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Return to normal start for California potato harvest

California potato harvest is underway on a good crop. "We started on April 29th which is a week earlier than when we typically would start," says John Clerou of Mazzei Franconi Co. LLC. "We've got good tonnage coming with a good supply of reds, whites, and yellows."

That's different from last year's crop which had a late start around the middle of May with light yields for the first three to four weeks. "It wasn't until we got into June that we started having normal yields and normal volume out of the area," says Clerou. "This year is more of a typical year with good supply in May to ship."

This comes at a time when across the country, storage crop is still coming out of key growing regions including the Pacific Northwest. On new crop, Florida is also harvesting new crop reds and yellows but is close to finishing up on new crop white potatoes. "Things should be cleaning up nicely and we should have a pretty good runway for us once we get past Memorial Day with some of these other districts winding down," says Clerou.

May and June demand
As for demand it looks good and catching up to the early start date–particularly compared to last year's late start. "It's anticipated to get better as we get past Memorial Day and into June," says Clerou. "Consumers are looking for a fresh new potato come the summer months." The region should ship until the middle of July.

Meanwhile, a better crop over last year means pricing isn't as strong as it was for the 2023 season. However, it's still good and in line with what the other districts have been pricing colored potatoes at. "It also looks like there's a chance to advance here come the summer months," says Clerou. "I think it'll just get better from here."

For more information:
John Clerou
Mazzei Franconi Co. LLC.
Tel: +1 (661) 366-5721
[email protected]