In mid-January, Peatland Reds Inc., located in Trail, MN, will be "cranking up"
its red potato packing operation again. The company took a break from
packing in December to install a new “Odenberg” automated grader. It was a
good time to take a break, too, noted Dennis Magnell, the firm's manager and
a partner, because prices were expected to rise and it was difficult to find
truck transportation in December.
Mr. Magnell told The Produce News Dec. 23 that the red potato market “was
really good at first. We poured the coals to it.” Of the 165,000 hunderweight
of red potatoes put in storage by the company in the fall, about 100,000
hunderweight were “washed out” early in the season. The price went “down a
little,” so the firm took its washing and packing break.
He expects to finish packing and shipping in six or seven weeks after
“It has been a really good deal,” Mr. Magnell said. “It has been an OK year. It
was not a bumper crop, but there was good quality on most” of the
company’s spuds. “We had issues in a couple of bins, but we’ll pick through
that — run them over the auto grader and then regrade with some humans.”