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Fast and furious N.C. potato deal fills summer gap

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ELIZABETH CITY, NC — North Carolina's potato season is short but sweet: six weeks starting in mid-June and all done by the end of July. It fills a critical summer window that comes on as storage supplies dwindle and the Florida fresh crop wraps up.

About two-thirds of the North Carolina crop goes to the snack food industry while the remaining reds, yellows and whites make their way to produce departments as fresh table potatoes. None of the crop ever sees so much as a single minute in storage.

That's why events like the ongoing variety trials conducted here by the North Carolina State Extension Service — and the accompanying annual field day and business conference conducted by the North Carolina Potato Association — are so important.

The Produce News was along for the ride this year and talked to buyers and growers about what makes a great North Carolina potato — and the people who keep the deal going and growing in importance.