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Business and Economy

Westward Ho! Maine potatoes travel far after western drought

Climate Change Super Spuds
Robert F. Bukaty
FILE — Adam Paterson, 15, strains to dump a barrel of discarded potatoes during a 12-hour work day, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, at a potato storage facility, in Mapleton, Maine.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine's potato growers had such a bumper crop that they've been helping out larger potato states out West.

The state of Maine shipped potatoes by train for the first time in four decades this winter thanks to a strong harvest in Maine and heat and dry weather in the West.

All told, 21 million pounds of potatoes, virtually all from growers in northern Maine, flowed through a rail-connected warehouse owned by LaJoie Growers LLC.

Jay LaJoie said the exercise proved the value of rail lines for agriculture — especially during a shortage of trucks.