As the mighty Mississippi River travels south, it nourishes sweet potatoes growing on the broad plains of the Southern Mississippi River Basin*. The long, humid summers in Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana give the roots a full six months to grow before harvest, and years of flooding have enriched the deep, fertile soil with all the nutrients a sweet potato could want.
*Sweet potatoes may be sourced from other states/locations due to supply constraints
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When it comes to his sweet potatoes, Joe is focused on understanding the land. The Southern Mississippi River Basin has everything a sweet potato needs – long humid days, a long growing season and rich, fertile soil from the Mississippi floods. "We're on one of the best spots for sweet potatoes in the area," says Joe. "When you've worked with potatoes as long as I have, you know when the land is good and healthy, just by looking at it." Joe is determined to pass down these instincts to the next generation. "I told the kids, 'Never try to be the biggest, but always try to be the best.'"
Todd wants his own two kids to grow up to be farmers too. "It's not about the money – you have a good quality of life with your family. It's farming, what's not to love?"
Sweet potato crop acres in the Southern Mississippi River Basin
Average potato yield per acre
Weight of Eiffel Tower
Pounds of sweet potatoes grown annually
That’s the weight of almost 29 Eiffel Towers!