N.C. sweet potato yields may be down, but quality looks excellent

09/28/2012 04:14:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

In mid-September, Vick was shipping old-crop sweet potatoes and planned to start new crop shipments by late October.

In late September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported 40-pound boxes of orange variety No. 1s from North Carolina fetching $13-15, U.S. No. 1 petites selling for $10-12 and U.S. No. 2s for $7-9.

That’s lower than last season in early October when the USDA reported $16 for the No. 1s during the first of the 2011 new crop shipments.

North Carolina growers planted 65,000 acres, similar to last year, according to the USDA.

Those acres are expected to produce 15 million cartons of fresh production, Wooten said.

“The reports we see are relatively flat,” said Thomas Joyner, general manager of Nashville-based Nash Produce Co. “We had good sales and good quality last year. In order to store a good crop for a year, we have to put a good crop in storage. That’s what we were able to do last year and hope to do this year.”

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