First rail shipment in four decades

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11 April 2022
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Maine potatoes go west after drought in Idaho and Washington

GROWERS from Maine in the US shipped potatoes by rail for the first time in four decades this winter thanks to a strong harvest in the state and heat and dry weather that impeded farmers in renowned potato-growing states like Idaho and Washington. The potatoes made their way more than 2,500 miles for processing, being transported in climate-controlled rail cars.

All told, 21 million pounds of potatoes, virtually all from growers in northern Maine, flowed through a rail-connected warehouse owned by LaJoie Growers LLC. That equates to more than 530 truckloads of potatoes, said co-owner Jay LaJoie.

Most of the Maine potatoes went to processors in Washington state, where much of the French fries and other products are exported. The shipments to Idaho were seed potatoes, including Maine’s Caribou russet, that’ll be planted this spring.

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Source: Fresh Plaza

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