Because storage problems can erupt and ruin crops, the Maine Potato Industry has agreed to build a $ 1 million storage research facility.
Construction will start in May at the Aroostook State Farm south of Presque Isle.
Providing the majority of funding is the federal Economic Development Administration. Other funding includes financial commitments from the Maine Potao Board, the University of Maine, the Maine Department of Agriculture, and the Maine Technology Institute.
It is hoped the building will be complete in time so that potatoes from the 2002 crop can be tested. The experimental facility will study issues that are unique to Maine.
By improving quality, Maine will be able to better compete in the industry. It will improve the quality of stored potatoes for McCain Foods and Frito-Lay and possibly other processors.