There’s good reason why Maine potatoes typically play second fiddle to midwestern and western potatoes, even though Maine is much closer to a huge portion of the nation’s population in the Northeastern and east coast markets. Potato shipping areas ranging from the Red River Valley to Idaho, Washington and California have better reputations for quality.
Can this year be different? Maine potato shipments are being touted by some as having more volume and better quality this season.
Cambridge Farms of South Easton, MA is a buying broker and shipper of potatoes that also has a branch office in Presque Ise, ME. The company is stating it believes this could be a year for Maine potato growers to “really showcase” their products, something they haven’t been able to do in recent years.
Maine potato shipments should continue into mid-March with lesser volume extending by some shippers into April.
Cambridge Farms has acknowledge the extensive penetration on the East Coast by Western potato producers at the expense note only Maine, Long Island, NY; and Virginia.
Maine Farmers Exchange, Presque Isle believes Maine potato shipments could receive a boost in demand because of smaller crops in Idaho and the Red River Valley.
While Maine ships primarily russets, it also has red, yellow and white potatoes.While the russet burbank is grown mostly for processing in Maine, caribou russet can be used for processing and the fresh market.
About 50,000 acres of potatoes are planted in Maine, with about 30,000 acres producing potatoes for processers, McCains and Cavendish., The balance of the acreage divided among seed, chip stock and table stock.