After months of speculation to what extent the potato production in North America would be reduced, as of yesterday we have the official estimates from the USDA for the United States. The long anticipated report "Crop production (November 2010)" published November 9, provides detailed information on the fall potato crop in the United States.
The total potato production in the United States harvest 2010 is 399,231,000 cwt (20.3 million tons), down 7% from last year.
The fall potato production is down 8% compared to last year. Fall production accounts for 90.5% (361,392,000 cwt) of the total potato crop.
In Figure 1 we have listed the changes in fall potato production per state.
Figure 1: Fall potato production 2010 by state compared to the potato production in 2009
In Table 1 you find for the US States producing more than 15 million cwt the breakdown for changes in acreage and changes in yield.
For our readers outside the United States have included a conversion to metric units.
Table 1: Fall potato acreage, yield and production for US States producing over 15 million cwt.
Limiting to States with a potato production over 15 million cwt, the largest reductions in yields occurred in Minnesota (-12%), Wisconsin (-11%) and Idaho (-6%). Increased yields were seen in North Dakota (+8%) and Maine (+2%).
For more details we refer to page 14-16 and 37- 40 of "Crop production (November 2010)" [pdf]. You can also find information on potato varieties grown by state and tuber sizes of this yearâ€™s crop.
Official figures of the potato production in Canada are expected November 19. For those of you interested in the potato supply in Europe I refer to the most recent Euro-Potato report. It contains the best overview of the European situation I have seen to date.
So now we have the figures. But the big - and still unanswered - question is of course: "are there enough potatoes to go around?"... I am sure we will have an other opportunity to discuss that point.
Paul van Eijck
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