Maine Democratic Gov. Janet Mills attends an event at the Blaine House, June 17, 2021, in Augusta, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

AUGUSTA, Maine — A bill to help Maine farmers respond to extreme weather conditions through a new grant program has become law.

The bill signed by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills on Thursday followed persistent drought conditions in 2020, stunting the potato crop and hurting other growers across the state.

It establishes a grant program that farmers can tap into to deal with extreme weather. Farmers can use grants to establish a source for irrigation to alleviate crop losses caused by drought.

Senate President Troy Jackson, the bill’s sponsor, called it a win for the state’s agricultural communities that will help future generations.

“Maine’s farms can get the support they need to improve access to water and irrigation and bounce back from hard years caused by drought,” Jackson said in a statement.