A Sweet Tater Harvest
CALHOUN COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Its sweet potato harvest time once again around that 40 mile radius of Vardaman which includes several counties. Calhoun County farmer Lewis Bailey, and his son Sonny Bailey, have been growing some of the best sweet potatoes since 1976. Grandson Marshall, unlike grandpa, gets to harvest taters using some of the modern tools for getting the crop out of the fields. “Ten tractors digging potatoes, got ten tater diggers, four skid loaders, and five big trucks,” said Sonny Bailey, Potato Farmer. This year has turned out to be another sweet one. Farmers are enjoying an average to slightly above average crop yield. “We are into harvest right now. We are a little bit behind due to the rains around hurricane Isaac. But we are getting going real good right now. We got about ten percent of the harvest completed at this time,” said Benny Graves, Mississippi Sweet Potato Council. From a Webster County field, beautiful sweet potatoes will eventually reach supermarkets and homes all over the United States. Oh yes, don’t forget the latest marketable item. Made from slices of the larger potato….french fried sweet potatoes. “We are seeing that market expand and some of the major burger operations are selling at restaurants, are selling sweet potato fries. We are seeing that expand in a lot of food service areas and we are excited about that,” said Graves. Farmers this year are growing some 22 thousand acres of sweet potatoes in Mississippi.