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Maine harvested strong potato crop in 2022, according to USDA data

Courtesy University of Maine Extension Service
Potato fields in bloom in Aroostook County.

Maine farmers harvested more than 1.8 billion pounds of potatoes last year, according to newly released USDA data.

That's a bit smaller than the state's harvest in 2021. But Don Flannery, the head of the Maine Potato Board, says it was strong enough that some farmers sent out potatoes to western states, which experienced heat and drought caused by climate change.

"They saw some real yield deficit out there. So we had some extra potatoes out here, as it turns out, with another good year. And some of those potatoes are going West again," he says.

Flannery says that good weather, changing agricultural practices, and a shift to higher-yielding potatoes, such as the Caribou Russet, are some of the reasons for Maine's successful season.

"That shift in some of that production mix, has bumped our yields up, as well," he says.