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February 14, 2012 | last updated February 15, 2012 10:42 am

Potato crop loss estimated at 30%

Last year's wet weather and a trio of tornadoes handed Aroostook County potato farmers a 25%-30% crop loss for the harvest season.

Don Flannery, executive director of the Maine Potato Board, told the Bangor Daily News that last summer's severe weather likely resulted in sizeable crop losses, though official harvest totals are not yet available. Farmers planted approximately 56,000 acres of potatoes last year, but heavy rains and tornadoes destroyed some crops and washed away topsoil, which reduced the yield. Flannery last fall pegged the expected crop loss at just 10%.

Three tornadoes in June caused $1.2 million in damage in Aroostook County, with farmers in Caribou and Fort Fairfield most affected. Last July, potato farmers in northern Maine received $400,000 in federal assistance.

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