(Feb. 11) Grower-shippers of cabbage and red potatoes expect ample volumes of high-quality product for St. Patrick’s Day promotions.

Boskovich Farms Inc., Oxnard, Calif., will ship more cabbage for the holiday this year because of increased acreage in Mexico, said Russ Widerburg, sales manager.

The company also will source from Oxnard for St. Patrick’s Day, Widerburg said.

“The quality is outstanding from both areas, and we should have good volumes,” he said.

East Coast supplies of cabbage should be abundant out of Florida, said Eric Hansen, vice president of Ed Hansen Farms Inc., Stanley, N.Y.

Hansen Farms also plans to source storage cabbage from New York.

“The quality is real good, and it’s holding well,” Hansen said. “We had a dry fall, which helps with storage.”

Hansen also said he hadn’t heard of any quality issues with Florida product.

Price lids for retail holiday promotions should be in the $8.65-9.65 range, with some high-end product possibly topping $10, Widerburg predicted.

St. Patrick’s Day markets can’t go anywhere but up, Hansen said.

“For the past month, there’s been plenty of supply, and demand hasn’t been that great,” he said Feb. 7. “It’s been slightly better the past week.”

On Feb. 5, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported prices of $4.75-5 for 50-pound cartons of round green-type medium cabbage from Florida, down from $10 last year at the same time.

New for this St. Patrick’s Day from Boskovich is organic cabbage, another step in the company’s ambition to mirror its conventional offerings with organic ones, Widerburg said.

As it does every year for St. Patrick’s Day, Ryan Potato Co., East Grand Forks, Minn., will promote 5-pound bags of A and B red potatoes in packaging festooned with clover leaves, said Ron Norman, director of operations.

Promotions will start about March 3 and run until about March 14, Norman predicted.

While Ryan and other Red River Valley shippers will wind up shipping less overall this year because of weather problems in 2007, there will be plenty of volume for St. Patrick’s Day promotions, Norman said.

Movement typically picks up 20% for the company around the holiday, he said.

On Feb. 5, the USDA reported prices of $13.50-14 for 100-pound totes of A-size red potatoes from the Red River Valley, up from $9-9.50 last year at the same time.