Potato acreage in the United States is predicted to increase by 2.8 per cent from the 2020 crop to 946,500 acres, the June 3 issue of the North American Potato Market News (NAPM). This is still 1.7 per cent below the 2019 crop though. NAPM had previously forecast acreage would increase by 3.4 per cent.
U.S. potato acreage is predicted to rise in seven of the 13 main potato growing states. The largest increases should happen in Idaho, Washington, Maine, and Colorado, the report notes. Acreage reductions are expected in California, Florida, Michigan, and Oregon.
The majority of contract volumes for frozen products are increasing this year, but still fall below 2019 pre-pandemic levels.
“Stretched out contract negotiations left growers with little time to adjust acreage. Growers in some areas planted open potatoes expecting to fill raw product supply gaps for processor or channel leftovers into the table potato market,” NAPM says.
Chip acres are expected to be flat or down slightly, the report says. Early season contract volumes were reduced to help the industry clean up the 2020 crop. NAPM says some growers have cut acres or planted alternative crops.
Russet Acres to Rise
The report notes Russet tables potato acres are forecasted to expand. Growers were not discouraged by low prices in the Pacific Northwest and large carryovers stocks in Idaho and Colorado.
“Increased production and spillover from the processing industry could put downward pressure on prices during the 2021-22 marketing season unless yields fall below the trend.”
Yellow potato acreage is also predicted to rise with several regions reporting shifts from red to yellow varieties due to changing customer preferences. Red potato prices have also been below yellow potato prices, however movement of both varieties has been ahead of the 2020 pace, NAPM says.