In the sweet-potato center of California, Merced County, the 2017 harvest is well underway, with farmers reporting the crop may be a bit smaller, while new products continue to propel demand.
In the fields of growers such as D&S Farms and Atwater Packing Co. in Atwater, Mike Duarte said the 2017 crop "doesn't look as big" as last year's—but could be close.
"The No. 1s seem like they're a little bit better than they were last year," he said. "The jumbos are down, and the mediums are about what they were last year. I think by the end of the year, I think it's going to be pretty close to last year's stuff."