(Aug. 10) With potato acreage headed downward, a Wisconsin-based shipper has made a move it hopes will solidify the volume it has to sell year-round.

Spud City Sales LLC, based in Stevens Point, recently formed a partnership with Plainfield, Wis.-based Midwestern Farms Inc., a grower cooperative.

“We’ve been working, buying and selling and bringing in product for them to run before this deal,” said Tom Lundgren, president of Spud City, a two-year-old company. “But this will do a lot to make sure we have plenty of product all year.”

That’s especially important at a time when acreage is dropping, as it has the past couple of years, Lundgren noted.

The agreement will not alter any marketing arrangements Spud City — the company ships product under the Dole label and also has a private-label program — already had with other growers, Lundgren said.

“This is our only operation as far as partnerships,” Lundgren said. “We have business understandings with several sheds.”

All of Spud City’s supply arrangements are crucial, Lundgren said.

“By no means is this partnership going to be conducive to what I need for every product, and it won’t affect my business with other farms or take away from those guys,” he said.

Spud City markets numerous varieties, including norkota, gold rush, red and a limited number of yellow-flesh, Lundgren said. The company ships 1,600 to 1,800 45,000-pound loads of potatoes each year, Lundgren said.

Midwestern Farms, which has about 1,100 acres and packs cartons of sized russets under the Midwestern Farms and Bake ‘N Tater labels.