Increasing Maine Farmer Capacity to Succeed in a Changing Environment: Needs Assessment

Researchers at UMaine are collaborating with Maine farmer groups to identify, develop, and document their needs and priorities regarding weather information, services, and farm management decision support tools. Our team recently received funding from the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions to conduct this work. The primary activity will be structured query and dialogue between Maine apple, wild blueberry, and vegetable producers, and an interdisciplinary team of UMaine research and Extension personnel with expertise in crop production, pest management, climate science, weather data acquisition and analysis, and decision support tool creation. Dialogue will include the exploration of on-farm decision points, information gaps, available weather data access and analytical capabilities. From that foundation we will collaboratively generate and identify practical solutions to meet the needs of farmers.

Researchers: Dr. Lily Calderwood, Glen Koehler, Dr. Sean Birkel, Erin Roche

Stakeholder Partners: Maine Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers, Maine Pomological Society, Maine Wild Blueberry Growers