view current print edition







Black Gold Farms rocks the Red River Valley

It has been a strong market for red potato growers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, particularly for Black Gold Farms.

Keith Groven, fresh sales manager for Black Gold Farms, based in the Red River Valley in Grand Forks, ND, said that demand for red potatoes seemed strong enough to sustain good market prices.Keith-Groven-black-goldKeith Groven

“I am not sure I have the crystal ball to explain it, but the demand has been outstanding for two straight months and there has been good supply,” said Groven.

Black Gold’s Red River Valley operation, harvest was to commence the week of Sept. 25 and Black Gold’s Red River red potatoes will be shipped about Oct. 15.

“It looks like we have a fantastic crop,” Groven said. “Our agronomists are in the field almost daily. The quality is spectacular and we have good yields. We’ve had no crop disasters like last year,” which he said suffered from moisture. “We’ve not had that this season,” Groven emphasized.

“Demand has seemed to be very good compared to the last couple of years,” said Groven. “The markets reflect no fear of deterioration and the price for growers is remarkably strong.”

Supplies were short in July “but since August 1 the overall tonnage shipped has been fantastic,” he said. “[Generally the industry] continues to build on that red potato brand. There are other potato categories that have seen slow degeneration, but red potato markets are at worst flat and at best growing moderately.”

Groven added that as the Thanksgiving period approaches the strong markets will allow for discounts to market prices for holiday promotions — without sacrificing returns to the grower.

Groven also said Black Gold Farms had completed its Indiana red potato harvest, which is packed in the Black Gold packinghouse in Missouri’s bootheel, in Arbyrd, MO.