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Sweet Potato crop praised

(Susan Parker)
(Susan Parker)
Reported by: Susan Parker
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Updated: 10/31/2013 2:55 pm
VARDAMAN, Miss. (WTVA) -- Mississippi Sweet Potato Council Executive Director Benny Graves talks over plans for this weekend's annual Sweet Potato Festival in Vardaman with extension agent Trent Barnett.

Graves says the festival is the culmination of harvest season and this year.  There's definitely a reason to celebrate.

Americans love sweet potatoes and it shows.

"We've increased our consumption of sweet potatoes nationwide. Vardaman is positioning itself just right to take advantage of that and so we're excited about the trend of eating more sweet potatoes," Graves said.

He's excited to see box after box of potatoes filled, stacked and readied for shipping.

Barnett says this kind of quality reminds one and all to appreciate the good times.

"After the season we had in 2009 with so much rain and wet and rotten potatoes, we were really excited about this year. It's really been a really good year for a quality potato."

"Overall, it's been a pretty decent crop and we're excited about the quality. The quality is the best it's been in several years," Graves added.

Fair weather has enabled farmers to harvest all but ten percent of the sweet potato crop.

A little rain got in the way, but that's not bad news.  It offers up a day of rest for those who work in the fields.

"This little rain is not going to be too significant. It will give them a little break and they can regroup and come back in and get what's left in the fields," Barnett added.

When all is said and done, 60 percent of the potatoes will land on shelves in grocery stores.

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