BusinessMarket News

Market News


[deck]While total storage holdings are up, fresh pricing hasn’t changed much from the same period a year ago.[/deck]

MARCH FIGURES for storage holdings from the United Potato Growers of Canada show an increase of just over four million hundredweight of potatoes from the same period in 2015, mostly due to a rise in processing stock.

“For processing, we’re above [the 2015 storage numbers] but that’s also a given since there was an increased contract volume awarded last year, so that’s fine,” says Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of UPGC, adding there’s only slightly more processing holdings than what’s actually been contracted currently.

Fresh supply in storage is down 600,000 hundredweight from a year ago, while seed holdings are up slightly, he says.

MacIsaac notes the March figures show a disparity in storage holdings between the two sides of the country, similar to the situation a year ago when movement was greater in Western Canada than it was in Eastern Canada.

“I would say the West has shipped harder in the last couple of months,” he says. “Manitoba is particular has shipped pretty hard. By comparison, the East is finding it quite slow so far this year for some reason.” MacIsaac adds that Quebec has had very good disappearance.

THE PRICING picture for potatoes is about where it was a year ago at this time, MacIsaac says.

“Pricing is very, very similar to last year, so that’s pretty interesting,” he says. MacIsaac adds that in some areas like Ontario, there are fewer potatoes in storage due to reduced production last year, but that hasn’t lead to an increase in fresh price that you might expect.

“There’s been a fair bit of potato promotion by some grocery store chains. They want product to move and it’s been their request for offerings on feature. If you want to do business with them, they expect you to provide the product. I think that’s part of the pricing issue today,” he says.

THE QUALITY of the 2016-16 crop continues to hold up well in storage, according to MacIsaac.

“There have been a few isolated issues in a few provinces but overall quality is very, very good,” he says.

“Sometimes when you have good quality, in a way it can increase your marketable holdings because you have less cullage and more product that would pack out for you. We’re also seeing that some of the processing plants,” MacIsaac says.

“They’re putting some good material through and recovery is higher for the processors, so that ends up getting you a few more potatoes that you have to market.”

THINGS SEEM to be shaping up for a good start to the 2016 planting season, thanks to Mother Nature.

“It looks like a different planting season today, I would say, than a year ago. Then, we were looking at a very late season in terms of the amount of snow in a lot of areas. This year, that’s not the case,” MacIsaac says.

Because of warmer winter temperatures, snowmelt is already well underway in many parts of the country, he says, and generally less snow fell across Canada. “That’s consistent, it seems to be, in all areas. Overall, we’ve had less winter than we had the previous year.”

B.C., for example, was able to start planting potatoes earlier than normal on Feb. 25, MacIsaac notes.

“That will perhaps put a little pressure on shipments that will need to ramp up a little bit as guys get ready to go into a planting season that’s earlier than the previous year,” he says. “Whereas last year, they had a good long shipping season overall because the season for putting the new crop in was that much later.”

MacIsaac says warmer weather towards the end of winter is “always a challenge with storages to get enough fresh and enough cool air to keep the crop the way you need to.”

On the positive side, he adds, continued good weather should help facilitate seed movement. “That’s always good to get those holdings starting on the way down.”

Trending This Week

Potato harvest 2017 copy

What Ignoring Your Stored Spuds Until the End of Harvest Could Cost You

Do you have bin management plan to support your potatoes from load-in through suberization? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked various producers...
Under the Hill Farms harvest

Manitoba Storage Potato Harvest in Full Swing

The Manitoba potato harvest for storage is in full swing with about a third of potatoes having been harvested, the Sept. 15 provincial potato report...
Daikon Radish

North American Potato Research Bulletin: PAA Meeting Highlights

A highlight reel of the latest potato research projects presented at the 2023 PAA annual meeting. Potato researchers across North America are working every day...
Potato harvest 2017 copy

Ontario Storage Potato Harvest Well Underway

The harvest of the storage potato crop is in full swing near Alliston, Ont., a Sept. 21 email update from Eugenia Banks said. "The area was...
Bayer CropScience Canada logo

New Bayer Fungicides Receive Canadian Registration

Emesto Complete fungicide and insecticide seed-piece treatment and Velum Rise fungicide/nematicide have received registration in Canada, a Sept. 19 news release from Bayer Crop Science...