County Ag Report - Taking a Look at the 2022 Growing and Harvest Season

Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 8:56 AM EST
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“We had good growing conditions throughout the season, you know we did get a little dry in some places but not as dry as we were in 2020. But I think that overall it was a very good summer.”

With another harvest season behind us, NEWSSOURCE 8 stopped by the Maine Potato Board in Presque Isle to ask Executive Director, Don Flannery, how the season went. Flannery says that the growing conditions were similar to last year.

“It might have been a little warmer last summer, but it was pretty much the same growing conditions, and that’s why I’m saying when the USDA comes out with the number we rely on that. I think you’ll be looking at pretty much, probably less yield per acre but probably above our average. And I think last year the planets were just lined up to get that record, historical record year. The planets were just lined up across the board last year. Might not have been quite as lined up this year but it was a really good year.”

Flannery said it was a quality crop, and that is important.“

The crop is, I think, in very good condition. It was a quality crop that went into storage. So, when you put a quality crop into storage, it’s highly likely you’re going to take a quality crop out of storage. And that’s important for our industry because we do have so many of our potatoes that go to processing that’ll go into storage in September and October and not come out until August.”

Following his assessment of the harvest season, we asked Flannery how the cost of fuel has impacted farmers this year.

you know, that cost of everything has impacted the growers this year. From fuel to fertilizer costs to plant protecting costs, to parts for your plow or your harvester or your tractor, whatever it may be. I mean it’s been pretty dramatic.”

And how will those costs be covered?

“Those costs have got to be recovered somewhere. It’s probably not all going to be recovered at the grower level. I suspect most of it’s going to be passed on to consumers. We’re just getting into our fresh shipping season really now. But it’s going to show up on the consumers, on the shelf, It has to, I mean it, you know, like I said, $6.00 diesels has to be accounted for somehow. And we really don’t know what that impact is yet, but we expect it will have some impact.”

Brian Bouchard, NEWSSOURCE 8.