University of Maine Cooperative Extension Tree Fruits Program staff develop and deliver research-based information on the production of tree fruit crops, primarily apples, through publications, workshops, meetings, farm visits, correspondence, and telephone consultations. Annual meetings include the Preseason Integrated Pest Management Meeting in March and the Summer Tour in July. One periodical newsletter, the Apple Pest Report, addresses current cultural practices and pest management strategies. The target audiences include farmers and Extension faculty. Applied research plantings are developed and maintained in cooperation with the Maine Agricultural & Forest Experiment Station.
Program staff conduct research in collaboration with the NE-1036 and the NC-140 Regional Research Projects to address regional and national issues such as postharvest storage strategies. NC-140 and NE-1036 are collaborative multistate and multidisciplinary research projects of the USDA, NIFA, and participating state Agricultural Experiment Stations. These research groups coordinate trials in many different locations throughout the United States and Canada. The goal of NC-140 is to evaluate rootstocks in each region of the United States to identify rootstocks that will increase yield and fruit quality, and which are adapted to the growing conditions of each region. Extension staff also conduct independent research projects to address local issues.