Large Growers Change Operational Plans

Published online: Apr 26, 2004
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One of eastern Idaho's largest growers is getting out of the potato production business and another is moving back to operating as a single production unit.

Potato Grower magazine has learned that Larsen Farms and Clement Brothers Farms will auction off potato production equipment. Clement Brothers Farms is selling/leasing its ground.

Larsen Farms, which has had five or six operational unit under the Larsen Farms banner, is moving back to a single unit of operation under the Enterprise Resouce Planning system.

In each case, the farms have fresh-pack and processing businesses. They will continue to operate these facilities as they are set up. 

Equipment auctions are scheduled in the next few weeks when large inventories of everything from harvesters to pilers will be sold.

The move by the Clement Brothers is not unfamiliar to Idaho. They are following the lead set by J.R. Simplot about 10 years ago when he pulled out of the growing phase of potato production.

Larsen Farms, under the  ERP system, adopted from a program of J.D. Edwards, will centralize its operations, discontinuing the indepentent operation of several farm units by farm managers in a competitive production system.

Because this will also centralize Larsen Farms equipment inventories, a great deal of excess potato equipment will be reduced and sold at auction.

Exact potato acreage of each farm is unknown but believed to be between 8,000-12,000 acres.