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

Red River Valley potato shippers listen to consumers, go with smaller packages

More and more, consumers are ignoring the 10-pound bags of red potatoes and instead picking up smaller, more convenient sizes, grower-shippers say.

The smallest pack is the individually wrapped microwaveable 8-ounce red baker from Campbell Farms, Grafton, N.D., which the company began selling last year.

Now, Campbell Farms also has a new grab-and-bake 5-pound mesh and film bag with a handle for red potatoes. The pack is designed to get consumers to try baking red potatoes.

Although consumers typically buy russets for baking, Tom Campbell, co-owner and sales manager of Campbell Farms, said red potatoes more moist. The bags are designed to educate buyers about baking reds. They also take advantage of consumer preference for small packages.

“Generally there is a trend to smaller bags,” Campbell said.

Campbell Farms now packs fewer10-pound bags and more 3- and 5-pound bags, he said.

“People are making more trips to the grocery store and buying for one or two days instead of for a week,” Campbell said.

Campbell Farms also packs creamer potatoes in 28-ounce plastic clamshells, but that package is not popular, Campbell said.

“I’m not sure why,” he said. “I think some (buyers) are doing it (packing clamshells) themselves with their own labels.”

Paul Dolan, general manager of Associated Potato Growers Inc., Grand Forks, N.D., also said the trend is toward more 3- and 5-pound bags and fewer 10-pound bags.

Although his company doesn’t pack creamers, he’s noticed more of them in 1.5- and 2-pound bags for retail.

Associated Potato offers 5- and 10-pound mesh bags, but Dolan said it packs very few of those. The industry isn’t willing to shell out the added expense for those, he said. A more economical option is a half-poly, half-mesh bag. It’s available in 3-, 5- and 10-pound sizes.

Other packing options at Associated Potato include 3,- 4-, 5-, 8-, 10-, 15- and 20-pound poly bags, 50-pound cartons and vented paper bags, 100-pound burlap bags and 2,000-pound tote bags.

Rodney Olson, principle owner of shipper Ben Holmes Potato Co. Inc., Becker, Minn., said his company packs more small packs for consumers than it used to. Now 5- and 10-pound bags are more common.

Ted Kreis, marketing and communications manager, Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, East Grand Forks, Minn., said the trend toward smaller packages has been happening for years.

“I think the 20-pound bag is almost extinct,” he said. “The 10-pound bag is continuing to lose market share to 5-pound bags, and eventually the 10-pound bag will probably not be available.”


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