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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Red River Valley Potatoes

Ben Holmes adjusting after death of majority owner

Courtesy Ben Holmes PotatoKevin Olson poses with his father and former majority owner of Ben Holmes Potato, Rodney Olson. The elder Olson recently died at 69 years old. When Kevin Olson needed to hire a salesman for his brokerage, he didn’t make the decision lightly. The man he had replace was his father.

Rodney Olson, 69, died in July. He had owned Becker, Minn.-based Ben Holmes Potato for 12 years.

The elder Olson was a certified seed potato grower for more than 30 years in North Dakota, Nebraska and Wisconsin. When Nebraska had a huge potato crop in 1998, it put him out of the growing business.

“Everyone had a bumper crop,” Kevin Olson said. “We couldn’t give them away.”

The elder Olson soon turned to selling other growers’ potatoes and built a thriving business with his son.

“He tripled the business in size,” Kevin Olson said. “We did about 1,000 loads that first year. Now we do about 3,000.”

Rodney Olson owned 55% of the business and handled the majority of sales. Without his father to lead Ben Holmes, Kevin Olson, now the company’s sole owner, went looking for an experienced salesman.

He found what he was looking for in Lawrence Kimble.

Kimble has close to 30 years of experience in the produce industry, including two decades at Roland Marketing Inc., Fridley, Minn. During his time as a buyer at Roland Marketing, one of Kimble’s suppliers was Ben Holmes Potato.

“We used to ship them a lot of potatoes,” Kevin Olson said.

Kimble joins a sales staff that also includes Mary Hay, who works out of a branch office in Alpharetta, Ga. Hay, a former grower, has more than 20 years of experience in the produce industry.


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