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USDA to Survey Potato Stocks, Seed Price, Processing
New York Ag Connection - 03/14/2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is encouraging producers and agribusinesses to respond to three upcoming surveys -- the Potato Stocks Survey, the Potato Seed Price Inquiry, and the Potato Processing Survey -- that are critical to the potato industry.

Potato Stocks reports are used by all parts of the potato industry to aid in the orderly movement of the crop. Farmers use the reports to decide when to sell their crop. Shippers, processors, and brokers monitor crop movement to help decide when to buy and when to ship. Transportation firms need information on the location and volume of production. Many agribusiness firms use stocks and production reports as they provide services to the industry. The United Potato Growers of America use stocks data to update and improve their marketing plan as the season progresses.

The Potato Seed Price Inquiry Survey will be conducted concurrently with the Potato Stocks Survey. Price data is collected from a buyer's perspective on seed purchases for the upcoming 2018 crop plantings. The seed potato price data will be combined with other seed price data to develop the Prices Paid Seed Index. Seed buyers and sellers use the index to gauge market value of seed commodities.

The Potato Processing Survey will also be conducted concurrently with the Potato Stocks Survey. Potato processors make up a significant share of the United States economy. In recent years, the majority of potatoes grown within the U.S. were utilized for processing, and most potato exports consisted of processed potatoes. Data collected includes the total quantity of potatoes processed as chips, frozen French fries, other frozen, starch, flour, other dehydrated potatoes, canned potatoes, and other potato products.

NASS will publish the results in the April 17 Potato Stocks publication and the April 27 Agricultural Prices publication.

NASS gathers the data for the survey online, by mail, phone and in-person interviews. "The cooperation of the potato industry is crucial to ensure that your state's potato crop is accurately represented in national potato statistics," said King Whetstone, director for the USDA's NASS Northeastern Regional Field Office. "NASS safeguards the privacy of all responses and publishes only state and national level data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified," added Whetstone.

For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS Northeastern Regional Field Office at (800) 498-1518.

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