Maine potato farmers feeling better about 2021 harvest

Maine potato growers expect a solid crop and stronger demand due to the reopening of restaurants. Another positive indicator: a decline in acreage was reversed with an extra 8,000 acres planted this summer.

Growers are ready for some good news after a dismal 2020, in which some farmers gave away potatoes to avoid having them go to waste, and crops withered from heat and drought in the northern parts of the state.

This summer, rainfall was nearly 3 inches below average but that’s better than last summer, which ranked as the warmest and second-driest since records were kept in Caribou, according to the National Weather Service.

According to farmers are hoping that a better yield will coincide with greater demand as more restaurants and cafeterias open. About 65% of Maine’s potatoes are processed into french fries, chips or some other product.

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