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Do you like French fries?  Are potato chips something you occasionally crave?  Your great tasting snack started out in a potato fields just like the one Noon International representatives visited near the Oregon border in pursuit of more detailed product understanding.  The potatoes in the photograph are a Russet variety three to four weeks away from harvest.  Freshly dug up from the ground these tasty taters might look a little dirty, but this year they are one valuable crop!   Photos include a view of a potato field, some potatoes on the ground still attached to the plant, and a closeup photo of some freshly dug potatoes which will be ready for harvest in three weeks.

Pulled Up Potatoes

Potatoes in Hand

Potatoe Field

Our Northwest Crops: Frozen Vegetables

Green Beans:  Green Bean harvest is over 70% complete with lower than budget yields but good quality beans reported.  Heat affected the middle of the green bean harvest by causing bean flowers to drop off the plant before beans had the chance to form.  Weather has indeed been warm during the weeks up till mid September but green bean quality remains good.  By October 1st green bean harvest should be over for the season.  Lower than average yields and high quality beans are expected to persist through the end of the season. 

Corn: High quality Columbia Basin corn is being processed as quickly as it can be harvested and brought in from the fields.  The bunch ripening situation that was expected to end the first week of September is still observed by Eastern Washington corn growers, but as was mentioned in the previous report processors are prepared for bunch ripening scenarios and no corn should go to waste or be affected in terms of quality.

Carrot:  Baby carrot processing is complete. Sliced carrot harvest and processing will finish between September 15th and 25th giving way to diced carrot production into October.  Diced carrot production is the last type of carrot production to occur in the carrot season timeline.  Diced carrots are processed last to allow carrots as much time as possible to grow big and maximize the amount of raw product manufactured into frozen diced carrot.  Quality and yield of all carrot products is good.

Potato:  Ranger Russet potato harvest is over in Washington State giving way to Russet Burbank harvest in the beginning weeks of September.  Yield was average and quality was extremely good for Ranger Russet potatoes and the same good quality and average yield is expected in the Columbia Basin Russet Burbank crop as well.  The per acre potato yield in the Columbia Basin surpassed expert predictions of 605 cwt per acre this year at an average yield of 615 cwt  per acre. 

Blueberries: Blueberry harvest is complete in Washington State.

Our Mexican and Guatemalan Crops: Frozen Vegetables

Broccoli/Mexico: Full capacity broccoli production is expected to begin in October when the rainy season is over.   

Cauliflower/Mexico: Small quantity harvest still continues until large scale harvest starts up again in mid to late September when seasonal rain lessens significantly.  Rain persists in September.

Broccoli/Guatemala: Broccoli production continues with high quality broccoli currently being harvested.  Guatemalan Broccoli producers say that this summer has been less rainy and more warm than in years past.  While some small seasonal rains persist into October, rain should significantly lessen by November.  Guatemala might be small, but its mountainous terrain creates micro climates which make one place rainy while another place a few miles away might be dry allowing harvest to continue in many areas even during the rainy season.     

Did you know…?

On August 18’th 2009 Seattle voters rejected a proposed “bag tax” with 58 percent of voters in opposition to the ordinance.  The proposed tax put a 20 cent fee on each disposable bag consumers used in grocery, convenience, and drug stores.  If the bag tax had passed Seattle would have been the only city in the world to tax both paper and plastic bags.  Do you think this tax was a good idea?  Is preventing the use of plastic enough justification to charge 20 cents for something that costs less than 1 cent to produce?  The majority of Seattle voters thought not.  What do you think? Click here to email us your comments!


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