Today's Pricing

WATERMELON — F.O.B.S AS OF JULY 14

GEORGIA — Shipments (1,458-1,263-1,057, red-flesh seeded 122-80-63; red-flesh seedless 1,336-1,183-994) — Movement expected to decrease. Trading red-flesh seeded 35s and red-flesh seedless 60s moderate, others very slow. Prices red-flesh seed 35s and red-flesh seedless 60s slightly higher, others lower. 24-inch bins per pounds red-flesh seeded-type 35s 12-13 cents; red-flesh seedless-type 36s mostly 11 cents, 45s mostly 12 cents, 60s 13-14 cents. Quality generally good.

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY, CALIF. — Shipments (314-303-384, seedless 294-278-352, seeded 20-25-32) — Movement expected about the same. Trading seedless 35 count fairly active at slightly lower prices, others fairly active. Prices seedless 35 count slightly lower, seedless 45 count generally unchanged, others slightly higher. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless-type approximately 35 count mostly 18 cents, approximately 45 count mostly 19-20 cents, approximately 60 count 17-18 cents; red-flesh seeded-type approximately 35 and 45 counts 12-14 cents. Quality generally good.

TEXAS — Shipments (500-349-182, seedless 480-333-171, seeded 20-16-11) — Movement expected to decrease slightly. Trading early slow, late moderate. Prices 45 count lower, others higher. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless-type approximately 35 and 45 count mostly 15-16 cents, approximately 60 count mostly 14 cents. Quality variable.

SOUTH CAROLINA — Shipments (171-140*-125, red-flesh seeded 21-18-6; red-flesh seedless 150-122*-119) — Movement expected to remain about the same. Trading seeded 35s and seedless 60s moderate, other seedless slow. Prices slightly lower. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seeded 35s mostly 13 cents; red-flesh seedless 36s and 45s mostly 11-12 cents, 60s 13-14 cents. Quality generally good.

IMPERIAL AND COACHELLA VALLEYS, CALIF., AND CENTRAL AND WESTERN ARIZONA — Shipments (seedless AZ 224-207-103, CA 19-0-0) — Movement expected to decrease sharply as most shippers are finished for season. Supplies insufficient to establish a market. Quality generally good. Lighter shipments were expected to continue through July 19. LAST REPORT.

MISSOURI — Shipments (0-8-64, red-flesh seeded 0-2-6; red-flesh seedless 0-58-*) — Movement expected to increase. Trading moderate. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless-type 36s 14 cents, 45s 15 cents and 60s 15-16 cents. Quality generally good. *unavailable

NORTH CAROLINA — Shipments (1-16-37, red-flesh seeded 1-6-5; red-flesh seedless 0-10-32) — Movement expected to increase as more shippers begin the season. Sufficient volume and number of shippers for first f.o.b. report were expected the week of July 14.

SOUTHWEST INDIANA AND SOUTHEAST ILLINOIS — Shipments (0-0-8, red-flesh seeded 0-0-0; red-flesh seedless 0-0-8) — Very light harvest has begun. Expect sufficient volume for first f.o.b. by late July.

DELAWARE, MARYLAND, EASTERN SHORE, VA. — Light harvest was expected to begin by the week of July 21 with sufficient volume and number of shippers for first f.o.b. report by the week of July 21.



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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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