The harvest is over in the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota and shippers are expected make a big rebound from a disastrous season a year ago thanks primarily to too much rain.
The Northern Plains Potato Growers Association of East Grand Forks, MN estimates 30 percent of the association members’ crops were lost, and some individual growers lost nearly their entire acreage. This year is expected to be totally different.
A & L Potato Co. of East Grand Forks expects to be at full capacity for the first time in years. Last year, the company, lost 95 percent of its red and yellow potatoes.
Nokota Packers Inc. of Buxton, N.D., started digging potatoes the week of Sept. 14, with ideal digging conditions. The company has finished it red potato harvest a couple of weeks ago.
Lone Wolf Farms of Minto, N.D., reports similar conditions and started shipping in mid-October.
Folson Farms Corp. of East Grand Forks, ships red and yellow potatoes and had some digging delays due to dry conditions.
J.G. Hall & Sons, Edinburg, N.D., along with O.C. Schulz & Sons Inc., Crystal, N.D., will started shipping potatoes out of storage from H & S FreshPak Inc., Hoople, N.D., in October. Hall & Sons is just now start to ship its own potatoes.
Growers have been shipping about 80 percent of their potatoes to retail stores and 20 percent to foodservice. Foodservice business has been hit much harder by COVID-19.