September 2015

Greetings to all in the produce business:

This is the annual crop and harvest update for Norm Nelson, Inc. We have had quite an unusual growing season for N.W. Washington with weather warmer and dryer than normal from May through August. We feel that our crop rotation — potatoes only once every four years and heavy emphasis of grass planted for grazing during rotation years — is critical to our success on a year like this with such extreme growing conditions. We had adequate water in our area for irrigation, so even with “extreme” weather during the growing season, we are optimistic about this potato crop.

We plan to start the packing line on September 10, 2015. By waiting we are able to have all three varieties, red, white and yellow, available by the first days of our packing schedule. The purple variety always needs extra days in its growing season so will be ready about mid-October. Our red variety is unchanged this year as all will be Chieftains, the whites will be Harmony, and we have multiple varieties of yellow potatoes with Satina, Yukon Gold, and Agata covering the majority of our yellow acreage. Our packing season will be similar to past years in that all varieties of potatoes will be dug and packed directly from the field for September and October. By November the red, yellow, and purple varieties will be out of the storage system for the balance of the season. Our white potatoes typically are harvested directly from the field until we finish in November or December depending on our year.

We are happy to report our product line is always led by the “Double N” label for customers needing the best quality on the market for their receivers. Our “Golden Seal” label is targeted at the customer that needs a lower cost US#1 product and our “Pedigree” label is our popular US#2 package. You can always check all the consumer pack options and see the Nelson Family story on our website:

We like to dedicate a section of the newsletter to highlight changes in the operation. This year we changed our potato sizing equipment to allow us to pack two sizes of potatoes from our smallest part of the size profile. The result will be a carton marked “Creamer” (following USDA definition ) with approximate size of ¾” to 1½” and the next larger sized carton marked “¾” Min” that includes size range of 1½” to 1⅞”. Of course each field will produce different quantities of these new sizes but the result will be a very consistent appearance in the carton. This new pack will help our customers requiring the smallest potato for that special receiver!

After a difficult growing season and in anticipation of harvest, we also want to reflect on keys to our success. This always includes all the support over the years from our customers! We are looking forward to visiting all our friends from past years and anticipating new contacts in the future. Please call Scott Wharton or Myron Ayers to get in on the Double N program for all your colored potato needs.


Myron Ayers, Sales Manager

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