Associated Potato Growers sees strong season ahead
As the only grower-owned cooperative in the Red River Valley, with 17 farmers working in Minnesota and North Dakota, Associated Potato Growers, Inc., takes pride in producing high-quality products that are both healthy and delicious.
The current potato harvest is in process and as of Sept. 19, it looks like there will be a nice quality of potatoes this upcoming season. That’s a relief to many in the Red River Valley, as last year was not the strongest season.
“The 2021-22 season had some challenges due to some quality issues from a very hot dry growing season,” said Mike Torgerson, CEO of the Grand Forks, ND-based company. “So far, 2022/2023 is looking like a great quality crop.”
He credits the area’s “very good quality” soil with helping the company to produce such great potatoes year in and year out.
Associated Potato Growers, Inc. has been in business since 1948, shipping all over the U.S., to wholesalers which supply the grocery stores. The company also works with private labels.
“We supply both red and yellow varieties, with the yellow varieties on the rise the past few years,” Torgerson said. “With a recent rain to soften up the dirt lumps, things are looking very well to store our crop. We wash from October to June or July typically.”
The company has three locations in the Red River Valley—Grand Forks, Grafton, and Drayton, which helps with diversity among the potatoes.
“We use high-tech packaging machines for accuracy and are able to pack any size bag, or carton the consumer may want—3#lb to 50# and also 2200 totes,” Torgerson said.
This year, the company is adding more automated potato grading machines to palletizing equipment in an effort to speed up production and deal with labor issues.