Potato Grower Adding More Drip Irrigation

With its inaugural “a great start,” Maverick Potato Co. in Center, CO, is heading into 2014 with plans to double yellow production, increase organics, make upgrades to the packing shed and continue to build relationships in both domestic and Mexican markets, according to company President Roger Christensen.

Christensen, who founded Maverick in 2013 with co-owner Michael Kruse, is a longtime San Luis Valley grower and potato salesman. The two grower-partners went into the 2013-14 season with plans to move approximately 200,000 hundredweight of mostly russets, with a lesser volume of yellows.

“Overall it has gone really well, and we’re off to a great start,” Christensen said in early January. “We are now SCS GlobalGAP certified and consider food safety to be our number-one priority.

“This summer we’ll make modifications to our packing shed,” he added.

Christensen said the holiday shipping period was “challenging,” but he added that the new year was ushered in with good movement.

Vertically integrated, Maverick is a grower-packer-shipper, and Christensen said the operation is working closely with a major retailer.

“We’re doing private labels, and we’re packing loads for export as well,” he said.

Maverick had several acres under drip irrigation in 2013, and Christensen said the method worked so well that the growers are expanding to more acreage.

“We’re looking forward to the 2014 season,” he said. “Our plan is to double our yellows this year, and we’ll also add to our drip.

“In 2013 we had some organics,” he added, “and this year we’ll be increasing that acreage as well.”

Maverick produces organic and conventional russet Canelas and Norkotahs, and the growers also offer conventional Rio Grandes and Centennials.

“Our 2013 crop is very good quality, and where our fields are located we don’t have any major water issues,” he said.