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Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station

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Home - Service Fees and Labor Rates at Farms and Greenhouses

Created:May 10, 2011
Last Revised:February 15, 2013

The research farms and greenhouses of the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station are committed to providing outstanding service to project directors for the successful implementation and completion of research, teaching, and outreach projects and activities.

Changes for 2013

Fees and labor rates for services are established consistent with the Policies and Procedures on Direct Cost Recovery and Sharing at Crop, Greenhouse, and Livestock Facilities of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture and policies of the University of Maine Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Fees and labor rates are set by the college to provide reimbursement for direct costs incurred at its facilities for services provided in support of individual projects and activities. Fees and labor rates apply to all research, teaching, outreach and other projects and activities requiring or requesting services. Please note information on effective dates below. Click here for a pdf version of the following table.

Facilty Basic Services
Farms: fee/acre/yr1
Other Services
(labor rate/hr)
Aroostook Farm $9503 $19.00
Blueberry Hill Farm $3,7004 $19.00
Highmoor Farm Crops – $1,4004
Fruit – $2,500
Witter Center5 $1,5003 $19.00
Clapp Greenhouses6 $5.12 $19.00

1Unit scale = acre. Minimum unit = 0.1 acre. Units are planted acres at Aroostook Farm and field acres at other farms.
2Unit scale = standard bench (32 sq. ft.). Minimum unit = 1 bench
3Fertilizer materials at the field level are not included in basic services. The cost of fertilizer materials is the responsibility of the project director.
4Fertilizer materials at the field level are included in basic services.
5Includes crop lands at Rogers Farm, Witter Farm, and Smith Farm.
6Includes Roger Clapp Greenhouses and Plant Science Research Greenhouse.

Livestock Service Fees
Because of the unique nature of individual livestock research projects and associated needs, per diem rates for Basic Services for animals will be calculated on a project-specific basis along with assessing needs for Other Services as described in the section on Basic and Other Services below.

Effective Dates
Effective October 1, 2011, all project or activity directors requesting services at station farms and greenhouses must provide funds for facility fees for basic services and/or labor costs for other services except when the activity is part of a preexisting contract (below).

Effective July 1, 2011, principle investigators must include facility fees and labor costs for services in proposal budgets processed through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) or Department of Industrial Cooperation (DIC).

Preexisting Contracts
Projects and activities initiated prior to July 1, 2011, are exempt from basic service fees and labor costs for other services if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. Commitments for basic service and labor provided by the facility are approved elements of a contract administered by ORSP or an agreement administered by DIC.
  2. The contract or agreement was formally submitted by ORSP or DIC to the sponsor prior to July 1, 2011.
  3. The contract or agreement has a budget that specified costs for university services for a defined time period.

Project directors will be required to provide information on the start date of the grant or contract that is exempted from fees when requesting crop lands, greenhouse space, or animals at facilities. Note that directors of projects with preexisting contracts still must submit land, space, or animal request forms. See section on Service Requests and Billing below.

Project renewals submitted after July 1, 2011, are not exempt from facility fees and labor costs. Our intention is to honor contractual commitments made prior to July 1, 2011. For unusual situations, please contact the associate director.

Basic and Other Services
Basic service includes services at a facility in support of the use and care of space or animals used by the project. Basic services are defined uniquely for each facility type (crop farms, livestock farms, greenhouses). A list of services is provided in Section VI of the Policies and Procedures on Direct Cost Recovery and Sharing at Crop, Greenhouse, and Livestock Facilities.

Other service includes all services not on the defined list of basic services and provided to meet unique needs of individual projects or activities. A list of examples of other services is provided in Section VII of the Policies and Procedures on Direct Cost Recovery and Sharing at Crop, Greenhouse, and Livestock Facilities. Labor costs for other services will be charged at the labor rate listed above. Costs for other supplies or inputs provided by the facility must be reimbursed directly. Note that any request that incurs a cost to the facility for supplies and materials to support project activities or that formally schedules facility staff for project activities constitutes a service that requires cost recovery.

Instructions for Proposal Budgets
On ORSP proposal budget spreadsheets, enter costs for basic services and costs of labor for other services under Interdepartmental Sales and Services. Use the following text for budget justifications as appropriate:

Costs for Projects Not Requesting Services
There are no basic service fees when project directors provide all inputs and labor for their projects or activities except for routine pest and disease management (i.e., project directors are not required to provide routine pest and disease management to avoid service fees if they provide all other inputs). This exception is made because only licensed staff can apply pesticides. Note: routine pest and disease treatments exclude applications administered for evaluation or as elements of experimental designs.

Service Requests and Billing
For the spring/summer field season, requests for crop land, greenhouse bench space, and animals or other services must be submitted to facility superintendents by April 15th. Requests must be submitted using the Crop Land Use Form, Horticultural Facilities Space Request Form, Animal Request Form, or Special Projects Request Form as appropriate. All of these forms are housed on the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station’s web page ( Please note that all projects require submission of a request form including projects with preexisting contracts that are exempted from service fees and projects that do not require service from facility staff. This information is required because superintendents are required to account for use of all units at their facilities each year.

For activities in final planning stages or waiting on final funding decisions, project directors must still submit service requests by April 15th and provide updated information when available.

For projects conducted in fall or winter, we recommend submitting request forms to superintendents at least one month prior to the project start.

It is generally recommended that project directors discuss service needs with superintendents early in project planning. Project directors should obtain pre-approval from facility superintendents for commitments on other services in the project planning stage. All services are provided at the discretion of the facility superintendent with input from the associate director.

The above forms request estimates for acreage, bench space, or animal numbers requiring basic service and estimated labor needs (hours) for other services. This information is used by the superintendent for planning purposes. Billing for services will be based on actual units used as reported by the superintendent. Each facility has local processes for accounting for actual units used. Questions on billing should be directed to the Finance Office of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture.

Cost Sharing
Faculty and staff are expected to include basic service fees and costs for other services in proposal budgets submitted to external and internal sponsors or have other means to cover these costs. The Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station will consider requests to cost-share fees and labor costs for research projects in unusual circumstances only. Examples of circumstances that may receive consideration include high-priority projects that may not occur or be significantly delayed because of funding timeline issues, or to allow for trade-offs for significant non-monetary benefits to the station. Cost sharing discussions related to research and outreach should begin with the station associate director. Cost sharing discussions related to teaching should be brought to the dean/director by academic chairs/directors. The dean/director approves all cost sharing.

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Contact Information

Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station
5782 Winslow Hall, The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469-5782
Phone: (207) 581-3202E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System