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

Many packaging solutions replace 10-pound potato bags

Big, 10-pound bags of red potatoes are on their way out, but there doesn’t seem to be a trend towards any particular pack replacing them, Red River Valley potato shippers say.

The 10-pound bag is almost gone, said David Moquist, partner and sales manager at O.C. Schulz & Sons Inc., Crystal, N.D. Most red potatoes in supermarkets now are packed in 5-pound bags, and many B-size potatoes are packed in 3-pound bags.

Paul Dolan, general manager at Associated Potato Growers Inc., Grand Forks, N.D., said buyers continue to seek private-label packaging, but preferred pack sizes vary with retailer. While some chains prefer 5-pound poly bags, others are beginning to use more private-label “combo bags” made of half poly and half mesh.

Mesh bags are more expensive, so a combo bag can provide a mesh look at a lower cost, he said.

Steve Tweten, president and sales manager, NoKota Packers Inc., Buxton, N.D., also said the trend in packaging is packing in whatever type of pack customers want.

Some red potato packaging promotes the use of red potatoes as bakers.

Associated Potato’s own bags promote reds as bakers, but most of its volume is shipped in private-label bags, only some of which promote baking reds, Dolan said.

Last season, Campbell Farms, Grafton, N.D., introduced a 5-pound grab-and-bake bag of red potatoes, but it wasn’t successful enough to bring back this season, said Tom Campbell, co-owner and sales manager.

“It didn’t take off the way we thought,” he said.

Although there were some customers for the bag, there wasn’t enough volume to make it worthwhile to pack. The bag was mesh with a handle on top. It promoted the red potato specifically as an alternative to the russet for baking.

The individually wrapped red baking potato didn’t take off, either.

Campbell Farms offered individually wrapped 8-ounce red potatoes last season, but it will not market them this year, Campbell said.

Dolan said Associated Potato experimented internally with using a microwaveable wrap for red potatoes but determined there wasn’t a distinct difference in the quality of a microwaved wrapped potato.

“We didn’t find any advantage as far as wrapped or not wrapped,” Dolan said.


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