Published online: Oct 12, 2010 Potato Harvesting, Seed Potatoes, Potato Equipment
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Probably no factor is more important in determining a fresh grower's financial return than total area planted to potatoes. We witnessed this past year that, although fresh market shipments increased slightly more than four million hundredweight from areas that report to the USDA Market News Service, prices declined far more than this extra volume would suggest.

The main driver behind this phenomenon was likely the vast quantity of potatoes that could not find a home in any of the traditional fresh or processing markets throughout the country.

For instance, in Idaho alone, an extra six to seven million hundredweight likely went for livestock feed or found no home at all, compared to the year before.

For this reason, it is important that the Potato Marketing Association of North America chapter in your area is armed with strong member support and clear data on the processing needs by the plants in your area to make sure the right number of acres is planted to meet the needs of the processors.

United will be working with its chapters to review the fresh market shipping levels appropriate for long-term economic stability based on production costs and grower returns. United grower participation in these discussions and meetings over the next few weeks and months is welcomed.