US Potato Prices Spike Due to Gap in Supply
US potato prices are soaring due to weather complications in potato growing regions and a gap in supply. Tight potato supply this summer has been the result of quality issues due to storage problems in Idaho as well as weather in Washington and Wisconsin taking its toll on potato planting.
Delayed growing in Washington and Wisconsin is causing the typical potato supply from the states to come on late.
Washington was supposed to begin harvest around August 12th, growers tell AndNowUKnow, but the date is being pushed back a couple weeks as the potatoes are not sizing up on schedule. If potatoes encounter heat in the last two or three weeks of the growing period the heat will stunt the growth of the tubers. Potatoes that experience heat in the 90s and 100s during the day, need evening temperatures to decrease in the low 70's to promote continued growth or they will not size up accordingly.
Wisconsin potatoes went into the ground two or three weeks later this season as April and May brought record low temperatures, snow, and rain. Market prices are really high right now, growers tell us, with reds as high as $60 per CWT. and Wisconsin and Idaho Russets up around $35. Whites and yellows are also taking a hit. Around August 10th is usually when Wisconsin begins to harvest but most growers probably won't start harvesting till the 25th. A few growers are taking advantage of the market and have begun harvesting already even though potatoes aren't as large or mature. Those potato growers in Wisconsin are willing to sacrifice a little on yield to get the high price. Killing the russets now will allow the growers to tap into these prices.
Stay tuned to AndNowUKnow for updates on the market.