In The News
Farming smarter is keeping Maine’s potato industry alive
Even though Maine had a bumper crop of potatoes in 2021, it was still only a quarter of the yield Aroostook farmers experienced at their peak in the 1940s and 1950s.
Potatoes have literally lost ground — acreage in Maine has declined from 186,000 acres in 1947 to 58,000 in 2021. Moneywise, that means the 1947 crop, worth $94.4 million then, would be worth $1.2 billion today. Maine’s potato crop for 2021 is valued at $209.7 million. Once No. 1, Maine ranks toward the bottom of a top-10 roster led by Idaho, Washington, Wisconsin and Oregon.
Portland Press Herald: Integrated pest management uses science to protect crops, lands
Invasives can be managed in a way that benefits Maine’s environment and saves forests, gardens and green spaces for future generations.
The COVID-19 pandemic by its very definition is a global event, resulting in a global effort to understand, treat and bring it under control. Top public health officials are using scientific data to drive policy, and that’s exactly how it should be. The same logic applies when the health and safety of our lands, forests, gardens and fruit and vegetable crops are under attack.
Currently, invasive species – both plant and insect – threaten much of the landscape, as well as our gardens in Maine, so much so that they often out-compete local native species for food and habitat. The emerald ash borer, the browntail moth, the Asian longhorned beetle, the spotted wing drosophila and the Swede midge are some invasive insects that have destroyed Maine forests and fruit and vegetable crops.
Why Gene Editing Is the Next Food Revolution
A new technique has the potential to change the foods we eat every day, boosting flavor, disease resistance, and yields, and even tackling allergens like gluten—and scientists say they’re working only with nature’s own tools.