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NoKota Packers Inc., based in Buxton, ND, is ahead of its five-year average in packing its red storage potatoes, company president Steve Tweten said Dec. 28.

"We are doing real well" in moving the 2010 crop, he said. Despite strong early movement, “We always ship into the spring. We still plan to take care of our customers.”

NoKota will ship into either April or May, depending upon demand.

“Quality is looking good,” he said. “We still have a lot of good potatoes.”

Mr. Tweten found that Christmas demand “was maybe not quite as good as we expected, but it still turned out OK — just not to expectations. I always hope for the stars. If you wind up with the moon, it's still good. I always want a little better.”

Mr. Tweten believes that the Red River Valley “still has some upside potential in the market.” He concluded, “We still have room for the prices to move upward. It could happen.”