Today's Pricing

WATERMELON — F.O.B.S AS OF JULY 21

GEORGIA — Shipments (1,263-1,057-903, red-flesh seeded 80-63-70, red-flesh seedless 1,183-994-833) — Movement expected to decrease as some growers finish for the season. Trading fairly slow. Prices red-flesh seedless 36s generally unchanged, others slightly lower. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seeded-type 35s 11-12 cents; red-flesh seedless-type 36s mostly 11 cents, 45s 11-12 cents 60s 12-13 cents. Quality generally good.

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY, CALIF. — Shipments (303-384-372, seedless 278-352-357, seeded 25-32-15) — Movement expected about the same. Trading seedless active, seeded moderate. Prices seedless slightly higher, seeded slightly lower. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless-type approximately 35 count mostly 19-20 cents, approximately 45 count mostly 20 cents, approximately 60 count mostly 18 cents; red-flesh seeded-type approximately 35 and 45 counts mostly 12-13 cents. Quality generally good.

MISSOURI — Shipments (8-64-166, red-flesh seeded 2-6-11, red-flesh seedless 6-58-155) — Movement expected to increase. Trading fairly slow. Prices lower. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless-type 36s 12 cents, 45s 13-14 cents, 60s 14 cents. Quality generally good.

TEXAS — Shipments (349-182-155, seedless 333-171-145, seeded 16-11-10) — Movement expected to increase as production increases in West Texas. Trading moderate. Prices 60 count higher, others generally unchanged. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless-type approximately 35 count 15-16 cents, 45 count mostly 15-16 cents, approximately 60 count 14-15 cents. Quality variable.

SOUTH CAROLINA — Shipments (140-125-153, red-flesh seeded 18-6-5, red-flesh seedless 122-119-148) — Movement expected to decrease as some shippers finish the season. Trading fairly slow. Prices generally unchanged. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seeded 35s supplies insufficient to quote; red-flesh seedless 36s 11-12 cents, 45s mostly 11-12 cents, 60s 13-14 cents. Quality generally good.

SOUTHWEST INDIANA AND SOUTHEAST ILLINOIS — Shipments (0-8-112, red-flesh seeded 0-0-12, red-flesh seedless 0-8-100) — Movement expected to increase. Trading red-flesh seedless 36s fairly slow, others moderate. 24-inch bins per-pounds red-flesh seeded 35s 13-14 cents; red-flesh seedless 36s 13-14 cents, 45s 15-16 cents 60s 15-16 cents. Quality generally good.

NORTH CAROLINA — Shipments (16-39*-110, red-flesh seeded 6-7*-23, red-flesh seedless 10-32-87) — Movement expected to increase as more shippers begin the season. Trading moderate. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seeded 35s mostly 14 cents; red-flesh seedless 36s mostly 12-13 cents, 45s and 60s mostly 13-14 cents. Quality generally good. *revised.

DELAWARE, MARYLAND AND EASTERN SHORE, VA. — Shipments (0-0-17, red-flesh seeded 0-0-2, red-flesh seedless 0-0-15) — Movement expected to increase as more shippers begin the season. Trading fairly active. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seeded 35s 14-15 cents; red-flesh seedless 36s, 45s, and 60s 15-16 cents. Quality generally good.

MICHIGAN — Shipments (0-0-0, red-flesh seeded 0-0-0, red-flesh seedless 0-0-0) — Very light harvest expected to begin by mid-August. Expect sufficient volume for first f.o.b. by mid- to late August. FIRST REPORT.



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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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