U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced February 13th that the University of Maineâ€™s (UMaine) Cooperative Extension Potato Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program has been awarded $553,486 to conduct further research on potato breeding in Maine.
This funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agricultureâ€™s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
â€œMaineâ€™s potato industry is an integral part of our stateâ€™s heritage and plays a major role in our stateâ€™s economy,â€ states Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. â€œBy investing in UMaine research to improve the potatoâ€™s resilience, this funding will support Maine farmers and ensure that this industry remains strong for generations to come.â€
As one of four universities to receive this federal grant, UMaine aims to develop new varieties of stress-tolerant, disease- and insect-resistant potatoes that display hardy qualities and are visually aesthetic to enhance marketing opportunities, farm sustainability, and profits for large and small farms alike.