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Horticultural Commodities  - Sweet Potatoes

picture of sweetpotatoes cooking tips how to choose and use nutrition

North Carolina ranks first in the production of this very nutritious vegetable. More than 60,000 acres are grown in the state. North Carolina growers produce nearly 50 percent of the total U.S. production. Production is mostly limited to the coastal plain.

Wilson and Johnston are the top two counties in sweet potato production. The southern sweet potato is a root and the Irish potato is a tuber. The potato is a completely different plant, not even a distant cousin. What's in a name? When it comes to sweet potato versus yam, there is a bit of confusion.

Sweet potatoes have been confused with the yam , which originated in West Africa and Asia. The confusion dates back to the days of the slave trade, when slaves from Africa confused the sweet potato with the "nyami" of their native land. The word "yam" comes from this African word. The name has been used by the industry for many years. Many sweet potatoes are being marketed as "yams," but are actually sweet potatoes with a vivid orange color, a soft moist consistency when cooked, and a uniquely sweet flavor. Other varieties of sweet potatoes are lighter skinned and have a firmer, drier texture when cooked.

North Carolina sweet potatoes are promoted throughout the country and Canada by the NCDA&CS and the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission. Point-of-sale materials, posters, recipe brochures and other promotional items are available through the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission or the NCDA&CS Marketing Division.

For Additional Information contact:
North Carolina SweetPotato Commission
700 E. Parrish Dr. Suite C
Benson, NC 27504
(919) -894-1067
Fax (919) 894-7018



NCDA&CS Markets Division, Joe Sanderson, Director
Mailing Address: 1020 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1020
Physical Address: 2 W. Edenton Street, Room 402, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3100; FAX: (919) 733-0999