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NoKota adds increased potato storage capacity

Working with eight farming operations from Hillsboro to St. Thomas, ND, NoKota Packers Inc. is ready to move quality red Norland and Sangre potato varieties from the Red River Valley. The company, located in Buxton, ND, has been conducting business for 32 years storing, washing and packaging tablestock potatoes for resale.

“In 2011, we added a million pounds of storage and tweaked our washline,” Chief Executive Officer and President Steve Tweten told The Produce News Sept. 28. “NoKota can now store 54 million pounds of spuds at Buxton, ND. We will ship around 1,500 semi loads annually.”

Potatoes are stored at 40 degrees and 98 percent humidity to preserve freshness. Electronic bagging machines guarantee accurate weights and high-speed output, packing 140 5-pound bags per minute. NoKota is also equipped to package in a variety of other weights and types.

Potatoes are marketed under the “Buxton’s Best,” “Bully,” “Roughrider” and “NoKota Pride” labels. NoKota packs potatoes in poly bags, paper vent bags, cartons and totes. Private label accounts for 85 percent of the company’s 5-pound packaging option, Mr. Tweten said.

On July 11, Steve Johnson joined NoKota’s sales team. Mr. Johnson handled sales at Associated Potato Growers Inc. in Grand Forks, ND, for 12 years before joining NoKota. Mr. Johnson told The Produce News that he is looking forward to continuing his contacts from the past 12 years and developing new customer relationships.