While russets remain king as a percentage of total pounds, we have seen a slight shift in the volume. Russets share declined 1.2 points, while red, yellow and specialty increased their share of the volume. White variety shares also continued to decline.
Current Crop Status
There appears to be sufficient russet storage potatoes to make it to new crop, but that is dependent upon the storages holding up. Several growing areas are seeing reductions in pack-outs due to quality issues. The most prevalent issues appear to be silver scurf and pressure bruising. However, supplies in several areas will be “tight” in the period from mid-July through August.
In a trend that started in q3 and q4 of last year, yellows have had record volumes YTD and are in short supply. The supply will likely be very tight until new crop. The same situation exists on Red potatoes. Carefully review your promotion plans and maintain a presence in your ad circulars — now is not the time for deep discounting or BOGOs.
Very early reports indicate that the 2013/2014 planted acres will be down 50k acres +/-. However, the majority of those acres are related to processing and should not impact the fresh market.
While a few regions had planting delays due to weather, there is still sufficient time to have a good crop. There “could be” some delays getting into new crop. The only exceptions could be North Dakota, parts of Minnesota and Maine, where weather-related planting delays could impact yields. This is especially true in North Dakota.