Maine will be a major player in the project entitled “Pollination security for fruit and vegetables in the Northeast ” that was funded by the USDA. The grant is a 6.6 million dollar grant (3.3 million dollars directly from the USDA and 3.3 million dollars in matching funds from several northeastern states and grower organizations).
The research and outreach will involve 5 institutions: University of Maine, University of Massachusetts, Cornell University, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and the University of Tennessee are part of the collaborative project. Our objectives are designed to meet the need of greater pollination security for pollinator-dependent fruit and vegetable crops in the Northeast.
Overall, the project will develop recommendations for growers to sustainably manage and protect pollinator diversity in and around their farms, to decrease pollination deficits, and to increase profits.
The researchers involved in Maine are Dr. Frank Drummond (pollination ecologist and statistical wizard), Dr. Cyndy Loftin (spatial / landscape ecologist), Dr. Alison Dibble (botanist and pollination ecologist), Dr. David Yarborough (blueberry extension specialist), Dr. Aaron Hoshide (economist), and Dr. Samuel Hanes (anthropologist). Five graduate students and dozens of undergraduate research assistants will be hired throughout the 5-year duration of this project.
Drummond was interviewed for an article in the Bangor Daily News about his study and the article can be found here.