The potato crop in The County was so good, it has been a challenge to move the spuds out of state.
It was a bountiful potato crop in 2021 for farmers in Aroostook County. So much so, that moving the massive harvest by truck has been a challenge. According to the Maine Department of Transportation, an arraignment was made by the Maine Northern Railroad and Union Pacific Railway for refrigerated rail cars to be sent to help transport the spuds.
In total, 33 refrigerated rail cars were sent to Van Buren. All the cars were loaded-up, and are now in transit to Washington state. The Maine DOT says, this is the first time Aroostook County potatoes have been moved by rail in at least 40 years.
According to the Maine Potato Board, of the annual harvest nationally:
- 34% are processed into frozen potato products, like frozen fries and tater tots..
- 28% are supplied to the fresh market, including retail outlets and food service.
- 12% are used for potato chips.
- 10% are used for dehydrated potato products.
- 16% are used for livestock feed, potato seed, or on farm consumption.
10% of land in Aroostook County is working farmland. Major crop exports from county farms include broccoli, potatoes, hay, and small grain rotation crops.