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Bushman maximizing Colorado potato sources

by Kathleen Thomas Gaspar | January 11, 2011
Describing post-holiday potato movement as brisk, Tonya McCormick, partner in H.R. Bushman & Son Corp. and manager of the Colorado office in Golden, told The Produce News that she continues to maximize relationships she's developed with Colorado spud grower-shippers.

Ms. McCormick, who is in her 10th year as partner in the St. Louis-based Bushman operation, works the Colorado office with her sister, Melodie Dorland. Ms. McCormick handles sales, and Ms. Dorland secures transportation.

"Market conditions are good right now," Ms. McCormick said in mid-January, adding that tighter supplies across the country have bolstered prices and demand. “We are working closely with San Luis Valley shippers, moving mostly russets but also a good amount of yellows out of the valley.”

In addition to russets and yellows, Bushman brokers fingerlings and other specialties. “This week we moved purple C-size potatoes,” Ms. McCormick said Jan. 12. “And we sell organics when they’re requested.”

The longtime potato broker said that her domestic market areas “change with demand,” and she noted that exports to Mexico have been light year-to-date. “But there is a lot of time left in this shipping season,” Ms. McCormick said of the export market’s demand.

On the transportation front, Ms. McCormick said that Ms. Dorland has found transportation availability to “be very consistent,” and the 2010-11 potato season is adding up to a “very fun year.”