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Potato Growers South Florida enjoy a good start of the season

50 lb. boxes of table stock potatoes ready for shipping at Jones Potato Farm

The South Florida potato harvest season has started well, with a good healthy crop taking shape. It has been underway for just over a month and despite cooler weather at the start of the year, South Florida crops escaped any major frost damage, with growers pleased with quality and volume.

Alan Jones of Jones Potato Farm in Parrish, Florida:

“It's been a nice harvest season so far.”

“The season started on February 1 and we expect to have product through the first week of May before the season transitions to North Florida. The weather during the growing season in this part of the state was fine.”

“We did not see any frost damage like some crops in the northern part of the state experienced. Therefore, we're seeing great quality and adequate volume coming through.”

Yellows see demand for Easter

Growers are expecting to have all varieties available throughout the season, with yellow ones seeing good demand. There is still a lot of potatoes in storage in other regions though, so the market is currently a bit flat. However there are plenty of good signs that the season will be a positive one.

Alan Jones:

“We grow reds, yellows, fingerlings and purple potatoes.”

“Reds and yellows will be available for the whole season, while fingerlings and purples will be a little more limited, however we expect those to also be available for the majority of the season.”

“Demand has been constant but the market has been a little flat due to the amount of potatoes still in storage, however yellows are seeing heightened demand as Easter approaches.”

“Another bit of good news is that truck availability has improved in South Florida, so it is now easier to get product to market compared to what it has been in recent times. Overall, this season is shaping up to be a very positive one.”

Working with the community and environment

Jones Potato Farm also have other crops that are ready to begin their season shortly. In addition, the company is proud to be participating in community events and have been recognized for ensuring the surrounding environment is looked after as well.

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Alan Jones with his sons Harrison and Carson at a Farm to School Event in Sarasota County

Alan Jones:

“Our green bean season will be kicking off next week and we look forward to another season of offering those.”

“We find it very important to be a part of our community and we enjoy getting out and educating young professionals as well as promoting local agriculture. Part of our farmland incorporates pristine ecosystems such as wetlands which are a habitat for local wildlife and birds.”

“So we incorporate innovative practices in order to save water and fertilizer. For example, our pivot irrigation system controls the rate of water we put on each field as soil porosity varies in each location.”

“We were proud to win the State agriculture environmental leadership award a couple of years ago, recognizing our efforts to protect the ecosystem in and around our farm.”
(Click picture to watch video)

2016 Ag Environmental Leadership Award: Jones Potato Farm