Michigan News

 Join US for 2017 Montcalm Field Day August 3rd
Join US for 2017 Montcalm Field Day August 3rd
July 26, 2017

The 2017 Montcalm Field Day is scheduled for Aug. 3rd. The event is a week earlier than usual this year as we try to find a day that our researchers can provide in-field results and our growers have time to travel to Montcalm county to attend.
On the morning agenda from 9:30 to noon is the summer meeting of the Commission’s Research Committee held at the Douglass Township Hall in the village of Entrican. The rest of the day’s activities will be about three miles west of there at the Michigan State University (MSU) Montcalm Research Farm on McBrides Rd. and at the adjacent property owned by the Commission. The Industry Lunch will be served there from noon to 1:00 pm and will be followed by tours of the farm’s potato research plots. 

During lunch and throughout the afternoon we will have exhibitors set up to showcase their products and services.
Mike Wenkel, the commission’s executive director, urges growers to participate in the morning Research Committee meeting. The township hall is reserved to accommodate larger gatherings, and the Research Committee members rely on input from as many growers, processors and industry suppliers as possible as they set research priorities. The informal atmosphere is intended to draw out as many perspectives as possible on production challenges at the grass-roots level that need to be addressed. 

Wenkel said, “This open discussion has been critical in the past in identifying industry research needs. The long-term success of our industry’s research initiatives can be traced back to the productive dialogues that we have at the summer research meetings. Issues like the soil-health initiative and new pest and storage challenges and the next areas of focus for variety development often get identified at the summer research meeting. We’re hoping for a strong turnout again this year.” 

The results of current research will be on display during the afternoon tour hosted by MSU researchers.  The current schedule includes research on cover crops, soil fertility and irrigation demonstrations.  As always, a tour stop will also include current variety trials and MSU breeding and genetics program trials.  

“I would encourage everyone to come out and be a part of the day’s activities—helping identify future research priorities and learning about improving operations on our farms,” Wenkel said. 

If you are interested in attending there is still time to register on our website or you can simply show up the day of the event. 


 IPM Alliance EPA Tour focuses on invasive species

IPM Alliance EPA Tour focuses on invasive species
July 19, 2017

Over a dozen staff of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) participated in the annual IPM Alliance Decision Maker tour this week in the Traverse City area with a focus on the impact of invasive species on Michigan agriculture.

The IPM Alliance works to ensure that agricultural producers in Michigan have access to the necessary tools to manage crop pest throughout the state. These tools include the necessary chemical, biological, and management controls too produce a marketable crop. The alliance members include most of the plant based commodity organizations in Michigan including both the Michigan Potato Industry Commission and Potato Growers of Michigan, Inc.

“EPA plays an important role in registering and regulating necessary management tools for our growers” stated Mike Wenkel, Executive Director of the Michigan Potato Industry Commission “bringing their staff to Michigan, allowing them to hear first-hand from producers the impact of pest, and building strong relationships are important.”

The tour has been an annual event of the alliance since implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act in the late 1990s.

NPC News articles are from the NPC Insider Report published by the National Potato Council and used with permission. 

Potatoes USA News articles are provided by Potatoes USA and used with permission. 

Current Market Report

 July 26, 2017 Market Report
Market Report
July 26, 2017

Chip potato harvest is under way in southwest Michigan. However, movement is slow, as chip companies need to clean up potatoes in other parts of the country, before they focus on the Michigan crop. Reports indicate that some chip buyers are running up to 10 days behind on their contract fulfillment, probably because they overbooked, in an effort to avoid supply shortfalls.

Harvest is winding down in Missouri and North Carolina. Dealers are reporting quality issues with Atlantics in North Carolina and Virginia, due to too much heat and too much rain. Wet weather also is causing problems for crops in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Eastern growing areas will have to work around more rainfall in the coming days, which may lead to more fill-in orders from Michigan.

US fresh potato shipments for the week ending July 22, 2017 totaled 1.808 million cwt. That is up from 1.623 million cwt shipped cwt during the same period, in 2016. Michigan shipments from the 2016 crop have ended.

Wisconsin packers are selling size A Russet potatoes in 10# bags for mostly $$7.25-$7.50 per 50# bale, unchanged from this time last week. They are selling Russet 40-70 count cartons for mostly $19.00-$20.00 per 50# box, also unchanged for the week. The weighted average price for Idaho Russet Burbanks is $15.87 per cwt, up from $15.64 per cwt last week at this time.

USDA has stopped reporting prices for North Carolina table potatoes for the season. Virginia packers are selling 50# sacks of size A Round White potatoes for $8.75-$9.75 per 50# bag, unchanged from this time last week.


This information comes from Bruce Huffaker, publisher of North American Potato Market News. This weekly newsletter has more complete potato market information. For subscription information call (208) 525-8397, fax (208) 525-8569, write 2690 N Rough Stone Way, Meridian ID  83646, or e-mail napmn@napmn.com.