There’s a new sweet potato variety on the block!

A unique sweet potato variety has been grabbing the attention of enthusiasts.

In 2005, a North Carolina State University professor introduced the Covington Sweet Potato to the world. It is a breakthrough variety known for high yield, flavor, nutritional value, and appearance. He says he was a potato breeder before being drawn to the sweet potato realm.

“My department head fellow by the name of Doctor Tom Minako asked me if I’d be interested in managing the sweet potato program too. I had exposure to the crop, but very little, and I like a challenge. There’s some features between sweet potato and potato that kind of overlap, and some techniques that we use. They’re both an example of what we call a clonally propagated.

They’re vegetatively propagated, so they’re breeding similarities, so it kind of made sense. I said yes, and it’s been just a really rewarding job. It wasn’t like a planned change. I mean, for many of your audience members, you’re probably familiar with the old saying, “when opportunity knocks, don’t be afraid to walk through the door.” I think that was a case in my point; opportunity knocked it kind of set me up and I walked through that sweet potato door so to speak. And it’s just turned into a really wonderful opportunity to build a team with a great industry.”

The Covington now commands 90 percent of North Carolina’s sweet potato production and 20 percent of national production.

Agriculture Shows
From soil to harvest. Top Crop is an all-new series about four of the best farmers in the world—Dan Luepkes, of Oregan, Illinois; Cory Atley, of Cedarville, Ohio; Shelby Fite, of Jackson Center, Ohio; Russell Hedrick, of Hickory, North Carolina—reveals what it takes for them to make a profitable crop. It all starts with good soil, patience, and a strong planter setup.
Champions of Rural America is a half-hour dive into the legislative priorities for Rural America. Join us as we interview members of the Congressional Western Caucus to learn about efforts in Washington to preserve agriculture and tackles the most important topics in the ag industry on Champions of Rural America!
Farm Traveler is for people who want to connect with their food and those who grow it. Thanks to direct-to-consumer businesses, agritourism, and social media, it’s now easier than ever to learn how our food is made and support local farmers. Here on the Farm Traveler, we want to connect you with businesses offering direct-to-consumer products you can try at home, agritourism sites you can visit with your family, and exciting new technologies that are changing how your food is being grown.
Featuring members of Congress, federal and state officials, ag and food leaders, farmers, and roundtable panelists for debates and discussions.
Host Ben Bailey hops in the tractor cab, giving farmers 10 minutes to answer as many questions and grab as much cash as they can for their local FFA chapter.