Cooperative Extension awarded over $550,000 for research on potato breeding

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced February 13th that the University of Maine’s (UMaine) Cooperative Extension Potato Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program has been awarded $553,486 to conduct further research on potato breeding in Maine. This funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

“Maine’s potato industry is an integral part of our state’s heritage and plays a major role in our state’s economy,” states Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “By investing in UMaine research to improve the potato’s resilience, this funding will support Maine farmers and ensure that this industry remains strong for generations to come.”

As one of four universities to receive this federal grant, UMaine aims to develop new varieties of stress-tolerant, disease- and insect-resistant potatoes that display hardy qualities and are visually aesthetic to enhance marketing opportunities, farm sustainability, and profits for large and small farms alike.