Slumping Spuds: U.S. potato industry forecast shaped by multiple global factors
The forecast for the U.S. potato industry is being shaped by ongoing global issues.
Rabo Research says like all of agriculture, the pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and the war in Ukraine are all playing a part in the decline in the potato industry. An analyst for fresh produce says that this all started back in 2019.
“We started in the fall of 2019, we had short supply. The following year, we planted less acreage because of COVID. So, that led to a smaller area which meant less supply. Then, last year, we had a very dry and hot season in the North Pacific region, and that led to one of the weakest yields in the last ten to fifteen years, which also led to a smaller crop. You add in the equation short supply, strong demand, that equates to strong prices,” according to Almuhanad Melhim.
On top of that, the war in Ukraine is impacting planting decisions this spring. More growers are leaning towards wheat or corn if the weather cooperates.