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Demand for sweet potato strong after Thanksgiving

Demand for sweet potatoes has held strong throughout the Thanksgiving season. Prices through last week reflect consumer demand as a 40lb box of US Number 1 was $20. “The 2013 crop was short,” explains René Simon, director of the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission. “So we had a great demand when this year’s harvest began.”

Sweet potatoes are grown predominantly in California and the Southeast of America causing market competition within the United States. Louisiana’s sweet potato acreage saw an increase of 15% over 2013, adding to the overall US acreage increase of 12-13%. For US growers, this year will see approximately 14% of the overall crop exported. “We mainly export to Canada and Northern Europe, but there are inroads being made into Eastern Europe.”

Research for sweet potatoes is conducted at multiple of universities throughout the growing states. While this year’s crop saw a good growing season, certain issues do occur. “The research is broadly based,” states Simon, “It concerns a variety of improvements including pest and disease management, and different storage methods.”

For more information please contact:
René Simon
Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission
Telephone: (225) 922-1277
Fax: (225) 922-1289

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