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Maine eyes creation of new soil health program

March 8, 2021 GMT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Legislature is considering a proposal to establish a statewide healthy soil program.

Democatic State Sen. Stacy Brenner of Scarborough proposed the bill, which was the subject to a public hearing on March 4. The proposal would establish the “Maine Healthy Soils Program,” which would provide resources and education and help farmers with maintaining soil health.

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry would administer the program with input from the University of Maine and University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Brenner, who co-owns a Scarborough farm, said the bill “is a statement of value, a call to action, a solidification of the importance of healthy soils going forward, so we can protect our most valuable agricultural resource.”

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The proposal will be subject to votes in a committee of the Maine Legislature in coming weeks.