News and Stories

UPDATE: Idaho Potatoes

April 01, 2015


Large Idaho Burbank and Norkotah potatoes (40- through 70-count supplies) are extremely limited. 


Growers have repeatedly alerted the industry that large-size supplies will be very tight during the last few months of the storage crop season, however growers are reporting this decrease earlier than originally anticipated. Large-size supplies are expected to become less available as early as next week. Prices for large-size potatoes will rise as growers attempt to weaken demand. Markon strongly recommends members adjust their normal ordering patterns and place orders for large sizes further in advance.  


Small sizes (80- through 100-count potatoes) are ample. Prices should remain relatively steady, with slight fluctuations, the remainder of the season. Expect a wide price gap between large and small sizes.   


Norkotah stocks should be available through late April in Eastern Idaho. Growers in Western Idaho expect to have Norkotah supplies through mid-April/May. When Norkotah stocks are depleted, Burbanks will be used to fill all orders through the end of that season.   


Storage Crop Quality

  • Cool temperatures and rain received during August hindered growth, preventing stocks from reaching full size potential, resulting in small potatoes (80- through 100-count)
  • No major quality issues or concerns have been reported, however as the year progresses and the potatoes continue to sit in storage sheds, some defects may become evident
  • Pressure and/or shoulder bruising (soft, external indents) are the results of pressure at points of contact with adjacent potatoes or the floor, while potatoes sit in storage sheds
  • Hollow heart (small, irregularly shaped internal craters) develop during harvesting when potatoes grow faster than normal due to adverse weather; this defect can be detected at the production level by x-ray scanners that determine which potatoes meet No. 1 grade specifications

2015 New Crop

  • Potato planting for the 2015 storage crop season will begin in April
  • Idaho has experienced a mild winter; spring weather has come much earlier than normal
  • Typically growers begin to plant in mid-April, but some may start a few weeks earlier due to the warmer weather
  • New crop harvesting of fresh-run potato shipments will begin in late July
  • The storage crop harvest will start in early September and will continue through most of October; suppliers will begin to ship out of storage in early October


Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.


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