The North Carolina sweet potato industry is still assessing damage from floods caused by the recent Hurricane Matthew but said growers “remain optimistic”.
In a press announcement ahead of the PMA Summit, taking place in Orlando next week, the industry said around half the crop had been harvested before the storm hit.
Some harvesting has since resumed and forecasts cooler, dry weather over the coming week will help the situation, the statement said, although a full assessment of Matthew’s impact may take a week or more.
Power is expected to be back up in most areas by the end of the week, and generators are powering critical infrastructure including curing rooms.
Growers also said that the Covington sweet potato variety has shown strong resiliency to excessive water in the past, including during Hurricane Joaquin in 2015.
“We are working with our members as well as state and federal agencies to ensure growers and shippers get the support they need to return to normal operations as quickly as possible,” said Kelly McIver, executive director of the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission.
“The strength and determination of our industry in North Carolina has shined through this challenging time. We have seen neighbor helping neighbor, ensuring employees and fellow farmers are safe and have the resources they need.”
For a full analysis of the UK sweet potato market, see the next issue of FPJ, out 21 October.