Today's Pricing

WATERMELON — F.O.B.S AS OF AUG. 18

SOUTHWEST INDIANA AND SOUTHEAST ILLINOIS — Shipments (452-536-505, red-flesh seeded 52-49-36, red-flesh seedless 400-487-469) — Movement expected to remain the same. Trading slow. Prices slightly lower. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seeded 35s 11 cents; red-flesh seedless 36s 10-11 cents, 45s 11 cents, 60s 11 cents. Quality generally good.

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY, CALIF. — Shipments (273-318-312, seedless 262-306-299, seeded 11-12-13) — Movement expected about the same. Trading moderate. Prices generally unchanged. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless-type approximately 35 count 16-18 cents, approximately 45 count 17-19 cents, approximately 60 count 16-18 cents. Quality generally good.

DELAWARE, MARYLAND, EASTERN SHORE, VA. — Shipments (349-354*-299, red-flesh seeded 2-1-1, red-flesh seedless 347-353*-298) — Movement expected to remain about the same. Trading red-flesh seedless 60s very slow, other seedless slow. Prices red-flesh seedless 60s slightly lower, others generally unchanged. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless 36s and 45s mostly 11 cents, 60s mostly 10-11 cents. Quality generally good. *revised.

TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA — Shipments (TX 274-295-288, seedless 249-257-251, seeded 25-38-37; OK 16-10-6, seedless 12-10-6, seeded 4-0-0) — Movement expected about the same from Texas and decrease in Oklahoma. Trading moderate. Prices seeded higher, seedless 35 and 45 counts lower, 60s generally unchanged. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless-type approximately 45 count mostly 13-14 cents, approximately 35 count mostly 12-14 cents, approximately 60 count mostly 12-13 cents; red-flesh seeded-type approximately 28 and 35 counts mostly 10 cents. Quality variable. Some present shipments from prior bookings and/or previous commitments.

NORTH CAROLINA — Shipments (199-189*-187, red-flesh seeded 25-17-9, red-flesh seedless 174-172*-178) — Movement expected to remain about the same. Trading red-flesh seedless 60s very slow, other seedless slow. Prices red-flesh seedless 60s slightly lower, other seedless generally unchanged. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seeded 35s supplies insufficient to quote; red-flesh seedless 36s and 45s mostly 11 cents, 60s mostly 10-11 cents. Quality generally good. *revised.

MISSOURI — Shipments (195-137-93, red-flesh seeded 24-17-13, red-flesh seedless 171-120-79) — Movement expected to decrease as growers finish for the season. Supply insufficient and in too few hands to establish a market. LAST REPORT.

MICHIGAN — Shipments (3-22-52, red-flesh seeded 0-2-6, red-flesh seedless 3-20-46) — Movement expected to remain the same. Trading fairly slow. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless 36s 11-12 cents, 45s mostly 12 cents, 60s mostly 12 cents. Quality generally good.



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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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