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Optimism reigns at NoKota Packers

As a prognosticator, Steve Tweten, president and CEO of NoKota Packers Inc., is conservative by nature.

“Right now, it’s not looking too bad,” Tweten said, as the Red River Valley red potato harvest began to roll in early September. “We barely started harvest. It’s too soon to tell, but the color looks nice. We’ve had no rain for ten days, so we’re harvesting.”Steve-Tweten 2Steve Tweten

Tweten is optimistic, however, that the harvest will be better than last year, which was one of the worst production years in the history of the valley.

“Last year there was a lot of rain and dirt dings,” he said, “that were caused by big clods of dirt at harvest.” Tweten eventually confessed, “We will have more potatoes than last year,” adding that the color and quality will be better as well.

He expected Red River Valley growers to approach a volume in harvest by mid-September.

Tweten said that this fall NoKota, based in Buxton, ND, would be marketing some of the volume packed by a new company, H&S Fresh Pack, which is owned and operated by established growers T.J. Hall and Dave Moquist.