A large cloud of dust appears behind a potato harvester as it gathers the crops to send to the potato house. Credit: Alexander MacDougall / AP

UNITY, Maine — Thirty-eight Maine farms have been awarded grants through the Maine Farm Emergency Grants program.

It’s the second round of funding in which the Maine Farmland Trust and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association have collaborated since the pandemic hurt farms across the state.

“Dealing with the day to day impacts of the coronavirus on top of a severe drought this summer has made for a difficult year for farms across the state,” said the association’s director, Sara Alexander. “As we begin winter, it’s important that we continue to support these businesses that are working hard to produce nutritious and high-quality food for our communities.”

Among the challenges are additional time and labor costs to adapt to restrictions, market disruptions, and COVID-19 exposure, said Sarah Simon, farmland access and farm viability program director at Maine Farmland Trust.

Farms awarded will use the funds to continue to offer products to the community in a safe manner and for essential operating costs.