It’s that time of year again; September is around the corner and so is the potato harvest! Farmers have been growing them all summer long; but the weather hasn’t been too cooperative this season.
Director of Development at the Maine Potato Board Timothy Hobbs said, “It’s been a different type of season then some of the other typical really wet years you know, it was spread out throughout the growing season which is good early on during planting we had some wet weather that really interrupted planting, that probably had the biggest effect on the crop. Then we had some really heavy showers early on we had a fair amount of drown out on the seed pieces and so those losses occurred back in June.”
According to the National Weather Service there’s been 18.9 inches of rain in Caribou alone since June 1st and the rain fall has been above average throughout the County. Despite this summer being considered the 2nd wettest in Aroostook County, Hobbs says the potato crop is looking good and he’s optimistic about the upcoming potato harvest.
Director of Development at the Maine Potato Board Timothy Hobbs said, “This is the stage in the crop cycle where the potatoes really start to bulk and put on size and the samples that I’ve seen dug recently, there’s a really nice set there’s a lot of tubers underneath the plants and they’re really starting to size up rapidly.”
Hobbs expect a good yield and an average crop this season, but that all depends on how mother nature behaves over the next few weeks.
Director of Development at the Maine Potato Board Timothy Hobbs said, “If this continues on this trend that we’re in of a lot of moisture, it will make it a little more difficult during harvest we like to have you know if we could get the crop out in 2 and a half 3 weeks and have that all dry that would be great.”
His hope is that over the next 2-3 weeks there’s a nice stretch of warm sunny weather to finish the crop off strong.
The Harvest break starts September 19th and although not all schools in the County still hold Harvest Break, the agricultural industry still relies on it; about 600 students across the County participate.