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

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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