Posts Tagged “yellow potatoes”

Black Gold Farms’ Fresh Red Potato Program Moves on to Missouri

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DSCN4387By Black Gold Farms

Grand Forks, ND – Black Gold Farms will be harvesting fresh red potatoes in the boot heel of Missouri starting the middle of June. With ideal planting and growing conditions and plenty of moisture, this year’s crop looks to be one of the best yet.

Black Gold Farms will be harvesting, packing and shipping their own red potatoes out of Arbyrd, MO farm and packing facility until the middle of July. Yellow potatoes are also available to ensure a full product offering.

“We’ve been growing red potatoes nestled in the bootheel of Missouri in the Mississippi River Delta for over 10 years, and every year we see the quality get better. This year is no different.” commented John Halverson, COO of Black Gold Farms. “We’ve been able to learn a lot about growing potatoes in the summertime heat from over 30 years of chip potato experience in warmer climates. We’ve been able to transfer those leanings to the fresh market. While there are many differences, the principles are the same: use the right variety, get the timing correct, push them through the wash line and into the cooler as quickly as possible, and then, ship to our customers while they are still at their freshest” Halverson concluded.

Keith Groven, Fresh Sales Manager of Black Gold Farms states, “Our customers really find value pulling fresh reds out of Arbyrd, MO as the quality is consistent and we are geographically central to many of the major cities which provides locally grown opportunities that only we can offer. Customers recognize that Black Gold Farms is the red potato expert, especially this time of year, in this particular geography.”

Black Gold Farms’ Indiana red potato crop will be ready at the end of July for a smooth transition and keeping customers supplied with the freshest red potatoes available. This allows for Black Gold Farms-grown product to be supplied to customers year-round. “Each of our farms has their own unique characteristics, but what’s really valuable is that our customers know that the red potatoes they’re getting and the service they’ve come to expect is all Black Gold Farms” remarked Groven.

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Yellow Potatoes Continue to Gain Market Share

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DSCN0239By Ted Kreis
Yellow potatoes continue to gain market share and the gain is mostly at the expense of russets and whites, two potato types shippers in the Red River Valley haven’t grown for the fresh market in years.
Red River Valley red production has been up and down in recent years but one trend is clear, the valley is growing more yellows. In 2010 the valley produced just over 200,000 hundredweight (cwt.) of yellow potatoes.  Just five years later in 2015 the valley produced 607,000 cwt., a three-fold increase. In 2016 the number increased even more despite some yellow losses in the northern valley.  On a percentage basis, yellow potatoes made up just six percent of the Red River Valley fresh crop in 2010; the past two years they have averaged 14.5 percent.
Heimbuch Potato located south of Oaks in southeast North Dakota is geographically separated a bit from other Red River Valley shippers but they have close business ties with the valley.  They are also included with the Red River Valley for USDA  production and shipment numbers.  Not too long ago Heimbuchs grew three types of potatoes for the fresh market; reds, yellows and russets.  But brothers Chad and Josh Heimbuch picked up on the popular yellow trend early and in 2013 they switched to all yellow potato production.
Other Color Trends 
Nationwide white potatoes for the fresh market have been the big losers.  Since the 2008 crop year white potato shipments have decreased 43.3 percent, according to numbers compiled by the North American Potato Market News.
Russet shipments so far this season mimics closely 2008 although russets are down 7.7 percent from 2009 when they hit a 10 year peak.
U.S. red shipments had increased about 14% between 2009 and 2015 crop years but have regressed this year because of short supplies here in the Red River Valley, the nation’s largest red producer..
(Ted Kreis is the Marketing & Communications Director for the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, East Grand Forks, MN)

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