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Maine sees increase in potato acreage

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 6:45 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -The acreage report is no small potatoes. Rhian Lowndes looks at 2021′s increased potato crops in this week’s County Ag.

The USDA reported a 2% national growth in potato acreage for 2021, but that’s got nothing on the pine tree state

“In Maine we saw a 5,000 acre increase which is a ten percent increase from last year,” said Don Flannery, executive director of the Maine Potato Board.

Pre-pandemic potato farming used about 52,000 acres in 2019. The impacts of COVID led to a decrease, and now spuds are making a comeback with 56,000 acres. Flannery said the Board anticipated this recovery and says it proves there’s still demand for Maine’s potatoes.

“Most of that increase is for russet potatoes for processing potatoes.”

But there’s also demand for fresh Caribou russets and fresh potatoes in general. As for next year,

“Oh gracious, next year if I had that crystal ball cleaned up id be a rich man... Unless something out of the ordinary happens I wouldn’t see any reasons for there to be a substantial decrease.”

But Flannery says, for now things are looking good. We’ll just have to wait for the harvest and see.

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