North America, Storage

Maine’s emergency potato storage could mean future deal for former Loring Air Force Base

Emergency potato storage on the former Loring Air Force Base in Limestone saved the day for some local farmers and could lead to a beneficial ripple effect to Aroostook County’s premier industry.

As Paula Brewer reports for Bangor Daily News, the story is one of the COVID-19 era’s bright points. After a drought in 2020 and pandemic slowdowns in trucking, no one expected the 2021 harvest to be so huge, but the right combination of weather and soil conditions expanded the yield beyond expectations.

With this year’s record harvest — about 20 percent larger than usual — farmers scrambled to find space to store the crop. Thanks to the Loring Development Authority, three farmers were able to use space at Loring, an arrangement LDA President and CEO Carl Flora said just may lead to further developments.

Loring Development served three farmers for the fall potato harvest: Butler Farms of Caswell, Guerrette Farms of Caribou — which desperately needed emergency storage — and Triple G Sales of Limestone, which already leased space at the site.

Source: Bangor Daily News. Read the full story here
Photo: Bret Butler of Butler Farms poses in front of the growing pile of potatoes he was storing in October at Loring Development Authority as a backup to his maxed-out potato houses. Butler Farms reported Monday that their potatoes have all successfully gone to market. Credit: Hannah Catlin / Aroostook Republican via Bangor Daily News

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