Sources of Assistance

Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund can assist farms with capital improvements including irrigation systems and water supplies.

Water Source Development Grants 

The DACF Division of Agricultural Resource Development has utilized state and federal dollars to research the needs of farmers for water sources and irrigation. In the past, the Division has administered bonds to fund a water source development program to help farmers build water sources to mitigate drought. The Maine Legislature has approved four bond measures totaling $5.5 million dollars since 2001 to assist in new water source development. The Division has provided over $5.3 million to develop 179 projects for new water sources for farms. The program has protected over 11 thousand acres of farmland with crop value of over $33 Million.

Currently, there are no grant application requests for proposals for new water source developments for agricultural entities. Contact us at (207) 287-3491 or email dacf@maine.gov to be put on a list for future solicitations.

Agricultural Water Management Board

The Agricultural Water Management Board is a board of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, authorized by 7MRSA Chapter 13. The Board is not currently active, but available as needed by the Commissioner and the Governor.

The board has worked in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Protection to oversee and coordinate environmentally sound and affordable development of water sources for agricultural use. The Board can make recommendations for improvements to federal and state permitting processes for the development of farm ponds and other water sources for agricultural use; work to secure funding for the construction of environmentally sound, efficient and affordable water sources for agricultural use; and facilitate the implementation of sustainable agricultural water source programs.

DACF staff assists agricultural users in the development of water management plans. Staff collects data and other information on water use and water source development, surveying the agricultural community, analyzing data and writing research reports to the board.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

NRCS offers a variety of voluntary technical and financial assistance programs to eligible landowners and agricultural producers. 

Currently, the Maine State Office of NRCS is offering a $500,000 pool of Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding is assist with drought resiliency. This program has a limited time for sign-up, but may be considered in the future if drought conditions persist.

USDA Farm Service Agency

FSA offers a variety of loans and drought assistance programs to farmers, including:

  • Non-insurable Crop Assistance Program
  • Livestock Forage Disaster Program
  • Emergency Assistance for Livestock
  • Emergency Conservation Program
  • Tree Assistance Program
  • Emergency Loan Program
  • HayNet

Contact your county FSA office for more information.

USDA Risk Management Agency

RMA offers crop insurance programs which can help farmers recover the costs of lost crops.

USDA Rural Development Agency

Rural Development offers community grants and loans for a variety of projects. Contact RD for more information.

Residential Property Owners

If you are a residential property owner, or if you are having problems with a well that serves your home on a farm, additional advice and assistance may be available from:

Maine State Drinking Water Program

Maine State Housing Authority

Irrigation Resources