Nov 11, 2020Maine potato yields down 18% following severe drought
Drought conditions in Maine this summer have resulted in an 18% potato yield average reduction, according to estimates from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
Maine’s 2020 potato crop is estimated at 13.4 million hundredweight (cwt), down 20% from last year, even though planted acreage (51,000) was only 2% lower. Yield-per-acre averages were just 265, down 18%.
Severe drought conditions led to relief efforts by the USDA. Maine Potato Board Executive Director Don Flannery told the Associated Press last month that some growers’ yield losses could reach 30%.
Nationally, production of U.S. fall potatoes is forecast at 415.5 million cwt, down 2% from 2019. Harvested acres are 915,700, also down 2% from last year. The average yield for 2020 is 454 cwt per acres, almost identical to 2019.
RELATED: More news and estimates from the 2020 harvest