California Sweet Potato Season in Full Swing
- by Robert Schaulis
CALIFORNIA - For Golden State growers, sweet potato season is in full swing this September. The state’s spud farmers kicked off a slightly early season late this summer, and all signs suggest a strong crop—in terms of both quality and quantity—continuing throughout the fall.
Darren Barfield, Chief Operations Officer for Quail H Farms, noted the high-quality and ample quantity of this year’s harvest.
“This year, we started rocking and rolling,” Darren told me. “We started harvest a little early this year, and we’re in full swing right now. Quality appears to be a little bit better than last year, and yields are comparable to last year. From a farming standpoint it looks like a really good year for California sweet potatoes.”
Retail Sales Specialist Jeremy Fookes, of A.V. Thomas Produce, also noted that California season is currently in full swing and predicted ample supply of California-grown product in the coming months.
“All our machines are fired up, and everything's going into storage. As far as the outlook on crop yield, it looks like it’s about average so far. It's a little too early to tell over all. The percentage of acreage we’ve harvested is still on the low end,” said Jeremy. “Quality has been very good. We’ve had really good conditions—nice dry weather during the last few weeks that allows the potatoes to cure out in the field and allows us to harvest them without any trouble. They'll be plenty of supply, as far as California product, to carry over throughout the holidays, with good quality and supply when people are looking for sweet potatoes the most.”
Likewise, Nick Martinez, Director of Operations for Country Sweet Produce, noted that conditions in California are currently optimal, and all signs point to those conditions continuing through the remainder of the season.
“With harvest in full swing and ideal weather conditions in California, all early indications point to a great sweet potato season,” said Nick. “Sweet potatoes are a year-round staple, which equates to no days off as we get all acres prepped for demand.”
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