J.G. Hall & Sons has steady demand for Red River Valley potatoes
J.G. Hall & Sons is one of the largest private, potato grower-shipper-packers in North Dakota’s Red River Valley. Jackson Hall, manager and partner at the fourth-generation family farm, said, “We’re only packing our own potatoes, we follow them from field to end product.”
J.G. Hall & Sons, based in Hoople, ND, operates 6,500 acres of red and yellow potatoes for the fresh market. “We have had a very good season,” said Hall. The company reported an above-average crop with excellent yield and Hall said, “We’ll be busy late into spring, maybe into the summer.”
As for the market, Hall said, “it’s been steady, so we’re plugging along — our goal is always to be busy enough.” He added that some sheds noted a lack of demand. “We seemed to be busy all year. I remember years when we’ve had to shut the plant down, and we haven’t been there in a long time,” he said.
Hall said that a lack of rain and dry soil had some potato farmers in the Grand Forks area struggling to get their potatoes out of the ground. “We caught some rain right before harvest time, and our soil is a little more forgiving, so we got them all out pretty much damage free,” said Hall.
“This year was also big for us, as we put in a new electronic grading line,” said Hall. The new Spectrim sorter from Compac Sorting Equipment can sort up to 1,700 potatoes, weighing each potato and scanning for bruising or rot.
Transportation has been the biggest challenge of the season. “Storm after storm at the end of December into January really messed with our trucks,” he said. “It was basically a blizzard every week.”
Photo: Warren Hall, Greg Hall, TJ Hall, Rodger Hall, Taylor Hall, Fred Hall and Jackson Hall.