In this April 20, 2022, file photo, Maire Lenihan coaxes organic Keuka Gold potatoes into a washing machine at Goranson Farm in Dresden. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Maine farmers harvested more than 1.8 billion pounds of potatoes last year, according to newly released U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

That’s a bit smaller than the state’s harvest in 2021. But Don Flannery, the head of the Maine Potato Board, said 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 said.

Flannery said 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 said.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.

Correction: An earlier headline on this report misstated the size of the 2022 potato crop.