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David Sparks Ph.d Potato Watch
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: February 06, 2019

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The 2018 potato harvest was a huge success in Idaho with excellent yields, tonnage and quality. But as Farmer Brian Searle says, two months after harvest they are barely breaking even. “This year has been fairly flat, they have been right in there with, you are almost at break even. Last year was real close to where we are this year, may be a few cents better. We had hoped that the price would bump up to $.50 cents or a dollar but hoped it would bounce even more than that.” But now for the first time this season, there is a bright spot on the horizon. low yields and quality problems in the other parts of the country and world could bring higher prices this spring. “When you take a world potato market, Europe has had some issues, Canada left potatoes in the ground, there are challenges in different states, I think some of our driving force right now, with this big crop that we have, we have some other markets that have opened up and there have been some purchases that have come in for later in the year to run this summer and so they have consumed some of those excess potatoes, so we will wait and see how it all plays out.” Because of that weakness in the European market, projections reveal a thirty cent rise in prices by spring. Seed growers report tight seed supplies this spring, so now Idaho farmers are keeping an eye on seed supply and keeping spuds in storage until the market moves.

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