Red River Valley potato growers are gearing up for the start of their season. Harvesting is expected to commence within two weeks. "Most growers should be starting during the week of September 9," shared Dave Moquist of O.C. Schulz & Sons in Crystal, North Dakota.
Moquist also pointed out that the Valley has experienced a varied season in terms of weather conditions. Reports are suggesting that the southern part of the Valley has received a good amount of rainfall, while the northern half experienced the opposite. "The southern part received adequate moisture so we are seeing a good crop in terms of yield and quality," he said. "The northern half was more dry so we are lacking a bit there when it comes to numbers, although quality is still very good."
Growers are therefore expecting some variation across the Valley, but overall quality and sizing is said to be excellent.
Red varietals to dominate early supply
Although volume is expected to be down in northern parts, the Valley as a whole will still provide a good amount of potatoes this upcoming season. At this time, there are no storage crop potatoes remaining from last season. But with less than two weeks to harvest, the focus is firmly on the upcoming crop.
"We have some early red varieties, including Dark Red Norlands," Moquist noted. "We will then transition into other reds which are good for longer term storage. There are also several yellow varieties that will be spread throughout the season."
Steady increase in yellow volume
While demand for red potatoes is still good, growers are gradually adding more yellow acreage in response to customer demand. Moquist said that O.C. Schulz & Sons continues to offer similar packs as they have been supplying for some time, with the company always on the lookout to ensure it is able to meet what the market needs.
"There continues to be a gradual shift away from some of the red varieties to more yellows, based on consumer demand," he said. "In terms of packaging and shipping, we are able to pack anything from consumer packs all the way up to totes."
For more information:
O.C. Schulz & Sons
Ph: +1 (701) 657-2152