Topashaw Farms anticipating exciting fall season

potato-diggin-Topashaw Farms enjoys a reputation for growing the best sweet potatoes around, and it’s a reputation that has been well-earned.

Topashaw Farms, based in Vardaman, MS, grows sweet potatoes on 29,000 acres, and ships the tasty vegetables, both fresh and processed, year-round. This year’s season is just getting started, and owner-operator Joe Edmondson said crops are looking strong.

“The weather is the biggest factor and we don’t have control over that,” Edmondson said. “But the weather is going to be the main factor in growing a good crop of sweet potatoes pretty much wherever you go. We have an ideal climate for them here because we have really humid summers, and they like that.”

Thanksgiving, of course, is the biggest day of the year for sweet potatoes, followed by Easter, but the company makes sure to treat every day as something special for its customers.

“It’s pretty consistent the rest of the year,” Edmondson said.

Topashaw Farms grows its perfect potatoes by conditioning the soil to ensure the shape, size and skin quality that shoppers are looking for. The farm’s fertilizers and foliars grow the healthiest plants and best-tasting sweet potatoes that are harvested with mechanical diggers.

The coronavirus has had a huge effect on all aspects of life, but aside from one case in its package unit, Topashaw Farms has not had any direct issues with the virus. Still, it’s done its part to ensure all employees are safe and all food-safety measures are as strong as can be.

“As far as the market is concerned, there’s been a lot of inconsistency,” Edmondson said. “Where we’re fortunate is that we don’t just do a lot of wholesale. On the process side, our chip folks got hit pretty hard because the chips are sold at ballparks and stuff that like. But overall, it wasn’t as bad as we were bracing for at the beginning.”

Topashaw Farms sells its potatoes to several processors that make a variety of products, mainly chips and fries, while its fresh packs go primarily to major chain stores and some markets in bigger towns.

The firm uses two Kerian mechanical sizers and can grade multiple sizes at the same time, and its sweet potatoes are handled just once in order to protect quality. And with a storage capacity for more than 2.5 million bushels, Topashaw Farms added a second washer to its facility last year to keep up with demand.

“We were pretty much overwhelmed with what capacity we had, so we added to it,” Edmondson said. “Now, we can do a lot more things.”

Those accomplishments are building on Topashaw Farms’ remarkable legacy of success, which has spanned more than 30 years.

“I think it’s the pride we take in what we do,” Edmondson said of Topashaw Farms’ success. “We started out and we continue to do so, by taking that extra step to provide a high-quality product. It’s worked well for us and that’s what we continue to do.”

USDA cites Ohio business for $800K PACA violations
As a part of its efforts to enforce the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and ensure fair trading practices within the U.S. produce industry, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on PK Produce Inc. in Canton, OH, for failing to meet its contractual obligations to the sellers of produce it Read More ...
Sobeys expands curbside pickup service
Sobeys is expanding its e-commerce offering to Atlantic Canada with the launch of Voilà by Sobeys Curbside Pickup. Now available at three Sobeys store locations in Nova Scotia, the new service offers a freshness guarantee and products at affordable prices with no hidden fees. Orders are assembled with care by Voilà by Read More ...
IPC helps foodservice operators make changes to meet COVID-era challenges
Portability, profitability, innovation and menu simplification. Those topics were the themes of a webinar presented by the Idaho Potato Commission as part of Restaurants Rise, an initiative launched in May by Nation’s Restaurant News and Restaurant Hospitality. The initiative has included live virtual events to aid Read More ...
Indianapolis Fruit Co. expands robust team
Indianapolis Fruit Co. remains focused on being a leading super-regional produce and specialty foods distributor providing premium quality products and unprecedented customer experiences through experts who care. The company, a business unit of IF&P Foods and the FreshEdge Group of Cos., primarily services the retail Read More ...
Meijer vet joins SpartanNash leadership
SpartanNash Co. has hired Shaquanda Gordon as vice president of human resources, talent and diversity. Gordon will build on the company's efforts to ensure a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce by driving the overall human capital strategy for the organization. In this newly created position, she will lead the human Read More ...
Index Fresh hires seasoned sales representative Susie Rea
In a move to bolster its sales efforts, Index Fresh hired Susie Rea this month. Rea has a great reputation in the avocado industry and brings with her an extremely successful 23-year career in produce sales, supported by strong industry relationships globally. “Susie is an incredibly dynamic sales professional with an Read More ...

Market Watch

the source pro-act

Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse