A significantly larger harvest has already impacted the US in 2024 – news potatoes

A significantly larger harvest has already impacted the US in 2024 - news potatoes


Shutterstock

It was the 14th of October ‘Thank you Farmer’s Day’That’s why today all articles and videos are accessible for free.

news Potatoes



1:30 pm yesterday – Niels van der Boom

Now that the US potato harvest is in an advanced stage, it is increasingly clear that farmers in the US are headed for a better harvest. Those signals were already there this summer. Combined with more than 5% of the area, it means that the harvest in five years is huge.

The US last saw a potato harvest of more than 20 million tons in 2018. It failed repeatedly over four years. This is attributed to disappointing yields, market collapse due to the corona pandemic and shrinking acreage. 2023 will be a different story. The yield is still not at 20 million tons, but it is close. Processors looked suspiciously at their export share being taken over by European factories. Most of the fries are also exported to the US. This year it was different. The first signs of this are now visible.

9.5% more potatoes
First about the 2023 harvest, which is now well underway. Official statistics from the USDA Department of Agriculture will not be released until later. So we have to do internal assessments. This makes the total potato volume 19.8 million tonnes. This is 9.5% higher than last year.

The driving forces behind this increase are the potato states of Washington and Idaho. Not only are there significantly more hectares under cultivation, but yields are also higher. A plus of more than 5% is estimated for Washington. About one-fifth of the potatoes are still harvested in Idaho. The state of Maine saw the largest absolute decrease.

Above average yield
Favorable weather this summer and autumn has resulted in a smooth potato harvest in almost all growing regions. The dredging is expected to be completed this month. Average yield is estimated at 52 tonnes per hectare. This is 4 tonnes more than the twenty-year average.

Idaho potato farmers are headed for the state’s biggest harvest yet. The area has grown to no less than 14,000 hectares and yields are high. Together with the above-average hectare yield, it yielded 6.7 million tonnes of potatoes, 1.25 million tonnes more than last year’s harvest. Harvesting in the state was slightly delayed due to recent rains, but otherwise progressed smoothly.

Potato harvest is also in full swing in Washington, a major growing region of the Columbia Basin. Surprisingly, the USDA is projecting a decrease in acreage, while domestics expect a plus. The yield per hectare is significantly higher than average, resulting in a total yield increase of 230,000 tonnes to 4.5 million tonnes compared to 2022.

The contract size will decrease in 2024
Efforts by potato processors to supply more raw materials have been successful in these states. Sufficient quantities of (French) potatoes are available. Additionally, farmers have planted more free-range potatoes instead of grains, alfalfa or corn, which were still preferred last season. Delivery of these free potatoes to the field has been delayed due to high volume and lack of storage capacity. This also puts pressure on prices. Insiders say one processor has already told its farmers it will cut contracted potato volumes by 10% in 2024.

Enough potatoes mean US factories can also supply more fries. This is already cautiously visible in the export figures for August. The volume of French fries exported was the second largest this year and almost equal to last year. The price was a fifth higher than the same month last year, at €1,577 per tonne of frozen fries. That amount is still higher than European fries, which vary between €1,200 and €1,250 per tonne. Exports to Asia fell this summer, while exports to South America grew.

Imports are increasing, but price is an important factor
Perhaps most important to Dutch and Belgian factories is the situation in America. Fry imports increased slightly in August. In the 12 months to that month, imported volumes were up 9% to 1.45 million tonnes of chips. Canada accounts for 85% of this block, followed by Belgium (12%) and the Netherlands. Germany has a small but growing market share. A tonne of Canadian fries costs $1,355 USD and those from Germany can be only $4 more expensive! In a year, European fries have risen in price by up to a third, resulting in greater reliance on fries from Canada.

Do you have a tip, suggestion or comment about this article? Let us know

Niels van der Boom

Niels van der Boom is Senior Agriculture Editor at Boerenbusiness. He mainly reports on the potato and grain markets. He provides a potato market update every week.

The US last saw a potato harvest of more than 20 million tons in 2018. It failed repeatedly over four years. This is attributed to disappointing yields, market collapse due to the corona pandemic and shrinking acreage. 2023 will be a different story. The yield is still not at 20 million tons, but it is close. Processors looked suspiciously at their export share being taken over by European factories. Most of the fries are also exported to the US. This year it was different. The first signs of this are now visible.

9.5% more potatoes
First about the 2023 harvest, which is now well underway. Official statistics from the USDA Department of Agriculture will not be released until later. So we have to do internal assessments. This makes the total potato volume 19.8 million tonnes. This is 9.5% higher than last year.

The driving forces behind this increase are the potato states of Washington and Idaho. Not only are there significantly more hectares under cultivation, but yields are also higher. A plus of more than 5% is estimated for Washington. About one-fifth of the potatoes are still harvested in Idaho. The state of Maine saw the largest absolute decrease.

Above average yield
Favorable weather this summer and autumn has resulted in a smooth potato harvest in almost all growing regions. The dredging is expected to be completed this month. Average yield is estimated at 52 tonnes per hectare. This is 4 tonnes more than the twenty-year average.

Idaho potato farmers are headed for the state’s biggest harvest yet. The area has grown to no less than 14,000 hectares and yields are high. Together with the above-average hectare yield, it yielded 6.7 million tonnes of potatoes, 1.25 million tonnes more than last year’s harvest. Harvesting in the state was slightly delayed due to recent rains, but otherwise progressed smoothly.

Potato harvest is also in full swing in Washington, a major growing region of the Columbia Basin. Surprisingly, the USDA is projecting a decrease in acreage, while domestics expect a plus. The yield per hectare is significantly higher than average, resulting in a total yield increase of 230,000 tonnes to 4.5 million tonnes compared to 2022.

The contract size will decrease in 2024
Efforts by potato processors to supply more raw materials have been successful in these states. Sufficient quantities of (French) potatoes are available. Additionally, farmers have planted more free-range potatoes instead of grains, alfalfa or corn, which were still preferred last season. Delivery of these free potatoes to the field has been delayed due to high volume and lack of storage capacity. This also puts pressure on prices. Insiders say one processor has already told its farmers it will cut contracted potato volumes by 10% in 2024.

Enough potatoes mean US factories can also supply more fries. This is already cautiously visible in the export figures for August. The volume of French fries exported was the second largest this year and almost equal to last year. The price was a fifth higher than the same month last year, at €1,577 per tonne of frozen fries. That amount is still higher than European fries, which vary between €1,200 and €1,250 per tonne. Exports to Asia fell this summer, while exports to South America grew.

Imports are increasing, but price is an important factor
Perhaps most important to Dutch and Belgian factories is the situation in America. Fry imports increased slightly in August. In the 12 months to that month, imported volumes were up 9% to 1.45 million tonnes of chips. Canada accounts for 85% of this block, followed by Belgium (12%) and the Netherlands. Germany has a small but growing market share. A tonne of Canadian fries costs $1,355 USD and those from Germany can be only $4 more expensive! In a year, European fries have risen in price by up to a third, resulting in greater reliance on fries from Canada.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top