Our very first Farmer Profile was of Ed Schneider’s operation in February, 2013. We’ve worked with Ed since 1979, and he’s a fine potato producer and friend. Here is his update –
Finally am getting back to you. We have been gone quite a bit lately, and I’m having trouble getting going, although I’d better, because we are starting to cut (potato) seed today.
The last quarter mainly was about getting things lined up for next year. Last year ended up being a tough one for potato farmers in the (Columbia) basin. The hot weather took its toll on both quality and yield for many. We were better off than most, our yields were slightly above our average, but our grades suffered, whereas many had poor yields along with poor grades. With all the other crops not looking very favorable, we had no leverage in negotiations because there were not many options out there that looked better than potatoes. We should be OK as long as the weather cooperates with these contract prices.
On our mini potatoes, we had good yields but we had trouble getting the skins to set. We are not sure why, but we are attributing it to the weather. They were in the field a long time waiting for the skins when it was hot, so the longer they laid there in the field dead, the other quality attributes suffered. There seems to be a growing demand for these mini potatoes, but as we know, as with any new crop, there are many challenges to get it figured out.
The Dogwood house remodel project is coming along. It has been a long time since anything has been done inside. It is going to be real nice after we finish the job – should be good for another 30 years. It is hard to believe that Liz and I moved into that house 30 years ago.*
All is good.
*Dogwood Farm has a good house on it which Ed and his wife, Liz, and their children lived in for a number of years. It is now a house for his hired help.