AP, Mainebiz report UMaine to receive $145K USDA grant for wild blueberry production studies

The Associated Press and Mainebiz reported the University of Maine will receive funding for two projects from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The program has been used to improve Maine harvests of various products, and these particular grants are part of a $538,073 grant package to support nine projects that are working to improve the competitiveness of Maine “specialty crop producers,” according to Mainebiz. UMaine received $99,880 for research on improving blueberry production and integrated pest management for weeds and diseases in partnership with the Wild Blueberry Commission; UMaine also will receive $43,887 to evaluate the impact of new fertilizers on the market used by wild blueberry growers, and evaluate the impact of “increased climate variability” on Maine’s wild blueberry crop, Mainebiz reported. Bangor Daily News, WABI (Channel 5), Maine Public, U.S. News & World Report and Miami Herald carried the AP report, and the Times Record included it in a roundup.