Small Acre Spuds
Bill Grose from Terra Alta, West Virginia is a potato farmer. But unlike most of the other potato farmers Grose has a very different kind of operation. Whereas most farms include a lot of acreage and automation, Grose only farms 15 acres and harvests the potatoes by hand.
GROSE: Part of it is we’re nuclear seed growers but then we also use the nuclear seed there, we sell it, part of it as table stock and the other part is sold as seed. But the uniqueness in West Virginia is that West Virginians are potato eaters and they like good quality potatoes and we’ve found that by hand harvesting 15 acres of potatoes that you get less damage, you get a lot more quality potatoes out of them.
I asked Grose to put his 15 acres of potatoes into perspective for me.
GROSE: We work on non-irrigated ground and our average yield is about 425 to right around 430 cwt per acres. We plant them by machine and we do everything conventionally except when we harvest we use an old #25 John Deere two-row digger, drop them on the ground and then people pick them up. We fill bin boxes in the field. Each person that’s picking up, their name is put on that box and that’s how they’re counted for and they get paid so much a box.
That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.