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US: Potato prices strengthening

Potato harvestTight supplies are pushing potato prices higher, but those better prices probably won’t last long. “I think we are coming into a crunch time for potatoes,” said Bruce Huffaker with North American Potato Market News. That’s good news for potato growers who have seen relatively flat prices at near cost of production levels for the last five years. “We are running up against a situation where Russet potato supplies are getting tight,” Huffaker said. As a result, Russet table potato prices are 50 percent higher than this time last year. Huffaker expects competition for Russets may get fierce before the 2018 crop is harvested. “It’s going to be hard to come up with enough potatoes,” Huffaker said. But he also expects this to be a short-term market crunch that will likely resolve itself by harvest. He is concerned that growers who didn’t plant potatoes last year and are faced with low grain and hay prices will be tempted to plant more potatoes. More