Turn Potatoes into Chips in Just 24 Hours
Potatoes that are grown for chips, such as the ones grown on Riverdale Potato Farm, have some unique characteristics. The potatoes resemble a russet but are rounder and smaller white potatoes. It is important that the potatoes are a uniform shape because this will create potato chips that are of similar sizes. The skin on these potatoes is so thin that most of it falls off as the potatoes rub against each other in the truck on the way to the chip processing plant. This means that the plant can turn the potatoes into chips in just 24 hours.
Being in Florida means the farm gets a lot of rain, creating sandy soil that drains irrigation water well. The farm also has military-grade trucks that can go anywhere in rainy weather. There’s a weather station out in the field that tracks how much rain the crops are getting but also collects spores that are floating around in the air and provides insights on any potential issues weeks in advance. Some of the other technology Bryan Jones is using on the farm includes sub-surface irrigation, which means they irrigate less but keep the water table exactly where it needs to be. Fertilizer equipment is used to drop the fertilizer as close as six inches above the plants.
Riverdale Potato Farm is planting from January to June and harvesting in May. Crops take 90 to 120 days until they are ready to be harvested. Ideally, every potato is out of the ground by June. When it is time to finally harvest, a four-row harvester goes through the field at about two miles per hour with a field truck beside it to collect the crop.