UMaine’s Highmoor Farm

David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist at the University of Maine, takes a closer look at the grapes
Project Status
Ongoing
Location
Monmouth, ME
Partner(s)
University of Maine

Maine is a state known for its long, cold winters and short growing season, but changes in climate are disrupting this norm.

Many growers around the state have already started to experience the trend towards longer growing seasons. This includes slightly warmer summers and slightly milder winters. Some farmers are now able to grow crops year-round by using high tunnel houses. However, with this opportunity also comes a cost. Warmer temperatures make it easier for existing pests to thrive and new, invasive pests to arrive and survive. In addition, both drought and heavy rain events are becoming more frequent. Maine, along with many other areas of the Northeast, is experiencing increasing cases of “not enough” and “too much” rain. This is causing problems with water availability and soil erosion in fields and lanes.

Fortunately, Extension specialists and scientists at the University of Maine are working to address these problems. Research conducted at Highmoor Farm is focusing on solutions specific to Maine. Highmoor Farm is one of five research farms within the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station. Located in Monmouth, Maine, the 278 acre farm contains orchards and fields for vegetable and small fruit research. The research covers a range of topics. Projects include mulching for erosion control and integrated pest management for apple growth. Scientists are evaluating what new fruit varieties grow best in Maine and what methods improve post-harvest quality. Researchers also educate growers on ways to manage risk and reduce the impacts of extreme weather events and climate change.

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