Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Hancock County Office
Bangor, ME 04401
207-947-6622 ext. 5
Chuck Penney, District Conservationist
Some of the
posted on this website
is based upon work supported by the Natural Resources Conservation Service,
Department of Agriculture, under number 68-1218-13-4.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations
expressed on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily
reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
NRCS is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Click here for general information about NRCS and
what services they provide
UPDATES AND INFORMATION FROM THE MAINE
NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE:
Conservation Innovation Grants now available- The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS),
an agency under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is
announcing availability of Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to
stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation
approaches and technologies.
Proposals will be accepted from Maine.
NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this
program in FY 2015 will be up to $ 200,000.
Proposals are requested from eligible governmental or
non-governmental organizations or individuals for competitive
consideration of grant awards for projects between 1 and 3 years in
Fore more information:
2015 Maine Conservation Innovation Grants
Application or visit the Maine NRCS website at:http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/me/home/
NRCS offers financial and technical assistance to help agricultural
producers make and maintain conservation improvements on their land.
Collaborating with local work groups, made up of partners and
landowners, Maine NRCS tailors these programs to fit Maine’s unique
Interested farmers and landowners should visit
their local USDA Service Center for more information or visit
Conservation Newsletter- Oct. 2014
NRCS Helps Fund Rock Removal From Blueberry Fields in Hancock County
may have noticed recently that there is an awful lot of excavation going
on in blueberry fields around the county. Chances are, NRCS has had a
hand in what you have observed. From 2010 to 2015, NRCS contracted with
32 individual producers under the Environmental Quality Incentives
Program to remove rock on more than 473 acres of wild blueberry sod in
Hancock County. Why?
blueberries are harvested biennially, meaning that in the first year of
the cycle, the berries are harvested, then the vines are pruned and left
to regrow during the second year. Pruned vines will not produce fruit in
the off-year. If left unpruned, vines will produce a crop every year.
Pruning not only stimulates the plant to produce a higher yield, but
also ensures that the vines are thin and supple, which makes harvesting
easier and is a valuable tool for managing weeds, pests, and disease.
most common method of pruning vines is burning with oil burners or straw
fires and flail mowing. Pruning by burning is not only expensive,
consuming between 50 and 80 gallons of oil per acre for oil burners, but
also negatively impacts air quality by introducing particulate matter,
carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides and other
emissions into the atmosphere; depletes the sod of organic material, and
can result in wildfires. Many growers would prefer to switch to mowing,
but the fields where wild blueberry sod forms are often so rocky that
growers are unable to mow without severely damaging their equipment.
provides financial assistance to eligible producers to remove rock from
productive fields so that they can switch from burning to flail mowing
as the primary method of pruning, reducing management cost, improving
air quality and increasing organic matter and wildfire hazard. Removing
rock from fields is an expensive process, costing upwards of $4000 per
acre. USDA financial assistance programs, which paid $2,287 per acre in
2015, can greatly reduce this cost to the producer. By providing this
financial assistance, NRCS has helped reduce the burning oil for pruning
by up to 37,840 gallons per pruning cycle over the last 5 years. Based
on figures found on Maine.gov, that’s enough to heat more than 42
average Maine households for an entire year. For more information on
this or other USDA programs, contact the Hancock County office at (207)
extension 5, or visit