The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported in its mid-December potato stocks report that the 13 major potato states held 253 million hundredweight potatoes in storage Dec. 1, down 6 percent from last year and 5 percent below Dec. 1, 2003, for comparable States. 

Ohio and Pennsylvania were dropped from the potato stocks program starting with the 2005 storage season.

Potatoes in storage account for 68 percent of the 2005 fall storage states' production, 1 percent above last year.  Disappearance of 120 million cwt of potatoes is down 8 percent from last year and 10 percent below two years ago for comparable states. 

Shrink and loss, at 14.0 million cwt so far this season, is down 9 percent from last year and 6 percent below the same date in 2003 for comparable states.  Processors in the nine major states have used 65.9 million cwt of potatoes this season, down 7 percent from a year ago and 9 percent below two years ago. 

In Idaho and Malheur County, Ore., total processing decreased 7 percent from a year ago, and in  Washington and the rest of Oregon total processing dropped 6 percent from last season.

Dehydrating usage accounts for 12.2 million cwt of the total processing, down 16 percent from last year and 14 percent below the same date in 2003.

Western states held 176 million cwt of potatoes in storage on Dec.1, down 5 percent from last year and 1 percent below two years ago. Idaho's potato stocks are down 10 percent from last year, Colorado's potato sheds stored 9 percent less than in 2004, stocks in Montana are 6 percent below last season, and California's stocks decreased 47 percent from last year. Oregon's potato stocks are up 12 percent from last year and Washington's potato sheds stored 4 percent more than last season.