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Idaho russet prices have halved in six weeks

After a lively start to the Idaho russet potato harvest, the market has fallen dramatically as supplies come on strongly. Prices have fallen by half since the start of August and growers are discounting to help move stock. Quality is excellent however, which has become both a blessing and a problem. There are so many top grade potatoes around that the sub grade supply is short, leaving shippers with no choice but to move some of the top grade potatoes into the sub grade category to help balance the market.

“We started our new Norkota crop on August 6,” said Colin Gibson of 20/20 Produce Sales. “Since the start of the harvest season, prices have fallen from $14 to $7. Everyone is hitting the new Norkota crop hard and entering the market. We are running so hard as a state that all the coolers are full and there has been considerable discounting in order to move product.”

It’s been a pretty warm summer in Idaho, but nothing that has caused any detrimental effects on the potato crop. Gibson went on to share that observing what happens in Western Idaho is a good indicator of what will occur for Eastern Idaho, which is typically one or two weeks behind. “Yields might be off a little this year although it is still early to tell,” he said. Read more