Bedding and Planting
We bed our sweet potatoes in Mid-March as soon as the risk of a heavy freeze is mostly over. Our sweet potato beds will yield 80% of our total planted acreage for each crop. The sweet potatoes that we use to bed are certified clean seed stock purchased the prior season and harvested for our main crop the next season. We cut plants from our sweet potato beds and We start to plant our crop by the end of May and finish by the end of June each year.
We begin harvesting our crop in the middle of September. It usually lasts until the middle-end of October depending on the weather. We have an attachment to the back of our tractor that turns over four rows of sweet potatoes at the time, this process usually places them right on the top for pick up. After they are turned over our crew comes along and harvests them all by hand. We have two buckets, a red and a green, the red is for #1's and the green is for #2's and Jumbos. Our workers are well trained in this process. We load them up in bins on flat-bed trucks and transport them to our facility.
Holds up to 3000 bushels
After they are harvested we place them in our curing rooms and begin the curing process. This typically takes 5-7 days. We heat them to 82 degrees Fahrenheit and keep the humidity around 95%. This makes the sweet potatoes skin tighten for packing as well as sweetens them up for better eating. After our initial curing stage they are taken out of the rooms and placed in a cooler area to finish the process. In full it takes 4-6 weeks until the sweet potatoes are fully cured out and can be packed across our grading line.
Storage and Packing
Our facility can store up to 40,000 bushels
Optimal storage conditions of sweet potatoes is between 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit and 90-95% humidity. You also want to move them around as little as possible or the break down will speed up. If stored correctly sweet potatoes can keep for up to 12 months.
With our facility we have the ability to pack year round, depending on the availability of our product.