Does it pay to store potatoes or sell direct from the field to the dealer, and if storage pays what sort of structure is best?

The answer to the first must be made by the individual grower. The element of chance enters very largely into this problem, to a greater degree, perhaps, than with any other farm crop.

Statistics show that this statement is true - viz., that the farmer who has favorable conditions for potato growing and can practise a good rotation, who will grow the same acreage of potatoes each year for ten years, selling half at digging time and storing the balance, will show a nice annual profit on his ten years' operations.

To say that prices will be good this year or next, or that it will pay to sell or store this fall or any later single fall, is simply making a guess.

The Government reports showing acreage and condition of crop during the season and a comparison with other seasons give some idea of what to expect. In addition to this the grower should know what other districts besides his own are in position to compete with him in his natural markets, and the condition of their crop is another fact on which to base his guess. Figuring the average production in the United States at about ninety bushels per acre, the per capita consumption four bushels, and the population of the country at 90,000,000 - 360 million bushels, or over three million acres, are required to meet the demands. When the acreage is short or the per acre yield low, the price will be high. In the appendix is given a table showing averages. These facts are interesting in this connection.

Table of Chicago prices, per bushel, follows:

 Year December May of following year « Low High Low High 1886................... .... 44 47 65 90 1887................... .... 70 83 65 85 1888................... .... 30 37 24 45 1889................... .... 33 45 30 60 1890................... .... 82 93 95 110 1891................... .... 30 40 30 50 1892................... .... 60 72 70 98 1893................... .... 51 60 64 88 1894................... .... 43 58 40 70 1895................... .... 18 24 10 23 1896................... .... 18 26 19 26 1897................... .... 50 62 60 87 1898................... ___ 30 36 33 52 1899................... .... 35 46 27 39 1900................... ___ 40 48 35 60 1901................... .... 75 82 58 100 1902................... .... 42 48 42 60 1903................... .... 60 66 95 116 1904................... .... 32 38 20 25 1905................... .... 55 66 48 73 1906................... ___ 40 43 55 75 1907................... ___ 46 58 50 80 1908................... .... 60 77 70 150 1909................... 20 58 • • • • •

Various other price statistics are shown in the tables.

A large part of the potatoes of the world grow in countries of freezing temperatures, and whether stored by the farmer or by the dealer, that part of the crop which is not consumed before the main crop is dug, or a few days thereafter, must be stored in frost-proof buildings or pits.

Average farm price of potatoes per bushel in the United States.

 Price December 1, by decades. Price December 1, by years. Price bimonthly, 1909. State, Territory, or Division. 1866-1875. 1876-1885. 1886-1895. 1896-1905.. 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 Feb.1 Apr.1 June,1 Aug..1 Oct.1 Dec.1 Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Maine............. 50 55 65 66 49 67 65 56 48 61 50 66 61 64 7! 85 Hi 50 47 N. Hampshire.. 51 56 58 63 53 79 6S 65 56 72 60 67 73 77 8C 90 92 ! 71 64 Vermont........... 39 60 49 52 40 64 58 60 47 71 66 63 67 72 77 97 {X 54 44 Massachusetts.. 65 70 69 73 66 90 81 71 71 84 65 84 85 92 99 110 107 84 79 Rhode Island... 70 74 7C 75 70 93 75 82 76 89 8C 93 86 96 99 103 104 78 81 Connecticut.... 67 72 67 72 70 94 73 78 72 91 72 77 90 90 97 105 104 ! 85 83 New York...... 50 54 49 54 45 71 59 56 54 70 49 57 75 77 83 89 85 65 60 New Jersey........... 68 70 61 64 60 86 61 69 61 75 66 74 89 86 95 101 9( 85 82 Pennsylvania... 59 56 54 56 63 76 57 62 54 66 57 67 80 80 88 i 96 95 > 76 65 N. Atlantic... 53.6 56.6 53.3 56.7 49.9 73.6 61.4 59.6 64.5 68.6 53.8t 62.3 73.7 75.4 82.8 91.4 89.] L 65.3 56.2 Delaware....... 67 64 64 58 60 78 51 66 63 59 59 66 83 80 83 . 90 7i 70 72 Maryland......... 66 63 53 55 54 77 52 60 51 58 56 60 74 76 87 94 69 » 70 66 Virginia........ 56 57 53 58 59 74 58 64 65 56 67 68 72 75 89 93 72 ! 73 70 West Virginia.. 56 62 65 57 61 86 61 66 64 58 61 80 85 89 97 103 8( 68 68 North Carolina. 60 65 60 65 65 72 67 74 70 68 74 78 77 70 103 97 79 ) 80 81 South Carolina. 94 80 81 99 100 110 96 104 101 103 104 110 110 V3 129 125 l16 118 115 Georgia.......... 99 90 84 91 77 106 90 94 107 112 110 100 110 70 121 118 110 ) 107 100 Florida......... 113 90 92 118 106 129 122 126 129 120 110 95 135 100 12t 147 12i > 127 120 South Atlantic.......... 62.6 60.5 57.3 63.7 59.2 81.2 60.7 69.9 62.0 64.5 69.0 73.7 81.6 77.6 96.6 99.9 79.6 78.0 75.1 Ohio..-..;...... 60 53 64 51 40 85 44 61 47 63 48 68 77 80 92 103 81 62 66 Indiana.....,.. 58 60 56 51 38 90 41 66 45 58 5' 65 84 86 10C 112 74 60 52 Illinois.,.....:. 60 52 58 64 41 93 42 72 47 67 62 72 83 85 106 120 76 68 61 Michigan.......... 50 45 42 39 26 68 41 49 29 56 34 45 58 61 71 80 76 • 48 35 Wisconsin........ 49 42 44 38 28 67 33 58 28 62 3C 45 60 64 76 > 86 8( 47 38 N. C. E. of Miss. River. 55.8 48.7 50.5 44.1 33.9 73.5 39.1 58.7 35.5 61.1 41.9 54.5 67.6 70.6 83.2 94.1 77.9 154.0 44.4 Minnesota......... 49 36 39 37 30 67 31 61 29 50 37 41 66 60 71 85 68 36 35 Iowa.............. 45 44 48 44 37 94 34 75 28 49 4i 55 60 6i 82 100 8i 69 55 Missouri........ 57 48 49 63 35 106 36 76 48 66 57 72 74 80 96 105 67 70 67 North Dakota....... 40 36 49 49 33 48 32 38 46 62 56 60 74 90 81 45 45 South Dakota....... 49 39 3d 86 44 54 30 38 36 60 51 57 6' 90 tit i 63 63 Nebraska......... 63 41 64 47 49 105 27 65 26 37 52 70 55 61 71 92 74 68 60 Kansas............ 65 64 63 58 48 104 45 85 56 69 70 88 83 86 110 134 85 82 79 N. C. W. of Miss. River. 52.8 45.1 49.3 45.3 39.3 81.8 34.5 68.6 33.0 49.1 47.8 58.9 62.6 66.9 81.9 99.6 76.8 61.9 53.8 Kentucky......... 58 50 56 57 50 87 53 68 55 53 61 75 81 87 109 116 7C 64 64 Tennessee........ 58 51 52 63 68 86 64 64 62 5* 62 76 71 75 101 97 62 67 71 Alabama......... 101 89 83 91 82 109 93 96 99 88 93 100 95 79 130 111 95 97 98 Mississippi........ 92 87 80 87 83 115 92 88 85 85 87 93 93 77 126 114 91 99 95 Louisiana.......... 94 85 82 85 79 101 82 91 91 91 75 90 92 93 110 104 79 90 91 Texas.......... 118 97 87 92 88 125 85 88 93 93 87 105 98 95 127 117 95 118 106 Oklahoma......... 90 65 125 71 93 76 85 77 100 98 95 117 133 71 104 95 Arkansas............ 85 73 62 74 57 126 68 79 75 73 67 91 86 90 122 109 68 89 92 South Central. 66.9 00.2 61.3 73.9 61.9 108.1 69.1 79.2 74.0 73.6 73.0 90.2 88.9 87.9 117.6 113.4 77.9 91.8 86.3 Montana........... 69 62 52 53 73 60 44 61 59 61 50 70 75 104 126 120 70 51 Wyoming.... 74 61 63 68 100 61 57 62 56 65 74 66 70 74 88 100 62 63 Colorado.......... 83 51 59 82 90 51 60 37 57 45 66 60 65 89 110 12S V3 67 New Mexico.... 84 71 86 114 118 81 84 78 89 90 96 90 105 117 140 125 115 101 Utah........... 48 44 44 48 60 45 47 48 43 50 65 55 55 62 92 83 56 43 Nevada.......... 179 95 57 72 56 91 63 70 65 82 70 90 75 110 90 111 155 100 85 Idaho.......... 70 53 60 47 84 37 46 63 48 41 52 60 60 74 102 110 51 48 Washington... 50 44 44 47 61 38 36 6b 4b 56 50 67 80 92 115 100 58 47 Oregon........... 68 53 48 51 45 70 55 60 59 60 56 56 68 65 95 120 120 66 60 California....... 96 72 56 61 63 77 58 66 87 67 74 90 77 96 103 130 98 83 77 Far Western.. 95.0 66.1 52.0 54.0 55.8 76.7 50.0 53.4 53.4 57.6 57.2 65.1 66.4 73.6 91.1 115.0 110.9 69.1 57.6 United States. 54.9 52.9 50.8 49.9 43.1 76.7 47.1 61.4 45.3 61.7 51.1 61.8 70.6 73.3 86.3 97.7 85.1 64.3 64.9

Wholesale prices of potatoes per bushel, 1896-1909.

 Chi:ago. Milwaukee. St. Louis. Cincinnati Data. Burbank per bushel. Per bushel. Burbank per bushel. Per bushel Low. High. Low. High. Low. High. Low. High. Cents. Cents. Centt. Cents. Cents. Cents. 1896 10 31 10 35 20 45 \$0.60 \$l.35 1897 18 62 15 100 21 65 .90 4.75 1898 29 87 25 90 30 85 1.25 3.75 1899 26 75 15 90 25 75 1.10 6.00 1900 25 50 20 80 27 54 .32 .57 1901 30 125 25 185 18 140 .30 1.20 1902 30 100 41 105 .90 3.00 1903 38 85 35 90 40 125 1.20 3.00 1904 31 122 20 120 36 125 1.20 4.80 1905 18 72 10 70 27 175 .25 .80 1906. January......................... 65 66 45 58 58 82 .55 .65 February........................... 47 57 35 60 53 61 .45 .62 March..................................... 43 68 35 62 51 70 .45 .75 April................................ 57 63 50 62 65 68 .60 .85 May................................ 48 73 45 75 60 88 .55 .75 June................................. 60 87 60 80 65 125 .90 1.05 July....,............. 40 87 35 75 .75 .90 August..................................... 35 60 37 60 .58 .80 September............................... 45 58 35 65 43 62 .55 .60 October............................ 40 47 25 40 48 56 .50 .60 November............................... 41 48 25 40 45 55 .45 .58 December.............................. 640 43 25 40 40 46 .45 .47 Year.......................... 40 87 25 87 35 125 .45 1.05 1907. January............................... 34 45 25 45 43 53 .45 .50 February............................ 37 43 25 45 61 66 .48 .53 March............................... 33 47 25 45 43 55 -50 .53 April.................................. 33 61 25 60 63 68 .4* .80 May................................ 55 75 40 70 74 75 .70 .80 June.................................. 33 70 30 70 60 78 .60 .70 July................................ 30 50 35 90 50 125 .25 .85 August................................ 30 90 60 95 .70 .80 September................................. 50 60 45 75 45 72 .60 .85 October................................... 45 65 40 75 55 70 .50 .62 November........................................ 45 63 40 65 53 65 .50 .65 December..................................... 45 58 40 65 55 64 .50 .65 Year..................................... 33 75 25 90 43 125 .25 .85 1908. January..................................... 52 65 53, 75 62 69 .60 .68 February..................................... 58 73 65 70 67 77 .65 .82 March ............ .... 62 75 63 70 71 78 .70 .80 April................................... 60 77 65 80 73 78 .70 .85 May....................................... 50 80 68 80 65 74 .60 .85 June................................. 58 150 68 150 100 105 .60 1.35 July................................... 70 110 65 110 1.10 1.35 August.......................................... 58 90 60 85 .85 1.15 September................................. 58 78 60 80 72 72 .75 .85 October.................................... 50 81 64 80 67 70 .65 .80 November................................... 57 71 68 70 69 72 .65 .75 December........................................ 60 77 64 70 69 75 .65 .80 Year....................................... 50 150 53 150 62 105 .60 1.35 1909. January..................................... 60 79 60 72 73 83 .72 .80 February..................................... 65 95 60 88 80 93 .75 .90 March.................... 80 93 70 95 89 98 .85 .95 April................................ 85 110 70 115 92 108 .95 1.15 May............................................ 20 150 80 135 85 102 . .95 1.00 June....................................... 20 145 30 105 40 140 .90 1.20 July................................. 15 125 20 100 40 110 .50 .95 August................................. 38 66 40 90 35 62 .70 .75 September.......................... 42 65 45 65 45 72 .55 .70 October..................................... 35 55 40 60 42 56 .55 .60 November............................... 15 60 30 50 40 62 .30 .60 December.......... 20 68 30 60 40 60 .30 .48 Year............................................... 15 150 20 135 35 140 .30 1.20

A Pex barrel for 1866-4899 and 1902-1904. * Common to fancy.

New potato cellar of Commissioner of Agriculture A. W. Gilman, Foxcroft, Maine.

Potato storage cellar plans.

Average farm price of potatoes per bushel, monthly, 1908-9.

 Month. UnitedStates. NorthAtlanticStates. SouthAtlantic States. N.Cen.States East of Miss. R. N. Cen. States West of Miss. R. South Central States. Far Western States. 1909. 1908. 1909. 1908. 1909. 1908. 1909. 1908. 1909. 1908. 1909. 1908. 1909. 1908. Cts. Cts. cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. Cts. January 72.0 63.4 74.5 64.9 83.2 76.0 69.4 55.5 64.1 62.5 92.1 92.7 66.9 62.7 February...... 73.3 ...... 75.4 ...... 77.6 ...... 70.6 ...... 66.9 ...... 87.9 ...... March 80.0 69.0 77.2 73.0 90.3 84.2 77.1 59.7 72.3 66.0 118.2 100.5 83.5 64.1 April......... 86.3 70.4 82.8 73.0 96.5 85.8 83.2 64.8 81.9 67.2 117.6 104.9 91.1 59.8 May 97.3 73.3 93.6 79.2 101.3 86.4 97.6 66.8 94.2 67.3 119.5 104.8 100.5 61.6 June 97.7 71.3 91.4 72.3 99.9 86.1 94.1 67.7 99.6 68.3 113.4 94.4 115.0 61.6 July 91.0 77.8 91.2 76.4 94.5 80.6 79.5 80.6 91.8 75.9 93.0 86.0 115.1 68.7 August 85.1 83.6 89.1 93.2 79.6 74.9 77.9 85.9 76.8 73.4 77.9 80.8 110.9 69.6 September..-. 71.5 78.0 77.6 87.8 76.7 75.3 59.9 77.0 65.3 64.3 84.2 82.6 81.1 75.2 October...... 64.3 74.8 65.3 80.3 78.0 74.7 54.0 74.9 61.9 64.0 91.8 87.1 69.1 70.9 November... 57.8 69.2 58.5 71.9 76.7 76.5 47.2 67.3 56.2 61.1 89.0 88.2 58.0 67.8 Deember 54.9 70.6 56.2 73.7 75.1 81.6 44.4 67.6 53.8 62.6 86. 3 88.9 57,6 66.4

Potatoes grown in southern climates may be stored in dark warehouses or in straw-covered piles in the field.

The normal losses in storage from October to May amount to 5 to 12 per cent, of the total bulk. This does not include losses due to disease or sorting.

It has been estimated that of the total storage loss 75 per cent. is due to loss of moisture and 25 per cent. to respiration. The potato tuber does not die when taken from the ground and placed in a cellar, but it lives by using some of the food material stored up in its cells. The material used is in the form of sugar, which a ferment forms from starch. Respiration is practically stopped when the tuber is frozen and the sweet taste of frozen potatoes is due to accumulation of sugar.

The important points to be considered in potato storage are:

Conditions to keep a temperature as low as possible without freezing;

Conditions to keep the air as dry as possible, and a place where potatoes may be kept dark.

While mining at an altitude of 1,000 feet in Colorado, a good many years ago, the senior author of this work met a prospector who was going to leave the country. He said that in an old tunnel would be found some supplies, including twelve sacks of potatoes which had been put there two years before. These the prospector gave to him. The condition of these potatoes was apparently the same as when they were dug; they were not shriveled, no shrinkage was apparent, they had not started to sprout, and when cooked they were just as edible as when dug out of the ground. There had been an airshaft constructed at the end of the tunnel and through the tunnel was a good current of dry air. The temperature was uniformly about 40 degrees F., being in a rock tunnel 200 feet below the surface of the ground. In building a potato cellar he tried to get as near those conditions as possible.

The cellar illustrated is about 50 by 200 feet. At each end there is a dead-air space ten feet square in the form of a vestibule between the outer and inner doors. This affords protection from freezing. There is a driveway clear through, with bins on either side, skylights and ventilators being placed every ten feet. The temperature of the cellar may be lowered by opening the doors and letting a current of air pass through. When it is too cold for this, the ventilators at the top may be opened. The best ventilation is always secured by building the cellar in line with the direction of the prevailing air currents. During the winter the temperature should be kept as near 32 degrees F. as possible; it is best when it does not go below 30 degrees nor above 36 degrees. A temperature of 28 degrees F. for one or two hours will not freeze potatoes when in large quantities. In a cold country some means for providing artificial heat should be provided. In the spring of the year, when the weather becomes warm, the cellar doors are kept open at night and closed in the daytime.