Even though 2020 retail produce sales are up nearly 13 percent, the U.S. Sweet Potato Council in Dillsburg, PA., reports the COVID-19 shutdown of restaurants, foodservice and schools wiped out 34 percent of the market for sweet potatoes.
North Carolina leads the nation in sweet potato shipments, and Nash Produce of Nashville, N.C. reports a great looking crop. This is despite prolonged heat waves and a brush with Hurricane Isaias, which brought much-needed rain without hurting the crop.
Nash has increased its acreage for both conventional and organic varieties. The company’s growers expect began harvesting around September 1st.
Bland Farms of Glennville, GA will have its first crop in two years and is optimistic because of good growing conditions. Bland has 500 acres of sweet potatoes and harvest take place from the last half of August to late October.