Sweet potato stocks in the US are good. “In general, there is not much supply for the sector, but I think it will be enough to complete the summer months until we start with the new crop,” says Larelle Miller, of Quail H Farms.
Most of California’s sweet potatoes are grown in Merced County, although Bakersfield has its own production as well. The largest sweet potato-producing state is North Carolina, with more than 50 percent of its area in the United States. The rest of the land area is represented by California, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
However, retail business appears to have slowed somewhat since February. “It’s not a huge slowdown, but traffic is down about 10% from previous years,” says Miller. It’s a different picture from last year, when inventories started to decline in June and July.
Part of the slowdown has been attributed to the increase in FOB rates, which are higher than in the same period last year. “We need to keep the FOBs higher because otherwise we can’t do business. That way there won’t be a shortage in the summer,” says Miller. “I think prices will go up a few dollars by May and June, because there’s still packaging coming out of warehouses and we’ll With less mobilization. With less mobilization and better farm productivity, we need to make sure we are a win-win for everyone.”
Looking ahead to the 2023 harvest, Miller says it’s too early to say anything about it. California begins planting in late February through March. “Then we suffered from severe cold, rain and wind. Our production is not as high as we would like it to be, which affects the planting of the 2023 crop – says Miller – We will not go into the fields to plant until the end of this month or the first week of May. At that point we will have A better idea of what it would be like. If we had decent weather between May and July, there should be a decent harvest.
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