Pilot 1: Maine Farm Surplus Survey


To reduce on-farm food loss by identifying profitable ways to use their extra food. The survey was aimed primarily at Maine’s fruit and vegetable farmers and sought to answer the following questions:

  1. How many Maine farms have a surplus?
  2. How much surplus do Maine farms have?
  3. How often do Maine farmers have a surplus?
  4. What are the most common crops which make up Maine farm surplus?
  5. How would Maine farmers like to handle their surplus?


  1. We first developed the Farm Surplus Survey.
  2. The survey was sent in conjunction with several Maine farm organizations, such as Maine Farmland Trust, the Maine Organic Farms and Gardeners Association, Cooperative Extension, and other key stakeholders in farming and growing.


Data from the survey suggests that farm surplus is a consistent challenge for Maine farms, but varies in its amount and makeup.

Farmers expressed interest in selling their surplus to large institutions such as public schools. This led us to develop Pilot 2.

image of a graph used to determine the preferred uses for surplus food by surveyed farmers.

Farm Surplus Survey data explaining how farmers would prefer to use their farm surplus.

Graph displaying how frequently Maine farms have surplus food

Farm Surplus Survey data explaining how frequently farmers have surplus crops.