(Oct. 20) Consumers can look forward to ample supplies of holiday favorites this Thanksgiving, grower-shippers predict.

Retail shelves should be well-stocked with sweet potatoes in time for the holiday rush, said George Wooten, president of Wayne E. Bailey Produce Co., Chadbourn, N.C.

A short 2005 storage crop and dry conditions had some growers shipping green (uncured) sweet potatoes earlier in the season, but Wooten said all of Bailey’s Thanksgiving product would be cured.

“There are adequate supplies,” he said. “I don’t see any problems. The quality’s good.”

On Oct. 17, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported prices of $14-15 for uncured sweet potatoes out of North Carolina, up from the $13-14 f.o.b. for cured product last year at the same time.

Supplies of regular potatoes also should be plentiful for the holiday. Dick Okray, co-owner of Okray Family Farms Inc., Plover, Wis., said volumes at his company were up slightly over last year’s. Okray reported good quality and a variety of sizes on all spud varieties.

The company should have ample supplies of norkotah russets, red norlands, yukon golds and white superiors for Thanksgiving, Okray said.

Okray Family Farms and other shippers shouldn’t have trouble getting their product to market for the holiday, Okray said.

On Oct. 17, the USDA reported a price of $7 for 50-pound cartons of norkotahs from Idaho, down from $8-9 last year at the same time.

Naples, Fla.-based Naturipe Farms LLC will have ample supplies of cranberries for its customers this Thanksgiving, said John Shelford, president. They just won’t be conventionally grown cranberries.

“We lost 30% of our Michigan crop in a hailstorm 10 days ago,” Shelford said Oct. 18. “Our conventional orders are sold out.”

Naturipe will fill the conventional gap with big supplies of organic cranberries, Shelford said.