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Lack of rain affecting this year’s potato crop

Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 5:37 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -

Potato farmers are looking to the skies for help with this year's crop. In this week's County Ag Report, Kathy McCarty speaks with an official who says time is running out to help this year's yield.

Since the end of planting, conditions have been dry, with little relief in sight. Don Flannery, Executive Director of the Maine Potato Board, says some areas have gotten as little as an inch of rain since Memorial Day.

“It is extremely dry. Growers that have been irrigating, have been irrigating for quite a while. And I suspect some of those water sources are getting limited, at this point,” says Don Flannery.

Flannery says growers are uncertain how things will play out through the month of August.

“We’re dry now. We’ve been dry since we planted pretty much. So there’ll be an impact on the crop - bound to be. What that impact is today is really too hard to tell,” he says.

Fields remain in bloom across The County, but Flannery says those blossoms can be deceptive and aren’t necessarily an indicator of how good the crop is doing.

“The crop is holding up pretty well, considering as dry as it is - the tops. What we’re concerned with is, you know, the tops can appear one way, but you’ve got to have something - you’ve got to have some moisture when those tubers are - they’re beyond setting now, but to size up you’ve got to have some moisture,” says Flannery.

Flannery says they’re in a good position as far as pests and diseases this year, what they’re lacking is water.

Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

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