As farmers, we thrive in the anticipation of what each day is going to bring, we work long, hard hours, we put out fires on a daily basis, we get to see tangible results, we get to farm…It’s what we wait for all winter. This is our time to shine. This is what we do best.
Finally, the moment has come that we so diligently plan for. This is the when the long hours in meeting rooms figuring out how to get the most from every acre we farm, decide what piece of equipment needs to be where, who needs to be at what farm when, which customers need exactly what, when and from where, and how we can make the entire system work as one cohesive unit – are all worth it.
Here’s The Real Dirt for 2015…
Pearsall, TX – HARVEST. Kicked off April 27th! Chip potatoes have been dug, and they are on the road! It will go into super high-gear this week. The fresh potato crop is hanging out in the field getting the skin set. Red fresh crop will start to be dug later this week.
Pearsall Packing Facility – Equipment, supplies, and people are all ready to go. The past month has been hectic moving packing and washing equipment from Grand Forks, ND to Pearsall, TX.
Live Oak, FL – HARVEST. Kicked off April 30th! With increased chip potato acres, Florida is ready to ship out the most potatoes they ever have. The crew has been busy getting equipment ready, taking care of the crop, and doing everything else to get ready for a smooth harvest.
Arbyrd, MO – GROWING. Last week the weather shut field operations down for a couple of days, but nothing severe. The crop is growing really fast! There is good emergence and a good stand from what we have seen so far. The team is really focused right now on making sure the crop plan is executed perfectly in order to maximize the crop this year.
Arbyrd Packing Facility – April is historically slow, which allows the crew to get ready for the big push starting in April. Everything is cleaned, packaging has been ordered, equipment is running smoothly, and it is ready to go!
Camden, NC (new for 2015) – GROWING. Atlantic’s (chip potatoes) are 10 to 12 inches in height and have started initiation of tubers. Equipment is starting to be put in place with the new changes in the loading area. Corn planting should be wrapped up shortly.
Camden Packing Facility – A lot of projects in the packing facility to get ready. Will be ready to go any day! This is a great addition for our fresh customers.
Columbia, NC – GROWING. The early half of Atlantic production is now starting to initiate tubers. We started planting corn early this week. Looks like we could have some good wheat production this year with good tiller counts and heads starting to emerge.
Charleston, MO – GROWING. The weather appears like it is going to be in our favor this week. The focus in the field is on managing water. The crop is moving in the right direction, and equipment is getting ready. Sweet potato ground is also being worked on.
Delhi, LA – TRANSPLANTING. Last week, all of the fields were too wet too work in. More sweet potato plants were cut last last week in the greenhouse. This will be the last time the plants will be cut before we head to the field with them. We are looking forward to next year’s crop and already have ideas to ensure a full greenhouse, especially considering our LED light experiment has turned out so well. In the field, the plant beds are looking excellent.
Rhodesdale, MD – GROWING. Potato planting wrapped up last week. All Atlantic fields have begun to emerge and have been cultivated. Soil temps are now well into the mid 60’s so sprout development on most fields is moving quickly. Now, corn is being planted, and a watchful eye on the potato crop.
Winamac, IN – PLANTING. Planting continues at a slightly slower pace since everything is on schedule. Seed is still coming in but at a greatly reduced rate. Currently, there is plenty of seed cut and ready to be planted. The chip potato trial will be planted this week with the help of a few people down from the North Dakota office.
Sturgis, MI – PLANTING. The Early Atlantic crop that is in the ground is coming along nicely. We currently have 1/4″-1″ sprouts coming through and field conditions have remained moist. Conditions have been good to get field work done and stay ahead of the planters. The crew has been working hard to stay on track and not let the rain we have had set us back.
Red River Valley, ND – PLANTING. It finally dried up enough to start planting. The warehouse is full of seed, and the equipment is in prime condition. The weather has been great so far.
RRV Packing Facility – With only a few boxes of potatoes left in the facility, it’s pretty quite. The line has been torn down and moved to Pearsall. However, there is a lot of cleaning and maintenance to do to get ready for harvest.
Grand Forks Office – Each farming location is going full throttle, so there is a ton of support that is needed from Grand Forks. Trucks need to booked and managed for chip loads, fresh loads, seed loads, sweet loads, and to make sure equipment gets to where it’s needed. People need to be hired and paperwork filled out correctly so everyone gets paid on time. Computer systems need to work flawlessly so we can record and share data and other information. Customers need to be aware of crop progress and manage orders. Marketing campaigns need to be executed while trade show season is quickly approaching. The service and agronomy teams are racking up frequent flyer miles ensuring that the equipment is ready and the crop has the best chance of success possible.
This is when we like to say it’s our time to shine. Our time lasts for about 7 months….and we love it.