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

Quality up, volume down for Red River spud crop

Courtesy Associated Potato Growers Inc. Late plantings and spotty yields may hinder the overall size of the Red River Valley potato crop, but excellent quality could make up some of the difference.

“This year’s crop is looking to have the best quality that we have had in quite a while,” said Paul Dolan, president of Associated Potato Growers Inc., Grand Forks, N.D. “The color is great.”

Ted Kreis, marketing director for the Northern Plain Potato Growers Association, East Grand Forks, N.D., said Oct. 11 that about three-fourths of the area’s fresh potato crop had been harvested. He said yields, which typically average about 200 cwt per care, were as low as 110 cwt.

Keith Groven, salesman for Black Gold Farms, Grand Forks, N.D., said some of his company’s fields yielded more than 300 cwt. per acre.

“Yields are all over the board,” Groven said.

Kreis said some growers had to plant late because of wet conditions in the spring. Fields planted earlier produced better yields because plants were more mature when hot summer weather hit.

“The good news is a lot more potatoes will be graded No.1 this year,” he said. “We’ll ship about as much as we did last year when we had too many culls. We’ll have fewer potatoes but better potatoes.”

Kreis said an undetermined number of acres went unplanted due to wet conditions.

He estimated the Red River Valley would have about 25% less spuds than an average year. That’s good news for the growers who have managed to get their potatoes dug despite an abundance of fall rain.

Chris Bjorneby, salesman and partner for Lone Wolf Farms, Minto, N.D., said reds were selling for $15 per cwt. Lone Wolf wrapped up its harvest Oct. 2.

“I’m optimistic about pricing,” Bjorneby said. “Pricing is going to be firm where it’s at.

“It might even climb. Quality is excellent with great color,” he said.

Bryan Folson, general manager for Folson Farms, East Grand Forks, said he could see prices going as high as $20 per cwt., depending on the weather in the last half of October. Folson’s company still had more than half its crop in the ground because of wet conditions.

“We need sunshine and wind,” he said Oct. 16. “Hopefully temperatures don’t drop too severely. Usually, we’re done by late September or early October.”

“Harvest has been pretty good in between rains,” said Steve Tweeten, president and chief executive officer of NoKota Packers, Buxton, N.D. “We’re waiting for it to dry up again.”

O.C. Schultz & Sons Inc., Crytal, N.D., finished its harvest the week of Oct. 7.

President Dave Moquist said he sympathized with growers who have been harder hit by wet conditions.

“This late in the fall, it’s going to be a challenge to finish before it freezes,” he said. “We hope they get it done.”


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