basin, along the Washington-Oregon border, rainfall wasn’t a problem, but acreage likely will be down, according to Potandon Produce of Idaho Falls, ID.

Overall, Potandon sees its fresh potato loadings basically being down, although volume might be up slightly in August. However, September and October, product coming out of storage will definitely be up lower.

In Northwest Washington, Valley Pride Sales of Burlington, WA has had too much rain.

The USDA says production in 2019 totaled 11.6 million pounds, compared to 11.3 million in 2018. Potatoes in storage accounted for 17 percent of 2019 production, compared to 18 percent a year earlier.

Oregon production in 2019 totaled 2.82 million pounds, compared to 3.02 million in 2019. Potatoes in storage accounted for 14 percent, unchanged from the previous year.

Northwest region potatoes remaining to be shipped out of storage on June 1, 2020, totaled 5.3 billion pounds. 

June 1 potato stocks in Oregon totaled 403 million pounds. Shipments to date was 2.41 billion pounds. In Washington, June 1 potato in storage totaled 1.97 billion pounds. Loadings to date totaled 85.6 million cwt., or 9.6 billion pounds.

Nationally, the 13 major potato states held 7.5 billion pounds on June 1, 2020, down 4 percent from last year.

Potatoes in storage accounted for 16 percent of the states’ 2019 production, compared with 17 percent for a year earlier. 

Potato diggings have just got underway, which is normal.

Following Labor Day, growers will be putting some product in storage and still pack out of the field. Packing out of the field continues until October 10. Potandon will finish on a Friday, packing old crop, and start a new crop Monday or Tuesday and continue on with the crop out of the field. The company then switches into storage and continues to the next July.

South Basin Packing of Gresham, OR notes the crop is coming along for shipments to retailers, although foodservice is certainly down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Norman Nelson Inc. (Double-N Potatoes) of Mount Vernon, WA reports acreage in the Skagit Valley, whose season will start around September 1, appeared to be about normal. Acreage is expected to be similar to a year ago.






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Washington Potato Shipments are Underway; Plus Updates on Vidalia Onions and BC Blueberries

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DSCN9805Washington potato shipments for the new season are underway, while Vidalia onion loadings continue.  In British Columbia (BC), blueberry shipments are in peak volume.

Washington state’s potato season got underway in July with some early variety chipping varieties, followed by some colored varieties out of the Yakima Valley.  Then came some early processing spuds, followed by fresh market russets.

Fresh potato acerage in Washington has been stable at about 25,000 acres  for several years now.  Around 70 percent of the state’s potatoes are destined for export markets, comprised mostly of  processed products.   Most of Washington tablestock potatoes are shipped to Canada, Mexico and Taiwan. The state also has red potatoes coming out of the Skagit Valley.

While Washington potato sheds ship russets the year-round, its red, yellow and white potatoes usually are finished by March or April.

Vidalia Onion Shipments

Steady volume with Vidalia onions is expected to continue through Labor Day.  Truck shipments are expected to be very similar to last year’s total volume of 6.2 million 40-pound boxes, coming off of Southeastern Georgia’s nearly 12,000 acres,  As of July 26, there were still about 750,000 40-pound cartons of onions remaining in storage.

Bland Farms of Glennville, GA,  expects to be shipping Vidalia onions out of storage through late August or early September, with a smooth transition expected to Peruvian imports in September. Imported Peruvian onions will continue for the U.S. into early next year.

A little over 200 truck loads per week are being shipped out of the Vidalia district

Vidalia onions – grossing about $3000 to New York City.

BC Blueberry Shipments

British Columbia’s blueberry shipments should peak through August and could last into early September.  In a more normal year, most British Columbia “blues” would be shipped to markets in the Western U.S.  However, with East Coast blueberry volume slashed this year due to weather factors, more BC blueberries will be trucked into the Eastern Time Zone.  However, BC shipments could be off 30 to 50 percent this season due to poor pollination.  As the BC season closes around Labor Day, imports of blueberries from Peru and Argentina will start arriving at U.S. ports.




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Vegetable Shipments are Gearing Up with New Seasons in New York, Washington, Oregon

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nyvegNew York vegetable shipments are now moving to markets, while potato loads from the new crops for Washington and Oregon will be underway soon.

It was a drought in New York last year, but too much rain this year affecting vegetable shipments.  For example, Turek Farms of King Ferry, NY has left  a few hundred of its nearly 4,000 acres unplanted this year due to excessive rains.  The company’s s corn harvest is just getting underway to be followed by cabbage, broccoli and Brussels spouts.

Torrey Farms Inc. of Elba, NY grows about 14,000 acres and faces similar issues.  Torrey also grows cucumbers, green beans, yellow squash, cabbage, onions, potatoes and winter squash.

Meanwhile,  Eden Valley Growers of Eden, NY, just got started with sweet corn, cabbage, squash, cucumbers and beans.

New York shipped sweet corn in 2016 off of 26,600 acres, amounting to 2.5 million cwt.   Corn for the fresh market made up $44.6 million of a total crop value of $53 million.  Green bean shipments last year came off of  28,300 acres, for a total of nearly 2 million cwt.

New York’s vegetable shipments extend into late November and even early December for some crops.

Washington Potato Shipments

In 2016 Washington growers planted 170,000 acres of potatoes, with acreage and volumes expected to be similar this season.  The state typically ships about 10 billion pounds of potatoes each growing season.

Potandon Produce LLC of Idaho Falls, ID, will begin shipping russet and colored potatoes out of Osceola, WA later this month, while Norm Nelson Inc., of Burlington, WA expects to start loading spuds in September.

Washington’s Columbia Basin potato shipments – grossing about $3400 to Chicago.

Oregon Potato Shipments

Oregon potato shipments for the fresh market represents nearly 13 percent of  total production in the U.S.   Similar volume of about 2.5 billion pounds is seen for the upcoming season.

Strebin Farms LLC of  Troutdale, OR will pack the old storage crop through the end of July, before starting with the new crop in early August.  In similar fashion, Amstad Produce LLC, of Sherwood, OR also expects its  new potato crop to be ready after the first week of August.  The company will be shipping red and yellow potatoes August through the end of the year out of the Willamette Valley.




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Fewer NW Potato Shipments Expected this Season

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008Northwest potato shipments are predicted to be down this year, primarily due to drought.

Production for Idaho, the state with the biggest production, is forecast at 130 million cwt. That’s a two percent drop from the previous season’s production. Likewise, production for Washington potato shipments are forecast at 100 million cwt, which is only a one percent decline from last year. Oregon potato shipments are forecast at 21.8 million cwt, which is a three percent drop. Production for the Northwest region is forecast at 252 million cwt.
While harvested area remained static or grew this year for the top-three producing states, lower yields contributed to lighter production. Washington, with 4,000 more acres harvested in 2015 than in 2014, had yields that were 13 cwt per acre lower. Likewise, Washington, with 5,000 more acres, had yields that were 25 cwt per acre lighter. Though harvested acreage remained unchanged in Oregon, yields were down 20 cwt per acre from 2014.
Some potatoes are not storing as well as others and Norkotahs are believed to be the most affected by last summer’s heat.  Additionally, Burbanks can get misshapen tubers and can get too large, as a result of the heat.  Hopefully, there will be good storage management to ensure trucker’s will be hauling and delivering  good-quality product available through the storage season.
Washington’s Columbia Basin potatoes and onions – grossing about $5900 to Atlanta.
Twin Falls, Idaho potatoes – grossing about $5500 to New York City.

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Truck Shortages Reported from Major Potato Shipping Areas

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DSCN4648You know there’s a glut of potatoes available when you can go into your local supermarket and find a 10-pound bag of russets for $1.49, while a five-pound bag of the same spuds is selling for $2.47.  That means plenty of potatoes for hauling this season.  In fact, truck shortages are being reported in most of the major shipping areas, ranging from Idaho to Washington, Colorado and Wisconsin.

Idaho grows and ships about one-third of all U.S. potatoes each year.  The state’s 2014 harvest, which recently completed, yielded about 13 billion pounds of potatoes from a little over 320,000 acres.   That is enough potatoes to fill 500 football stadiums 10 feet high.

Idaho potato shipments should be pretty normal this season.  Known for its russet potatoes,  over the past decade, growers have diversified and now have an assortment of specialty potato varieties.  The state is the number one shipper of fingerling potatoes, and Idaho is now the number two shipper of red potatoes.

Twin Falls, Idaho potatoes – grossing about $6000 to New York City.

U.S., Canada Potatoes

About 508 million cwt. of potatoes potentially will be shipped in the U.S. and Canada this season, 2 percent more than last  season. U.S. fall production is estimated at 406 million cwt., Canadian production at 102 million cwt.  The U.S. total is 3 percent higher than in Fall 2013. Canada’s production is down 1 percent.  Production is up in the U.S. even though acreage is down. About 926,000 acres were harvested this fall, down from 934,000 acres last fall. Yields rose, however — from 425 cwt. to 439 cwt. per acre. Harvested acreage in Canada fell from 351,000 acres to 342,000 acres. Yields rose from 292 cwt. to 298 cwt. per acre.

San Luis Valley, Colorado potato shipments – grossing about $2700 to Atlanta.

Columbia Basin, Washington potato shipments – grossing about $3000 to Chicago.

Stevens Point, Wisconsin potato shipments – grossing about $3400 to Dallas.




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How Much will NW Weather Adversely Affect Potato, Onion Shipments?

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DSCN3868+1Heat and drought the Northwest raises question about how potato and onion shipments may be affected this season.

Oregon potato shippers, as well as those in Washington are in wait-and-see mode following a heat wave that hit the Pacific Northwest in July.  It may reduce potential fall harvest yield – and ultimately shipments.  Some temperatures hit 108 degress F.

The plants just shut down during the day and stop growing. It’s still too early to tell how this heat will impact the fall crop.

Oregon has a total of 38,000 acres planted in potatoes.   Of this total, 17 percent is planted to fresh potatoes.  The 2014 fresh volume should be comparable to last year.  However, the Klamath area may be down slightly.

Far eastern Oregon/Malheur County is extremely short on water.  Acres were reduced and moved to locations closer to irrigation water sources. Most of the region was out out or extremely reduced of water by the end of July.

While onion production continues in the area, Brewer said there will be no fresh potatoes moving into the pipeline. “Some land was left idle this spring to lengthen season,” he commented.

Eighty percent of Oregon’s potatoes are shipped outside the Beaver State, heavy volume going to Canada, Mexico and Korea.

Washington Potato Shipments

In Washington state, it is estimated 165,000 acres have been planted.   Abouty 13-15 percent of that would go to the fresh market.

Washington state. Washington state potato growers have the highest yields in the world and historically have averaged around 60,000 pounds per acre.

Treasure Valley Onion Shipments

Treasure Valley onions in Eastern Oregon and Western Idaho started shipping about two weeks ago and now are providing some volume for produce haulers.

While acreage is up around two to three percent this season, whether that translates into more loading opportunities remains up in the air.  Some shippers are facing more problems with drought than others.



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Washington Blueberry Shipments Soar; Plus Updates on Other Western Shipping States

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DSCN3296+1There has been a tremendous increase in Washington state blueberry shipments in recent years.  We’ll also look at some potato loading opportunities in the Western half of the United States.

Washington Blueberry Shipments

Blueberry shipments have increased nearly five-fold over the past eight years.  Check out these numbers.

2006    18.4 million pounds

2007    28.5 million pounds

2010    60 million pounds

2013     80 million pounds

2014    projected at 90 million pounds

Washington is fourth in U.S. blueberry production with 10,000 acres of berries from 175 growers   The state’s blueberry season runs from June through August while processed ‘blues’ are available year round.   Washington blueberries are grown in Skagit, Clark, Lewis, Snohomish, Thurston, Whatcom, Chelan, Yakima and Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla, and Grant Counties.

Washington/Oregon potatoes

The majority of Washington potato shipments  are now underway with a similar time frame  as last year.

Oregon potato shipments will suffer due to an expected a decline of  about 700 acres this season,  but water concerns will likely affect even more shipments.   Water availability is a concern in both Malheur County and the Klamath Basin,  and yields most likely will be affected.

Colorado Potato Shipments

In southeastern Colorado, San Luis Valley potato acreage is up 8.5 percent this season.  Total acreage is  54,200, compared to 49,700 last season.  The harvest and shipments will start in earnest around September 10th.

Colorado potatoes – grossing about $1650 to Dallas.

Washington produce – grossing bout $1050 to Los Angeles.

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Plenty of Potato Shipments Continue from the US and Canada

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HPspudsTotal potato loadings from U.S. shipping areas are expected to be down five percent for the 2013-14 shipping season, but spud haulers shouldn’t really notice a difference, since it is such a large crop.  A similar sitution exists with Canadian potato shipments.

Overall, the two countries combined means there are only three percent fewer potatoes for loading in North America.  The total is still a huge 501 million cwt. (per hundred weight).

Of that amount, about 398 million cwt. of  the potatoes will be shipped from U.S. production areas than the previous season, according to USDA statistics.  Canada will provide about 103 million cwt. of loads, two percent more than the previous year.

The U.S. had about 942,000 acres of potatoes planted, down from about 1 million acres the year before.  However, yields rose from 423 cwt to 427 cwt per acre.   Acreage also was down in Canada but yields were up significantly, rising from 274 cwt to 292 cwt per acre.

Here’s a glimpse at a few of the major potato shipping states.

Idaho Potato Shipments –  The state ships a lot of spuds by rail, but trucks still transport the majority of the loads.  Most pick ups orginate from the Upper Valley and the Twin Falls – Burley District.  Idaho is averaging around 1,650 truckload equivalents of potatoes being loaded each week.

You should gross about $4350 to Atlanta.

Colorado Potato Shipments – The San Luis Valley is averaging nearly 700 truck loads of potatoes per week.

You should gross about $4100 to New York City.

Wisconsin Potato Shipments – Most loads are originating from shippers within a 50 mile radius or so of Stevens Point in the Central part of the state.

You should gross around  $1400 to Cleveland.

Washington Potato Shipments

Spud loadings are originating out of the Columbia Basin and just across the state line in Oregon’s Umatilla Basin.  There’s about 325 loads of potatoes a week soming out of here.  They are also shipping even more onions than spuds – about 800 loads a week.

You should gross about $3000 to Chicago.









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