MFAC Grants

Exploring Change in a Local Sustainable Food System

Somerset County has the lowest rankings for county health behaviors (16th) in Maine. Thirty-four percent of adults are obese, which is also the highest rate in the state. The USDA defines food deserts for rural areas as having at least 33% of the census tracts population residing more than 10 miles from a large grocery […]

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Elderberry Variety Trial: An Essential Step For a Specialty Crop in Maine

Locally grown elderberries are in demand by the specialty beverage industry, food entrepreneurs and herbalists. A 2015 study of Vermont’s market showed the current demand to be 25,000 pounds per year, and current production to be roughly 10,000 pounds. Hobby and commercial growers in Maine continue to ask Cooperative Extension for research in growing and […]

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Prevalence of the Lyme Disease Pathogen and Its Vector, the Black-legged Tick (Ixodes scapularis), and Small Mammal Hosts on Maine Farms

With 8,200 farms and 1.45 million acres of working farmland, Maine’s agricultural economy is critical to the state’s overall economic health. Due to the extensive number of hours spent working outdoors, Maine’s farmers face health threats from insect and arthropod vectored diseases.  Of particular concern is the impact of Lyme disease and its vector, the […]

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sweet peppers

Identifying Profitable Vegetable and Small Fruit Varieties for Maine Farmers – 2014

Bell peppers, sweet corn and butternut squash were evaluated in 2014. New Ace produced the greatest yield however, New Ace, Ace, JPR632, JPR1124, and JPR1127 tended to produce mostly medium size fruit having irregular shapes and thin walls. Declaration, Revolution, and Vanguard produced greater numbers of jumbo and extra large fruit. AristotleX3R, Currier, Revolution and […]

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weather station

Maine Agricultural Weather Center Evaluation of Interpolated Weather Data for use in Agricultural Management Decisions

In recent years, Maine blueberry growers have benefited greatly from weather-based estimates that inform critically important pest management decisions. However, the high cost to operate on-site weather stations to provide input for these estimates may not be sustainable. Since 1997, the Maine apple industry has used farm-specific weather values based on interpolation between measurements at […]

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