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Industry Talk with Vice President Carlos Vieira

The 2023 Organic Sweet Potato Season was off to a slow start. We had record rainfall in February and March, along with continued below normal mild to cold weather. These events delayed the normal start to hotbeds about 2-3 weeks and slowed up the slip growth. This resulted in our transplanting of slips to be behind about 2-3 weeks as well.

The good news is that we had little to no wind during transplanting, which lead to zero replanting and less plant stress in the initial growth and setting stages. We also did not experience any extreme heat during transplanting this year. The mild weather allowed plants to get a nice set, again with minimal to no stress.

Weeds were a bit of an issue in the early growing period due to the amount of rain we got earlier in the year and extended moisture in the soil, but we were able to gain quick control with plenty of labor available. Plants are growing nicely with canopies forming quickly. We are happy with the current outlook on yields this year.

Now we ask Mother Nature to bring on the heat and help size up our crop so we can start digging sometime in August. We pray that all the farmers have a successful season, and that we transition from old crop to new crop without missing a beat.

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