Today's Pricing

WATERMELONS — F.O.B.S AS OF SEPT. 15

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY, CALIF. — Shipments (277-238-202, seedless 259-223-192, seeded 18-15-10) — Movement expected to decrease seasonally. Trading early moderate, late fairly active. Prices 60 count generally unchanged, others slightly higher. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless-type approximately 35 and 45 counts mostly 16-18 cents, approximately 60 count 14-16 cents. Quality generally good. Many present shipments from prior bookings and/or previous commitments.

TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA — Shipments (TX 215-166-135, seedless 189-150-126, seeded 26-16-9, OK seedless 7-5-10) — Movement expected to decrease seasonally. Supplies light. Trading early moderate, late fairly active. Prices higher. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless-type approximately 35 and 45 counts mostly 20 cents. Quality variable.

SOUTHWEST INDIANA AND SOUTHEAST ILLINOIS — Shipments (426-166-123, red-flesh seeded 21-8-4, red-flesh seedless 405-158-119) — Movement expected to decrease as many growers finish for the season. Trading red-flesh seedless 45s very active, red-flesh seedless 60s slow. Prices red-flesh seedless 45s higher, 60s generally unchanged. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless 45s 16 cents, 60s 11 cents. Quality generally good.

DELAWARE, MARYLAND, EASTERN SHORE, VA. — Shipments (317-166-90, red-flesh seeded 5-2-2, red-flesh seedless 312-164-88) — Supply insufficient and in too few hands to establish a market. LAST REPORT.

MICHIGAN — Shipments (149-116-76, red-flesh seeded 14-8-3, red-flesh seedless 135-108-73) — Movement expected to decrease as growers finish for the season. Supply insufficient and in too few hands to establish a market. LAST REORT.



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Kern County Produce

Specialty spud growth keeps steaming along

While traditional potato types, such as whites and russets, struggle to maintain consumer sales, specialty potatoes continue to enjoy double-digit growth at retail.

Tasteful Selections LLC is one grower-shipper capitalizing on those changing consumer tastes. Part of Bancroft, Wis.-based RPE, it grows exclusively baby and specialty potatoes in Kern County, said Randy Shell, vice president of marketing and new business

development.

This season, the Kern County production mix will be similar to last year — Honey Gold, Ruby Sensation, Purple Passion and White Delight baby potatoes as well as fingerlings, he said.

Acreage, however, continues to grow to meet increased retail and consumer demand, Shell said.

Although its growers have not yet been affected by the drought, he said water supplies continue to be a focus and the dry spell’s long-term effects are concerning.

The grower-shipper offers most of its specialty potatoes in three tuber sizes and three package sizes — 24 ounces, 28 ounces and 40 ounces.

“Consumers are focused on convenience and flavor, and small package sizes are leading the way,” Shell said.

“Russet potatoes continue to be king in terms of volume, but we’re seeing a long-term shift toward specialty, red and yellow potatoes.”

The grower-shipper also has begun marketing Ruby Sensation and Honey Gold in 16-ounce microwaveable steamer bags.

Although still a small part of its overall business, Shell said the sector continues to grow as consumers seek easy-to-prepare options.


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