St. John Valley Soil & Water Conservation District


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The major row-crop within the St. John Valley is the potato, traditionally grown here for hundreds of years due both to adequate soil and  climatic conditions.  While the potato was originally harvested primarily for tablestock, today much of the potato harvest is value-added, serving today's much larger "fast food" market, with a portion still reserved for table and seedstock.  Potatoes, themselves, are best managed on a rotation basis, alternating with such rotation crops as rye, barley, and oats. The relatively recent development of a small cole crop industry has helped diversify the agricultural base as well, along with various oilseeds.  Additional acreage is also planted for hay production as well as pasture in support of the region's livestock producers, another industry that appears to have increased over the years; consequently, an increased awareness of nutrient management has also arisen.  Overall, the majority of the region is intensively farmed, with the most acreage occurring north of Wallagrass, and east along the St. John River to Hamlin, with a large pocket occurring around Long Lake. The Districts objective in Agriculture is to, "Fully integrate agriculture sustainability with on-farm profitability."

  Farmer/Landowner Resources:

The District works with agricultural producers through watershed protection projects, such as the McLean Brook Watershed Project. These projects offer assistance to farmers to make improvements that reduce the impact of farming practices on local water bodies. 

The District offers many services and information for farmers and landowners in the St. John Valley including soils maps, financial assistance programs, soil testing kits, and educational information.  Please see the links below for some of the services and information we provide or call the District office for more information.  

Financial Assistance:

  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP): EQIP is a voluntary conservation program that supports production of agriculture and environmental quality as compatible goals.  Through EQIP, agricultural producers may receive financial and technical assistance to address resource conservation needs on eligible lands.  
  • Maine Farms for the Future program: A two-phase business assistance program that helps Maine Farmers plan for the future of their agricultural enterprise.  Maine Farms for the Future

Farmland Preservation:

  • Landowner Options for Preserving Farms and Farmland: A brochure on the different options for reducing costs of land ownership, increasing business viability, and planning the transfer and preservation of farmland.  Maine Farmland Protection Program
  • FarmLink: The FarmLink program, administered by the Maine Farmland Trust, helps keep farmland in production by connecting farmland owners looking to sell (or lease) to farmers seeking land. FarmLink




All programs and services of the Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the USDA are offered on a nondiscriminatory basis, without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political belief, gender identity, sexual orientation, or marital and familial status.