Maine’s iconic berry crop is facing a climate crisis. Scientists earlier this year reported that the Down East region — home to the state’s blueberry barrens — is warming faster than the rest of the state. Coupled with ongoing drought conditions, that means Maine’s crops will be smaller and less likely to survive.
A study led by University of Maine graduate student Catherine Chan has found a way to help mitigate that damage. With the help of a drone equipped with a special camera to detect the areas that are most in need of water, researchers are helping growers know when to intervene sooner.
Chan worked with University of Maine faculty Danial Hayes and Yongjiang Zhang, Schoodic Institute forest ecologist Peter Nelson and Jasper Wyman & Son agronomist Bruce Hall.