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

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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