Wild Blueberry Newsletter October 2022

Wild Blueberry Newsletter header graphic, text and a photo of blueberries and leaves

October 2022

Dear Growers, Processors, and Stakeholders,

Save the Date! UMaine Wild Blueberry Conference is February 25, 2023

When: Saturday, February 25, 2023
Conference Time: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Social Time: 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Where: Cross Insurance Center, Bangor
Format: In-person with breakout rooms, lunch, etc.

Register Online

Grants for Farmers

1. Farm Succession Grants ($5,000): Due Nov 4, 2022
The New England Farmer Microgrants Program is offered through American Farmland Trust. This program funds planning for a generation transfer.

2. NE SARE Farmer Grants ($5,000 – $30,000): Due Nov 15, 2022
SARE Farmer Grants are an opportunity to design and conduct a small experiment on your farm. These grants require a technical advisor who helps you design an experiment and analyze results if needed. Myself and other faculty are happy to be technical advisors.

3. Rural Energy for America Grant Program ($1,500 – $500,000)
The REAP Program is a grant that farmers can apply for through the USDA via grants.gov. The program can fund or provide loans for renewable energy projects and the replacement of inefficient equipment.
The Maine contact for questions is Katrina Shaw at the Bangor Office (207.990.9129).
Applications for under $20,000 are due Oct 31, 2022
Applications for $1,500-500,000 are due March 31, 2023
Agricultural producers with at least 50 percent of their gross income coming from agricultural operations are eligible.

Fresh Pack Totes

BerryMate fresh pack totes are being used by some growers and us at UMaine for fresh pack berries. These totes are smaller and have slits for better airflow. They are produced for the highbush blueberry growers in New Jersey by BerryMate. Prices fluctuate but in May 2022 each tote cost about $9.50 in a 4,000 tote order. If folks were interested in making a group order, we should set that up to make our request by March. They make the totes in late May/early June.