Crop News

A Dissapointing Northwest Potato Harvest


United States

Early summer heat took its toll on the Green Pea crop and most processors are 20% to 50% below budget.  Extreme heat with temperatures between 105 – 117 degrees made it difficult to keep up with the harvest and many processors had to leave their peas in the ground.  Dry land pea fields suffered the most.  The pea market continues to remain tight with prices high.  

Sweet corn season is now completed in the Pacific Northwest.  Unusual summer heat took its toll on the sweet corn crop and most processors are 15% to 20% under budget. The market is tight on sweet corn, with demand domestically and globally very high.  Most processors are off the market on kernel and cob but those who are not are naming their price.

  Extreme heat in the Pacific Northwest in June, July, and continuing into August, with unusually high nighttime temperatures, we know now that the Pacific Northwest potato crop has dramatically been affected.  Expected yield loss in the Colombia Basin is between 10% to 15% or higher.  

Potatoes are smaller and misshapen which makes it much more difficult to process.   Expect French fries out of this season to be darker in color, have dark tips and be shorter.   Some processors are modifying their specifications to be more in line with the condition of the potato crop this year.

Because of the heat stress on the potato’s storage potatoes are not expected to store well over the year which could further reduce yields and production volume.  Staffing factories is still proving to be difficult and will also hinder production volumes this season.

Processors are still trying to buy raw potatoes on the open market, but it is proving difficult with logistic challenges ongoing.

Grower contracts in the Colombia Basin for 2022 season are now completed.   We have heard that a 20% increase in raw material price has been contracted.

Sliced and baby whole carrots are now being processed in Washington and Oregon.  Size seems to be smaller than usual this season and yields are down compared to last year.   Overall quality is good to date.

Onion yields will be down 20% – 40% this season due to the unusual higher heat.

Fruit growers in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington) are reporting Raspberry yields off by 30% to 50%.  Blackberry yields may be down by 80%.   The Raspberry harvest in Washington State is now completed with raspberry crumble volumes limited due to the smaller size of the crop and also the smaller size of the fruit which reduces the crumbling.

Blueberry season is completed, and crop will be reduced by 20% to 40% depending on the area and grower.  All in all, the berry crops in the PNW have been hit hard by the heat and we expect the frozen berry market to remain very firm moving forward.  Contracts will most likely be prorated and prices increased.  

In Washington state a 30% reduction in yield has been reported for the raspberry crop there.   Whatcom County in particular grows the majority of the raspberries for Washington state and the loss in this county was 30.2%.   With temperatures reaching as high as 106 degrees F at the start of the raspberry season it proved to be a very disappointing season indeed.

Cherries which are already short in Michigan due to frost and freeze conditions in April/May, are also short in the Pacific Northwest growing areas due to the heat.   The high heat stopped the cherries from reaching their full size as well as causing cherries at the top of the trees to shrivel.

Prices for all berry fruits worldwide are up and expected to continue to rise due to low inventories coming into the new season and smaller crops this season globally.   Covid is still an issue with labor difficult to find and labor costs continuing to rise.

Midwest USA

Sweet corn is now completed.   Higher than normal temperatures during part of the season brought the corn on quickly resulting in bunching hence reducing yields.   Pea and bean season also completed with below budget yields.

Beet harvest is wrapping up soon and yields and quality are reported as very good.


Rain has helped favorably move long season potato varieties such as Russet Burbank along in Eastern Canada, while high heat and dry weather has hurt the Western Canadian potato crop resulting in quality issues and smaller size potatoes.


New season broccoli and cauliflower will commence this month. It has been a very rainy summer season in Mexico causing lots of mold, undesirable quality, and low yields to both broccoli and cauliflower. The excess rain has also hindered plantings for the new season crop coming on in October/November and processors are struggling to meet their demands.   Most Mexico processors of broccoli and cauliflower are not taking on any new business.  Processors are being very cautious with any available inventories.

Avocado production in Mexico is expected to reduce by 8% compared to last year.  Due in part to less tree productivity as well as insufficient rain amount and high heat in some areas.   International demand for Mexican avocado’s continues to increase.

Raspberry harvest has begun in Mexico with high prices right out of the gate.


Broccoli season continues with good yields and quality due to ample rain needed to grow the crops. 


Coming into fruit season with little or no inventory from last season’s berry crop failures due to heavy rain and frost, Chile is highly anticipating the commencement of their new season crop in November/December. Current prices on all berry fruits are up due to Chile’s crop challenges which now include drought, lack of labor, and high demand worldwide.


Avocado season is completed, and reports are that total production volumes were higher than last year.   Mango prices have risen further due to small fruit size and dry weather conditions resulting in a reduced crop.  The season is now completed, and prices will remain firm.    Asparagus season has commenced.


Green peas and beans remain very short in Europe with no relief in sight.  Heavy rain and hail hit most of Europe and crops (peas, corn, beans) struggled as fields were too wet to harvest.  Both Belgium and the Netherlands had difficulties with producing their crops and expectation is that we will see a 20% or more reduction in yields on many products.  

North Western Europe had one of its most humid summers in the last decade.  Some areas of Belgium and Western Germany experienced historic high rainfall.  Lower yields caused by blight, hollow hearts, and cracks have hindered the European potato crop.  Processors may be unable to meet customers’ expectations unless demand falls short of last year’s production.

Predications mention that European growers could reduce their potato acreage in 2022.   High costs for fuel, fertilizer, chemicals and labor are encouraging growers to plant other crops which benefit from less capital and lower risk.  Some of the strongest grain prices in years is enticing growers to switch from potatoes to grains.

A 2021 spring freeze which struck across Europe has damaged most of the stone fruit crop there.   Cold and rain in Serbia has delayed blackberries, raspberry and cherry crops by about 14 days.    Both Poland and Serbia will see reduction in their berry fruit yields for the 2021 season.   Serbian raspberry crop may see a 30,000-ton reduction compared to previous years and prices for blackberries have tripled.   The countries of Greece, Germany and France all suffered losses of their cherry crop.

News From Japan

Retail sales are doing well with an estimated 20% increase, while on line shopping continues to do very well and growing.  As expected overall foodservice sales are down on average about 21% with most of the major family style restaurants shortening their hours.  Japan’s pubs and izakaya’s are suffering a 90% loss of business.


Raw material pineapple is coming into processing facilities; however, the lack of labor is hindering full output of canned pineapple volume. 


Typhoon Chanthu sweep through China in September.  Damages are reported in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces where 60% of the eggplant harvest has been damaged.   Reports indicate that lotus root has also been affected.

Water chestnut season is highly anticipated to commence in November/December as there is currently no suitable inventory.    However, with logistic challenges ongoing it will be difficult to receive product at the start of the season.










































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