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Opinions vary on the size of the Idaho potato crop this year, and certainly yields will vary from one producer to another and one farm to another. But Wilcox Fresh, exclusive marketing company for Floyd Wilcox & Sons Inc., anticipates a “very large” crop of Idaho russet potatoes for the 2012 harvest, according to Jim Richter, executive vice president of sales and marketing.

006-IdPotatoes-WilcoxJim Richter and Lynn Wilcox of Wilcox Fresh.“Russets are the predominant item we do out of Idaho,” Mr. Richter said. “We do offer colored potatoes from other parts of the country, as well as a value-added program.”

Mr. Richter said he expects the size of the Idaho crop, when combined with volume growth in other potato producing areas, will assure that adequate supplies of potatoes will be available to meet market demand.

“While there may be shortages of other commodity items due to the drought we have seen around the country this year, potatoes will be in plentiful supply,” he said.

Quality looks good, and the returns on the early potatoes “look very good,” he said Aug. 24, “but there will be a lot of potatoes on the market this year.”

In the value-added category, Wilcox has been offering a product called “Potato Jazz,” consisting of steam kits of fresh baby potatoes with seasoning packs. “We are going to be re-launching” the “Potato Jazz” line this fall “with new flavor profiles,” he said. “We will have four SKUs in that.”

At Wilcox, “we are always looking for ways to work with our customers to help them improve their results,” Mr. Richter said.

The company was “in the process of upgrading our sales tools and our website, so we will have a new look for those this fall,” he said. Those upgrades will include the company’s large trade show booth for the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in October as well as “the smaller booth that we use at shows like SEPC, NEPC and Midwest Produce Expo.”