Posts Tagged “potatoes”

Red River Valley Potatoes Shipments Start; Uruguay Expects 65% Increase in Blueberry Exports

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A23The harvest of red and yellow potatoes in the Red River Valley is underway by Black Gold Farms of Grand Forks, ND, according to a press release. In the southern hemisphere, Uruguay is looking to increase blueberry exports.

The grower-shipper has production in numerous states, but “this is our backyard,” Black Gold CEO Eric Halverson said. The company will be harvesting the potatoes in the region for a month, and will store and ship them into April.

“The early quality samples that we’re seeing look fantastic, and we’re ready to get them on the road,” Black Gold Farms’ fresh sales manager Keith Groven said in the release.


Uruguayan Blueberries

The Uruguayan blueberry industry is expecting a significant increase in exports this coming season.

The Union of Horticultural Producers and Exporters of Uruguay (Upefruy) estimated exports will increase 65 percent year-on-year to 2,000 metric tons (MT), up from 1,210 MT last year.

The small South American country has been hit by numerous hail storms over the last couple of years, which have at times destroyed 100 percent of production on some farms.

Exports started in August, with volumes to peaking in September and October and winding down in November.

Last season 45 percent was exported to the U.S. and 35 percent to Europe, all via airfreight.  This year, the country expects to see 40 percent shipped to the U.S., 45 percent to Europe and 15 percent to the U.K.

Uruguay officials point out that the Chinese market access had been finalized in late 2016, but the market remained unattractive due to a 30 percent tariff.

So for now  the country is going to maintain and develop existing markets like the U.S. and Canada, Europe and the U.K., Hong Kong and Malaysia.

The Uruguayan blueberry industry is exploring new ways related to packing and transportation that the industry can become more competitive.

The country is looking develop the industry, putting emphasis on the taste and color of the fruit, and trying to be more rational in the use of resources to be more competitive on price.

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New Campaign Highlights the Performance-Boosting of Potatoes

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A32By Potatoes USA

DENVER — The Potato industry is making a strong statement about potatoes to demonstrate the performance-boosting benefits of America’s favorite vegetable.  Potatoes USA, the nation’s potato marketing and research organization, worked with its members to identify a nutrition-based lifestyle benefit that challenges consumers’ preconceived notions about potatoes.  Extensive research led to a strategy based on a key truth: Potatoes fuel performance.  Most people don’t consider the potato a performance food and are surprised to learn about all of the nutritional benefits. 

Potatoes provide the energy, potassium and complex carbohydrate people need to perform at their best. A medium-size, 5.2-ounce potato with the skin on has, 26 grams of carbohydrate, 620 mg of potassium, and is more energy packed than any other popular vegetable.  Potatoes also contain many other important nutrients that athletes seek such as 27 mg vitamin C, 2 g fiber and 3 g complete protein.1  

Adequate energy intake supports optimal body functions and carbohydrate is the primary fuel for your brain and a key source of energy for muscles.2  And with the skin on potatoes have more potassium than a medium-size banana. Potassium is an important electrolyte that aids in muscle, cardiovascular and nervous system function.

Potatoes USA is bringing its “performance” strategy to life in a new campaign that shows how potatoes fuel athletic performance and poses the question: “What are you eating?” The campaign is based on the idea that consistently beating your personal best isn’t just about how you train, it’s about what you eat.

“The potato undeniably works in the athlete’s favor,” says Blair Richardson, Potatoes USA President/CEO. “The message is clear: If potatoes can fuel elite athletes, they can fuel your active life, too.”

While the campaign features athletes it is not about marketing only to them. It is about showing the power of the potato through people who can influence consumers to think about potatoes differently.

The campaign is being executed through a variety of mechanisms including race sponsorships—including a year-long partnership with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, advertising, influencer marketing, social media and industry engagement.

About Potatoes USA
Potatoes USA is the nation’s potato marketing and research organization. Based in Denver, Colorado, Potatoes USA represents more than 2,500 potato growers and handlers across the country. Potatoes USA was established in 1971 by a group of potato growers to promote the benefits of eating potatoes. Today, as the largest vegetable commodity board, Potatoes USA is proud to be recognized as an innovator in the produce industry and dedicated to positioning potatoes as a nutrition powerhouse.  

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Health Benefits of Potatoes are Cited

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DSCN8805Are Potatoes Good for You?

Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, and those eaten with the skin are a good source of potassium. Foods that are good sources of potassium and low in sodium, such as potatoes, may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
All varieties of potatoes are nutritious and, while both the type and amounts of nutrients may vary slightly depending on the variety, the differences are minimal. So minimal in fact, the FDA nutrition label for potatoes represents a composite of varietals.
The FDA-approved Nutrition Facts Label says it all. Potatoes are:
– An excellent source of vitamin C
– A good source of potassium (more than a banana!)
– A good source of vitamin B6
– Fat-, sodium- and cholesterol-free
– Only 110 calories per serving

Potatoes and Potassium

One medium potato with skin provides 620 milligrams or 18% of the recommended daily value (DV) of potassium per serving and is considered one of the best foods with potassium. Skin- on potatoes rank highest for foods with potassium and are among the top 20 most frequently consumed raw vegetables and fruits. Potassium is a mineral that is part of every body cell. It helps regulate fluids and mineral balance in and out of cells and in doing so, helps maintain normal blood pressure. Potassium is also vital for transmitting nerve impulses or signals, and in helping muscles contract.

Potassium is a powerful dietary factor that may help lower blood pressure. Unfortunately, few Americans are getting the recommended 4700 milligrams per day of potassium they need. (Potatoes make it easier!)

Are Potatoes Fattening?

No. A 5.3-ounce potato has only 100 calories and no fat. Experts agree weight gain occurs when an individual consumes more calories than he or she expends.

Are Fries and Chips Healthy?

Staple foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be eaten every day, while fried foods and high fat snacks should be viewed as occasional treats. One food, even one meal, does not make or break a healthful diet. Understanding the impact that fried foods, like fries and chips, or high-fat foods like ice cream and cookies, have on your overall eating pattern makes it possible for you to “make room” for them as occasional indulgences.

More information on potatoes can be found at the Potato Goodness website.

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Significant Scientific Research Affecting Potato Industry Announced on Dr. Oz

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019by Fresh Solutions Network, LLC

San Francisco, CA – Fresh Solutions Network applauded the March 23rd episode of Dr. Oz – giving American’s “Permission to eat potatoes again” noting that potatoes are “nutrient power houses” that surprisingly pack about “100 calories per spud” and have zero grams of fat.

Dr. Oz opened his show handing potatoes out to the audience, correcting the misconceptions of “Tater Haters” with nutritional facts on America’s favorite side dish.

The low-carb diet craze damaged the reputation of the potato by creating the misconception that potatoes were “fattening” and unhealthy.  As Dr. Oz and other notable experts in the medical and scientific community have clarified, potatoes have a number of nutritional benefits that may surprise consumers.  In addition to being fat free, gluten-free, sodium free and low-calorie – potatoes are rich in Vitamin C, have more potassium than a banana or broccoli and are vegan and non-GMO.

“We are excited that consumers are finally hearing the great news about potatoes that those of us in the industry have known for a long time,” said Kathleen Triou, President and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network, “Products like Side Delights®  fresh potatoes are a natural, healthy, family favorite side dish, and we expect to see an increase in purchasing habits as the medical community and consumer media help restore the reputation of the potato.”

The syndicated series is set to air its 10th season in 2018/2019. Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of the show since its premier has called the show a “field guide in helping viewers navigate their path to wellness.”

About Fresh Solutions Network, LLC:

Fresh Solutions Network is a group of family owned growers and shippers who choose to work together to make the potato and onion industry better for everyone. FSN helps fresh potato and onion buyers grow their categories, maximize category investment, and increase sales. FSN delivers category insights, collaborative innovation and customized assortment. Fresh Solutions Network, LLC partners are: Sterman Masser, Inc. (Masser Potato Farms and Keystone Potato Products in Sacramento and Hegins, PA), Michael Family Farms, Inc. (Urbana, OH), Basin Gold Cooperative, Inc. (Pasco, WA), Green Thumb Farms, Inc. (Fryeburg, ME), Red Isle Potato Growers, Ltd. (Prince Edward Island, Canada), NoKota Packers, Inc. (Buxton, ND), Sun-Glo of Idaho, Inc. (Sugar City, ID) and Mack Farms (Lake Wales, FL).

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Big Idaho Potato Truck Sets Sail In NYC Harbor

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IdahoPotTkBy The Idaho Potato Commission

EAGLE, IDAHO — The world’s largest potato on wheels traded its tires for buoys in celebration of the 2016 Idaho® Potato Harvest. On Wednesday, August 24, the giant spud embarked on her maiden voyage through the New York Harbor – beginning in Brooklyn and passing all the major landmarks in South Manhattan including the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and Freedom Tower.

Over the next several weeks 320,000 acres in Idaho will be harvested and yield more than 13 billion pounds of Idaho® potatoes. New York is the largest consumer of Idaho® potatoes, and two iconic New York-based restaurants, Macy’s and Toffenetti’s, were instrumental in establishing Idaho® baked potatoes as a premium menu item back in the 1930’s.

New Yorkers consume more potatoes than any other state. To show its appreciation, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) donated 12,000 pounds of Idaho® potatoes (equivalent to the weight of the Big Idaho® Potato on the Truck) to Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, New York’s largest emergency food program. They’ve consistently served 1,000 homeless and hungry people every weekday for the past 30 years.

“New Yorkers have played a major role in building the Idaho® potato brand and making the baked Idaho® potato one of the most sought after side dishes on the menu,” explained Frank Muir, President & CEO of the IPC. “It was a privilege for us to spend time at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen and provide and serve healthy Idaho® potatoes to those who are less fortunate.”

The Big Idaho® Potato Truck was built five years ago to celebrate the IPC’s 75th anniversary. The organization wanted to celebrate the milestone in a big way, and more importantly, include the entire country in the celebration. The idea for the Truck was born from a vintage postcard depicting a giant potato on a flatbed trailer with the quote, “We Grow ‘Em Big in Idaho.” To date, the Truck has traveled over 100,000 miles promoting the heart-healthy benefits of the Idaho® potato and donating to local charities through its “A Big Helping” program.


About The Idaho Potato Commission

Established in 1937, the IPC is a state agency responsible for promoting and protecting the famous “Grown in Idaho®” seal, a federally registered certification mark that assures consumers are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho® potatoes. Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation, and rich volcanic soil give Idaho® potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance, which differentiates them from potatoes grown in other states.

The Big Idaho® Potato Truck travels across the country carrying the world’s largest potato on wheels — a 28 foot long, 12 foot wide, 11.5 foot tall, 6 ton spud. It was built to celebrate the Idaho Potato Commission’s 75th anniversary in 2012 and was intended to be on the road for one year. But it was such a hit the journey continued and today it’s more popular than ever. For more information visit

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Popularity of Potatoes Continues with New Ways to Eat Them

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DSCN6944Potatoes remain a staple in the American diet,  whether fried or mashed.  In fact, potatoes account for 15 percent of all consumed vegetables.

Even though sweet potatoes are currently experiencing increased popularity, the potato remains king among Americans.  Over 44 billion pounds of potatoes were harvested in 2015, compared with just a little under 3 billion pounds of sweet potatoes.

One of the reasons potatoes continue to be such a dominant part of the American diet is inventing new ways to eat them.  Starting in 1970, processed potato products surpassed raw potatoes in sales, and consumption of fresh potatoes fell from a high of 81 pounds per person in 1960 to an average of 42 pounds by the 2000s.  But potato consumption has continued to increase as people find different ways to get their potato fix.  On average, Americans now eat 55 pounds of frozen potatoes per year in addition to 17 pounds of potato chips.

Potatoes’ distant vegetable relatives, squash and pumpkin (or eggplant, a type of squash), are not nearly as popular with Americans, but pumpkin production has steadily increased in recent years from a little less than 1 billion pounds in 2000 to a little more than 1.3 billion in 2014.  Squash production, on the other hand, has slowly declined from almost 900 million pounds in 2000 to a little under 575 million in 2014.

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Potato Popularity is on the Rise, Claims Study by Potato Organization

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040A new survey conducted by the Idaho Potato Commission revealed that 97 percent of Americans said they eat potatoes and more than 81 percent enjoy them as a side dish, snack or main course on average of three days per week.

“The Idaho Potato Commission’s marketing programs have one main objective – to increase Idaho potato consumption nationwide,” Frank Muir, president and chief executive officer of the IPC, said in a press release. “We were thrilled with the survey results, which found consumer attitudes toward potatoes shifting. America’s favorite vegetable is now consumed three times a week, up from two times per week in 2009.”

The survey also revealed that more men than women (84 percent vs. 78 percent) eat potatoes once a week, and that Midwesterners are more likely than those in other regions of the country to eat potatoes at least once a week (88 percent vs. 78 percent).

Regarding how consumers eat their potatoes, the survey showed that baked (29 percent) led the way, followed by mashed (25 percent), French fries (17 percent), hash browns (9 percent) and potato chips (5 percent).

Baked potatoes are favored more by those who are age 45 and up than by 18-44 year-olds (36 percent vs. 23 percent). More 18-44 year-olds than those who are 45 and older prefer French fries (21 percent vs. 12 percent).

When survey participants were asked which vegetable they crave most, potatoes were the clear winner. Nearly one quarter (24 percent) of the Americans chose spuds, followed by leafy greens such as lettuce, kale or spinach (20 percent), broccoli (14 percent), tomatoes (13 percent) or corn (11 percent).

Despite the growing “buy local” movement, 72 percent of Americans would eat Idaho potatoes over potatoes from other states, according to the survey.

The Idaho Potato Commission survey was conducted by Kelton between Jan. 7 and Feb. 3 among 1,000 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over using an email invitation and an online survey.

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Disease Problems with NJ Tomatoes, Potatoes, Could Lead to Claims

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DSCN0581If you’re planning to haul New Jersey produce be extra cautious and know what you are loading when it comes to quality.  Tomato and potato crops are being threatened by late blight.

It is a  destructive fast-spreading disease and has been found on five farms in the state.  The disease of Irish potato famine notoriety, creates fuzzy spores and dark lesions on leaves and stems of tomatoes and potatoes and quickly kills the entire plant.

Meanwhile, no quality problems have been reported with New Jersey peaches, which are now being shipped to destinations on the East Coast and some to the midwest.

New Jersey blueberry shipments have been going at a good, steady pace and should continue into mid August.  The only distruptions have been a few occasions when rain has delayed harvest, which in turns affects packing and shipping.


A fair amount of Maine broccoli is being shipped between now and mid October.   Up to a million cartons should be loaded during the season for destinations along the East coast and into the midwest.


Florida is pretty dead this time of year when comes to loads.  A quick look back at the Florida citrus shipping season shows it was a little disppointing.  There were fewer loads of oranges,  grapefruit and a lot less tangerines.

In its July 11 final season report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported all orange production declining 9% from the previous season, and tangerines saw a 22% drop. 

This season, total orange production fell from 146.7 million equivalent cartons to 133.4 million cartons, with the late season valencias also seeing a 9% drop from last season’s 72.5 million cartons to 68.3 million cartons this year.

Grapefruit production fell 2.2% from the previous year, from 18.8 million equivalent cartons to 18.4 million cartons.

Though 96% of Florida’s oranges are grown for processing, about 60% of its navels, 70% of its tangerines and 40% of its colored grapefruit ship to fresh markets, primarily by truck.


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New Study Focuses on Nutritional Value of Potatoes

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IMG_6010A frequently expressed concern in the ongoing public health debate is the lack of affordability of fresh vegetables, especially those that are nutrient dense. A new study, “Vegetable Cost Metrics Show That Potatoes and Beans Provide Most Nutrients Per Penny,” published in the journal PLOS ONE, shows that potatoes are one of the best nutritional values in the produce aisle, providing one of the better nutritional values per penny than most other raw vegetables and delivering one of the most affordable source of potassium of the more frequently consumed vegetables, second only to beans.

Dr. Adam Drewnowski and colleagues from the University of Washington used a combination of nutrient profiling methods and national food prices data to create an “affordability index,” which was then used to examine the nutrients per unit cost of 98 individual vegetables as well as five vegetable subgroups including dark green, orange/red, starchy, legumes (beans and peas) and “other” vegetables. 

The results indicated while dark green vegetables had the highest nutrient density scores, after accounting for cost, starchy vegetables (including potatoes) and beans provided better nutritional value for the money. Potatoes, in particular, provide one of the lowest cost options for four key nutrients including potassium, fiber, vitamin C and magnesium. Among the most frequently consumed vegetables, potatoes and beans were the lowest-cost sources of potassium and fiber—nutrients of concern, as identified by the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines.

“The ability to identify affordable, nutrient dense vegetables is important to families focused on stretching their food dollar as well as government policy makers looking to balance nutrition and economics for food programs such as the school lunch program and WIC,” said lead researcher Adam Drewnowski, PhD. “And, when it comes to affordable nutrition, it’s hard to beat potatoes.”

The study was funded by the United States Potato Board and adds to the growing database of nutrition science that supports potatoes in a healthful diet. In addition, one medium-size (5.3 ounce) skin-on potato contains just 110 calories per serving, boasts more potassium (620g) than a banana (450g), provides almost half the daily value of vitamin C (45 percent), and contains no fat, sodium or cholesterol.

For a copy of the article, contact Meredith Myers at 303-873-2333 or Visit for healthy potato recipes, videos and nutrition information.
For more information on the USPB as the nation’s potato marketing organization, positioned as the “catalyst for positive change,” and the central organizing force in implementing programs that will increase demand for potatoes, please visit

David Fairbourn is Manager, Industry Communications & Policy, at the United States Potato Board in Denver. The mission of the USPB is to increase demand for potatoes and potato products through an integrated promotion program, thereby providing US producers with expanding markets for their production. David can be contacted at 303-369-7783 or For complete information about the programs, ROI results, resources and tools available to all members of the industry through the USPB, please visit The United States Potato Board—Maximizing Return on Grower Investment.

Source: United States Potato Board

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First Loads of Washington state Cherries are Shipped

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IMG_6043I was in Chicago early Friday (June 14) when the first two loads of cherries arrived at the Chicago International Produce Market (CIPM) from Washington state. Cherry shipments have gotten off to a slow start, but should really be picking up in the days ahead.

The truckers were paid a gross freight of $4,500 for the run originating out of the Yakima Valley.  The f.o.b. worth of the load of cherries was approximately $125,000!

There have been some concerns relating to weather factors causing cracks in Washington cherries this season. However, these loads of early variety Chelan cherries had decent quality.  The more popular Bing variety of cherries should start shipments the week of June 24th.

If you haul produce and plan on loading Washington cherries, continue to check what’s being put into the truck.  Just because this stone fruit had good quality, there’s not guarantee this cracking will not show up in future loads.

Volume on Washington cherries in increasing and should hit a peak around June 26 -28, just in time for Fourth of July deliveries.

Shipments should continue into August.

Washington also continues to ship late season apples and pears from both the Yakima and Wenachee valleys.  Although not as attractive an item, the state’s Columbia Basin is still loading potatoes.

Columbia Basin potatoes – grossing about $4100 to Chicago.

Yakima valley apples and pears – about $6500 to New York City.

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