The role of storage in the potato economy
Proper potato storage is important, because potatoes that are not stored under proper conditions, will have a short shelf life after harvesting. Potatoes that are stored in the storehouse under proper conditions, have a shelf life of at least 10 months, while maintaining an excellent nutritional value. Storage involves investment. Differences in storage duration, from 0 months to 10 months, also result in differences in storage costs: the longer the storage, the higher the costs. Growers would like to see these differences paid out. The result is a market with varying prices, that also depend on demand, storage volume, the condition of the storage potatoes and further economic factors. Together, these factors form the potato economy.
In many countries, the market for storage potatoes is highly regulated by contracts, especially the bulk that goes to the processing industry. In addition, there is a group of growers that cultivate potatoes for the free market. This pays off particularly well in years when the transition from old to new harvests does not align. In such a situation, the market price can increase considerably in a short period of time. In areas where many potatoes are introduced to the market at the same time during the harvest period, storaging can ensure better distribution in the market. As a result, growers are not forced to sell large quantities of potatoes in a short period of time. When a good-quality lot of potatoes can be introduced to the market when the transition from old to new harvests does not align, it is possible to make a profit. Potato processing industries that often contract potatoes also know that this is how the market works and respond by contracting potatoes at a higher price during this transitional period.
It can be a potato grower’s aim to take full advantage of this higher price. In our new e-book we list the most important steps a grower can take to achieve a higher profit with storage potatoes. First of all, the product must be suitable for long-term storage. The storehouse must also be sufficiently equipped to ensure efficient long-term storage, while insulation, ventilation, mechanical cooling and sprout inhibition should all be functioning perfectly.
Want to read more about making profit with storage potatoes? Download our free e-book now!