Fresh Potato and Onion Crop and Market Report 10/16/17

Potatoes

Idaho: Potato demand has picked up in Idaho and prices are increasing, especially on consumer packs and smaller sized cartons. Look for prices to be stronger this season than last year’s crop. Yields will be down from last year and some storages aren’t filling up. Harvest will finish up by the end of this week. Quality seems to be good but I’m hearing there could be some off type in the Burbanks. Harvest will finish up by the end of this week.

Washington: Harvest is going well and will finish up within the next two weeks. Overall quality is excellent. The Norkotah crop has better size than in the past, but acreage is down statewide with yields off a bit.

Colorado: Demand and quality are good and prices are firming up. Harvest should be complete by the end of this week. Yields are off from last year with some storages not filling up. Expect prices this season to be higher than last.

Wisconsin: Shippers are becoming bullish, look for carton prices to increase $1-$2 per case this week. Consumer prices will also move higher. Harvest should be complete by this coming weekend. Look for a strong market throughout the season. Quality is average with some hollow heart being reported and yields are down.

Overall, supplies will be a lot tighter than last year with prices firming up in all four states. Garnand will help you with your potato purchases, finding you the best product for the best prices. Let us do the leg work for you!

Transportation

Freight rates in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington continue to be high. Demand for trucks is high and with all the new crops shipping from these locations. It has created a buyer’s market. That will change at some point in October as freight eases up, but the holidays are right around the corner which will see an immediate repeat in a few short weeks.

Expect rates to be a bit higher than last year due to increased fuel costs that we have seen due to the hurricanes in Texas and Florida.

Click here to see our special report on the ELD Mandate and how it may affect transportation in the coming months. A bumpy transition is expected for mid-December when the mandate goes into effect.

Onions

Idaho/E. Oregon: As we move through harvest, it’s become obvious that the overall size of the crop is smaller, only 70% are 3–1/2" or larger. Second, yields are going to vary due to late planting and the weather during the summer. The general feeling is that yields are 30% below normal and as much as 50% below last season. Some areas are a bit better but based on what we are seeing, these figures seem to be average.

Washington: Harvest is in full production and nearing completion. Yields are average with size being a bit smaller than normal. We expect large onions to remain high with little or no price variance. Mediums will be more plentiful and we expect to see wider swings in their pricing.

Utah: Harvest has just finished. The crop looks good; yields are down a bit with nice size with more mediums than jumbos. Look for the market to follow other western states. Quality on the Utah onions is excellent–overall they’ve had a very good harvest season.

Colorado: Like everything in the west, size seems to vary greatly in Colorado. Yields are up and down. Quality looks good and the harvest is moving forward. Market prices are stable.

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