Fresh/ Table

Strong demand for potatoes pushing prices higher, says Wisconsin and Idaho growers

Domestic supplies of potatoes in the US are tight and prices are slightly up.

“It’s pretty tight in Wisconsin given the harvest we had. We had a really challenging growing season and an even more challenging harvest season, so supplies are down,” says Andy Diercks of Coloma Farms, Inc. in Coloma, Wi. “What’s available for supplies on the fresh side is also working through some storage issues.”

After a cold and wet spring, a typical growing summer in Wisconsin followed but was then finished by a mix of weather into early storage season. “It was hot for 10 days and then it rained for three weeks and then it froze,” Diercks says. “It was across the spectrum from processors to little potatoes to fresh potatoes—everybody has had issues related to either the wet or the freezing weather. We left eight to nine per cent of the crop in the ground which was unheard of for us.”

Meanwhile in Idaho, overall volume of potatoes looks similar to last year’s supplies. However, sizing issues have emerged somewhat. “Norkotahs have been smaller. Growing conditions this summer were optimal for them—it may have gotten a little too hot for them so they might have not finished like they normally would have,” says Ryan Wahlen of Pleasant Valley Potato in Aberdeen, Id.

Read the full report on FreshPlaza