FAISON, N.C. — Buyers can expect to see new crop cured sweet potatoes on retail shelves earlier than normal as North Carolina growers began harvesting early.
Doug OhlemeierWorkers grade last year’s storage sweet potatoes in late August at Southern Produce Distributors Inc., in Faison, N.C. North Carolina growers began harvesting in late August. Jimmy Burch, co-owner of Burch Farms, said he plans to finish his fresh harvesting and start shipping cured product Sept. 17, his earliest ever.
Burch began harvesting Aug. 10.
“This crop is gorgeous,” Burch said Sept. 11. “The crop is coming out beautifully and it’s really sizing up now. We couldn’t ask for anything more in terms of weather.”
The growers Nashville, N.C.-based Nash Produce Co. pack for began harvesting Aug. 20, about a week ahead of usual, said Thomas Joyner, general manager.
“We are on target,” Joyner said Sept. 11. “The weather is holding up. We are having the prettiest weather we have ever had.”
Joyner said cool weather is aiding harvest by limiting skinning issues.