Franz-Bernd Kruthaup, Grimme

Market Report

Heat and Control


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Winter's Busy, Too

Well, the past month has been a buzz saw journey from Orlando, back home to Pocatello and then up to Kennewick. It has been a life of conferences and seminars supplemented by a constant stream of coffee, donuts and french fries.

By the time I arrived for round three in Kennewick I felt an affiliation, almost a kinship with all the other vendors that I had seen over the past month at Orlando and Pocatello. We had become a caravan of a community.

Early mornings and long days, nothing unusual there, and despite the yearnings for my own bed and the comforts of home, I've enjoyed the conversations and meeting with everyone that stopped by the Spudman booth during the conferences.

It's been a dry winter here in southeast Idaho, snowfall has been sporadic and infrequent throughout the northwest. During the Washington/Oregon conference one seed grower from Klamath Basin expressed deep concerns over the lack of precipitation and snowpack in the Klamath area.

I had my first smell of spring in the air this past Super Bowl weekend. That smell of the earth awakening, breaking through the frozen topsoil. Winter is still here but it loosened its grasp on the land over the weekend and it won't be long before warmer days will be here and planting season begins


Franz-Bernd Kruthaup


Market Report

Current U.S. potato stocks are predicted to exceed 2009 inventories by 22.1 million cwt., according to the most recent issue of the North American Potato Market News. Stocks are forecast at 206 million cwt., up 12 percent. If true, this represents the highest level since 2001.

Nothing new there, given the record yields reported this past year.

The decline in fresh market consumption continues with January shipments falling 1 percent from 2009 statistics. This represents the lowest in records dating to 1986. Russet shipments fell by 1 percent from their 2009 numbers.

Idaho led the nation in fresh shipments for the week of Jan. 30 with 740 cwt., an increase of 31 percent from 2009. While Columbia Basin, Maine and San Luis Valley growers showed declines of 22 percent, 17 percent and 15 percent, respectively. Klamath Basin growers increased their shipping by 52 percent, from 40 cwt. to 61 cwt. this year.

Processing activity in January is expected to show a decline of 6 percent compared to January 2009.

Columbia Basin growers ratified their 2010 contract with Lamb-Weston. This is the second year of the two-year contract indexed for production costs. The contract return declined a little less than 12 percent, accounting for the decrease in input costs.

The contract will be acreage based but will include a 3 percent cap over target volume.


Heat and Control

From hard-bite kettle style to traditional chips, Heat and Control’s new Universal Potato Chip (UPC) system lets processors create personalized snacks for each customer using one economical continuous fryer. It can also be used for plantain, malanga, multi-grain and other chips and snack products.

Now available after five years of development, UPC utilizes independent fryer modules integrated into one compact, continuous frying system. Adjust the frying time, temperature and oil flow in each module to produce chips with specific texture, moisture and color qualities. An easy-to-use PLC stores multiple recipes so you can change products in minutes.

Economical and efficient, UPC costs less to operate than separate batch or continuous fryers producing the same capacity. UPC uses about half the energy of comparable batch fryers. And it can produce traditional style potato chips with little or no water.

With patents granted and applied for, UPC is the world’s most versatile fryer system for potato, plantain and similar types of chips.

For more information and a demonstration, call Heat and Control at 800-227-5980 or 510-259-0500 or e-mail

We inadvertently ran the wrong image with last month's eSpudman New Product Report, featuring Spudnik's Tow-N-Track. Following is the correct image. We regret the error.