New York State onions, potatoes thrive - The Packer

New York State onions, potatoes thrive

07/16/2009 05:59:35 PM
Susie Cable

Mike Riner, vegetable crop manager for CY Farms LLC, Elba, N.Y., said July 7 that the onion crop needed drier soil to grow more quickly. The crop was behind schedule.

“Onions do not like wet feet,” he said.

Late April brought sustained winds of about 50 miles an hour to CY’s crops. The high winds damaged about a third of its 100 acres of onions. The company direct-seeded its red and yellow onions.

“We’re planting a little seed a quarter-inch in the ground and the soil moves very easily,” Riner said. “The wind cut off the 2-inch plants like a knife.”

CY chose not to replant those 35 acres. It is expected to begin harvesting onions about the second week of September.

Torrey Farms Inc., Elba, expects to start harvesting red and yellow onions in late July or early August, said Shannon Torrey, saleswoman. Torrey Farms ships onions through May. It begins selling the new harvest in late August to early September.

Torrey Farms’ about 560 acres of round white and Yukon gold potatoes were seeded in early May and should be ready for harvest in late September, Torrey said. The crop looked good as of July 10.

On July 10, 50-pound sacks of size A yellow-type Yukon gold potatoes from the Eastern shore of Virginia were priced at $18, the USDA reported. Demand was moderate and the market was steady.

The USDA reported the same quantity and type of potatoes from the Eastern shore were priced at $20 on July 10, 2008. Demand was good and the market was about steady.

Kubecka Farm, Kirkville, N.Y., grows Yukon golds. Because potatoes prefer cool and damp weather, the quality looked good as of July 7, said owner Lindy Kubecka. The 40 acres of potatoes were seeded May 10 and are expected to be harvested beginning in early October.

Jackson Farms Inc., Savannah, N.Y., which last year had about 450 acres of potatoes, is no longer growing them, said Trevor Jackson, salesman. He said multiple factors, including labor issues, influenced his decision.

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