Lenz Farms kicks off potato harvest in August
A mid-August start to harvest saw Lenz Family Farms’ northern Colorado potato operation kick off the 2022 season, which runs from August through February.
Bevan Lenz, who handles sales and IT, added, “The crop was average. We started off with a cool summer that got above average hot, and heat slowed down potato growth. But we are on schedule for harvest.”
As it has done in past years, the farm planted yellows and reds this year. It generally ships both varieties fresh until mid-October, switching to storage at that time. During the growing and packing season, Lenz Family Farms supplies potatoes nationwide and offers cartons, poly, utility and bulk potatoes. The operation also supplies custom packaged potatoes to local restaurants and grocery stores.
Lenz Family Farms was started in 1973 by the late George Lenz Sr. and his wife, Betty, and over the years four of the couple’s eight children join with their father to grow potatoes. Expansion since the early ‘70s has included growing from “one marginal center pivot” to several thousand acres and diversifying with corn, wheat, dry beans and Charolais cattle.
Today the family’s third generation partners to grow, pack and ship potatoes nationwide.
Noting that 2021 closed out as a good year, Lenz said the 2022 program stayed steady, not changing as a result of the pandemic or other factors. No new varieties added to the line-up for 2022, although Lenz said, “We are always looking for better yellows or reds.”
Acreage was expanded “slightly this year,” and a new optical sorter was installed in the packing facility.
As with most farms, Lenz Family Farms is contending with the issue of transportation. “Trucking is going to be the primary issue. Freight cost and availability will be a problem. Availability of trucks was becoming an issue last season,” Lenz said.