MAINE POTATO CROP THANKS RAIN IN SEPTEMBER

Published online: Nov 09, 2010 Potato Storage, Potato Harvesting, Irrigation, Seed Potatoes
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With 80 percent to 85 percent of the estimated 55,000 acres of Aroostook County potatoes out of the ground, officials with the Maine Potato Board said Thursday that growers are seeing average yields of high-quality potatoes this year.

Tim Hobbs, director of development and grower relations for the Maine Potato Board, said that this year's crop is "looking great. It is looking much better than we thought it would after the dry growing season that we had," he noted. "The entire state was dry, but the rain we got from Hurricane Earl made all the difference in the world. That really helped get us up where we needed to be." Hobbs said that growers saw "zero cases of late blight" this year, a rare occurrence and something that Hobbs said he has not seen for more than a decade.

Last year was a very successful year for potato growers, as the value of Maine's 2009 crop came in at more than $150 million. Maine farmers harvested more than 1.5 billion pounds of potatoes from 55,500 acres.

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