In mid-January, Okray Family Farms Inc. was packing russet potatoes only
four days a week in a deliberate effort to slow shipping volume and lengthen
the sales calendar for a short crop.
On Jan. 12, Mike Finnessy, a family owner (his mother was an Okray) of the
grower-packer based in Plover, WI, indicated that Wisconsin's russet stocks
on hand were down almost 1 million hundredweight over the previous year.
"Prices have been rising steadily, and we expect more increases as we go
along," Mr. Finnessy said.
Okray Farms is bringing red potatoes from North Dakota to pack and ship. In
a similar fashion, the firm is buying yellow potatoes from Colorado. “We have
our own russets left. We hope to make it into June” shipping russets. For the
firm, the yellow and red potatoes “are an add-on to russets. We have a couple
pallets of each on a truck. We seldom ship straight loads of either” variety of
Mr. Finnessy said that his company expects to initiate some new products this
spring. This will include “some shrink wrapping” of potatoes. “We will see
what happens. The business is changing all the time.”