Archive for the ‘fact sheet’ Category

Farm Scoop – August

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Microscope Workshop for Farmersgoats

Common internal parasites of sheep, goats and camelids can be detected using fecal flotation methods. Equip yourself with microscopy skills that improve your ability to make sound management decisions.

Where: J. Franklin Witter Center, 160 University Farm Road, Old Town, Maine

When: Saturday August 9th, 2014. 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Workshop fee: $30 per person

Instructors: Jim Weber DVM PhD and Anne Lichtenwalner DVM PhD

For more information and to register.

 

tilled field at Highmoor FarmHealthy Soils Webinar Series

Managing for Soil Health on an
Organic Farm: A Farmer’s Perspective

Presenter: Klaas Martens, Lakeview Organic Grain,
Penn Yan, New York

When: August 12, 2014, 2:00 p.m. Eastern / 11:00 a.m. Pacific

60 Minutes

Our presenter, Klaas Martens, Penn Yan, NY, uses a diverse crop rotation to farm over 1,400 acres of organic corn, soybeans, small grains, a variety of peas, and cover crops. By adhering to one simple principle – every crop follows a suitable predecessor – Martens has improved soil health and function to cycle nutrients, increase water infiltration and availability, and eliminate both weed and disease pest problems. In this presentation, Martens will focus on the use of plants to change the soil and how soil biology can perform the services that are expected from tillage. He will also cover relay cropping, or starting one crop before the previous crop is harvested, and how this practice allows him to maintain a living root and cover on the soil all year. Can tillage be part of a soil health building system? For more information on the webinar, and how join, click here.

 

Family members picking green beans at Crystal Springs Farm in Brunswick, Maine; photo by Edwin RemsbergGubernatorial Forum on Agriculture

When: Tuesday, August 26th starting at 1:00 p.m.

Where: The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, 205 Church Hill Road, Augusta, Maine

The Agricultural Council of Maine (AgCOM) is sponsoring a gubernatorial forum on Tuesday, August 26th starting at 1:00 p.m. The focus of the event will be on Maine agriculture. The candidates will be speaking at different times and this event will not be a debate. Eliot Cutler will speak at 1:00 p.m., Governor LePage has agreed to participate at 2:00 p.m. and Congressman Mike Michaud at 3:00 p.m. at the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.

John Rebar, Director of Extension, will be serving as moderator.  While Cooperative Extension doesn’t take a political position regarding the candidates, we do encourage that everyone participate in our democratic process. The University of Maine wants to support a vibrant agricultural economy that is sustainable and prosperous.

 

wheat fieldCover Crops – Selecting & Sowing

Cover crops provide many benefits to the soil and next year’s crops.  August and September are the months in when most cover crops are sown in Maine.  Here is a link to a listing of cover crops for Maine.

Here is a link to a comprehensive guide to cover crops from NRCS.

 

Refining & Improving Your Product Sales

The Art & Science of Farmers’ Market Displays

https://www.uvm.edu/extension/community/farmersmktdisplayfactsheet.pdf

By listening and questioning your customer, you will be able to provide the products and services they want. This link to a series from Penn State University Extension explores ways to better know your customer.

http://extension.psu.edu/business/farm/marketing/understanding-your-customer

Do you want to learn more about using social media to market your products?  Here is a link that might be helpful.

http://extension.psu.edu/business/farm/marketing/social-media/publications

Here is a link to several webinars for farmers about social media and mobile technology.

http://extension.psu.edu/business/farm/marketing/social-media/webinars

 

The Forestry Rules of Maine 2014

Questions about how to manage your woodlot? Download this new guide for free at http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/attach.php?id=623259&an=1

 

What’s in the 2014 Farm Bill for Farm Service Agency Customers?

The Agricultural Act of 2014 (the Act), also known as the 2014 Farm Bill, was signed by President Obama on Feb. 7, 2014. The Act repeals certain programs, continues some programs with modifications, and authorizes several new programs administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Most of these programs are authorized and funded through 2018.

 

unhusked cornScaling up Your Vegetable Farm

A new publication from the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service helps farmers decide if they are ready to expand their operations to serve wholesale markets or produce more for direct markets. It describes how organization and planning can help a producer meet the challenges involved in scaling up. This publication addresses important considerations such as land, labor, food safety, marketing, and insurance. Find it for free online.

 

USDA Provides 12-Week Progress Update on Disaster Assistance

106,000 Payments Helping Farmers in 40 States Recover from Losses.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack provided a 12-week progress report on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance programs today, announcing that USDA has processed 106,000 payments to farmers in 40 states across the country who suffered livestock and grazing losses between October 2011 and passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Farmers and ranchers who waited two and a half years for a Farm Bill are now getting some relief,” said Vilsack. “We met the very ambitious goal to get these programs up and running in just 60 days. Now, thanks to our dedicated staff in offices across the country, we’ve provided more than 106,000 payments to farmers and ranchers in 40 states who suffered drought, blizzard, and other weather related losses.”

A quick implementation of the disaster assistance programs has been a top priority for USDA. In February, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that enrollment for four disaster assistance programs would begin April 15, 2014, 60 days from the date the programs were reestablished by the 2014 Farm Bill. After the 2008 Farm Bill, it took over one year for the programs to get up and running.

Since then, dedicated full-time FSA staff, as well as temporary employees hired to expedite the application process, have processed over $1.2 billion in payments to qualifying farmers and ranchers. The first payments were sent out to farmers and ranchers within two weeks of enrollment. USDA estimated that roughly $2.5 billion would be provided in disaster relief to cover losses from October 2011 through September 2014. If those estimates prove accurate, it would mean nearly half of all disaster payments have already been provided.

While disaster relief is a critical lifeline that can prevent farmers and ranchers who do not have access to crop insurance from being wiped out by weather-related losses beyond their control, most producers only receive support equal to 60 percent of their actual losses.

USDA disaster programs include:

  • The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) and the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provides payments for grazing losses due to drought and livestock deaths due to adverse weather.
  • The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides assistance for livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish losses due to disease (including cattle tick fever), weather, wildfires and colony collapse disorder, or for losses not covered under other disaster assistance programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill.
  • The Tree Assistance Program (TAP) provides financial assistance to eligible orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate trees, bushes and vines that were lost or damaged by natural disasters.

Specific program deadlines are as follows:

• 2011-2013 ELAP – Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

• 2011 -2014 LFP – Friday, Jan. 30, 2015

• 2011-2014 LIP – Friday, Jan. 30, 2015

• 2011-2014 TAP – Monday, Feb. 2, 2015

Producers affected by adverse weather should contact their FSA county office to make an appointment and learn if they are eligible for disaster assistance. For more information, producers may review the 2014 Farm Bill Fact Sheet, and the LIP, LFP, ELAP and TAP fact sheets online, or visit any local FSA office.

 

goat producer with goats; photo by Edwin Remsberg, USDAScrapie Information for Goat and Sheep Producers

As a producer of sheep or goats, you ought to be aware of the latest information about scrapie.  The Scrapie Eradication Program has been fairly successful to date, however, there are still steps to be taken so that the disease might be completely eradicated from the US.  In an effort to keep you posted and with the support of the American Sheep Industry, Dick Brzozowski, Extension Educator assembled a file of information for sheep and goat producers. To get the complete file contact contact Lynne Hazelton at 1.800.287-.1471.

In addition, below are 3 links to more scrapie-related information.

 

Country of Origin Labeling — The Basics

When: Thursday, September 25, 2014, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Join USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) for a live and interactive webinar, “Country of Origin Labeling—The Basics.”

Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is a labeling law that requires retailers to provide their customers with information about the origin of various food products.  This includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, shellfish, beef, veal, pork, lamb, goat, and chicken.  Mandatory COOL requirements help consumers make informed decisions about the food they buy.

AMS implements, administers, and enforces the COOL regulations.  Since the regulations were finalized in 2009, AMS and our state partners have closely monitored industry compliance with COOL through reviews of more than 25,000 retail stores and audits of nearly 2,000 suppliers.

During the webinar, Julie Henderson, Director of AMS’ COOL Division, will introduce COOL and discuss what we’ve found through our monitoring activities.  Her formal presentation will be followed by interactive question and answer session.

This webinar is free and available to anyone with Internet access.  However, space is limited and you must register to participate.  Register today for our webinar!

To learn more about COOL visit www.ams.usda.gov/COOL.

This webinar is hosted by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).   To view previous webinars online, visit our Webinar Archive.

If you have any questions about our webinar series or USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, please contact Christopher Purdy at 202.720.3209.

 

strawberriesDisaster Assistance for 2012 Frost or Freeze Fruit Crop Losses Announced

Enrollment Begins July 22

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) assistance for losses to bush or tree fruit crops due to frost or freeze during the 2012 crop year.  The program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides supplemental NAP payments to eligible producers.

Farmers who did not have access to crop insurance and are in primary and adjacent counties that received a Secretarial disaster designation because of frost or freeze in 2012 are eligible for NAP assistance.  Losses due to weather damage or other adverse natural occurrences may also qualify for program assistance.

NAP enrollment begins July 22, 2014.  Applications must be submitted to FSA county offices by Sept. 22, 2014.

“After the 2014 Farm Bill was enacted into law, USDA expedited the restart of disaster assistance programs as a top priority,” said FSA Administrator Juan Garcia. “Fruit producers experienced significant financial losses from weather-related damage in 2012.  NAP provides them with long-awaited disaster relief.”

To expedite applications, producers who experienced losses are encouraged to collect records documenting these losses in preparation for the sign-up in this program. Producers also are encouraged to contact their FSA county office to schedule an appointment. Limited resource, socially disadvantaged, and beginning producers are eligible for premium reductions and also may be eligible for fee reductions.

Interested producers can view the 2012 NAP Coverage for Frost, Freeze or Weather Related Fruit Losses Fact Sheet, or visit a local FSA office. To find out if land is located in an eligible frost/freeze county.

 

Nomination Deadline Nears for Farm Service Agency County Committees

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2014 — U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan Garcia reminds farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers that Aug. 1, 2014, is the deadline for local FSA county committee nominations.

County committees are an important link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Farmers and ranchers elected to local committees share their opinions and ideas on federal farm programs.

“There’s still time for eligible farmers and ranchers to get involved in this year’s county committee elections,” said Garcia. “Nominate yourself or a candidate of your choice to serve on the local county committee. I especially encourage the nomination of beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as women and minorities. This is your opportunity to have a say in how federal programs are delivered in your county.”

While FSA county committees do not approve or deny farm ownership or operating loans, they work closely with county executive directors and make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other agricultural issues.

Members serve three-year terms. Nationwide, there are about 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees. Committees consist of three to 11 members that are elected by eligible producers.

To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area where the person is nominated.

To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign the nomination form, FSA-669A. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. Forms for the 2014 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 1, 2014. Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters by Nov. 3 and are due back to the local USDA Service Centers on Dec. 1. The newly elected county committee members will take office on Jan. 1, 2015.

 

 

Farm Scoop – July 2014

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Is Endophyte a Concern for Maine Livestock Producers?

This spring a few beef producers contacted UMaine Extension concerned that Endophyte infected fescue or perennial ryegrass may be adversely affecting their pregnant cattle. In other states Endophyte (fungus) infected pastures can cause abortions and/or poor weight gains in cattle and other livestock that graze these grasses.

Donna Coffin, Extension Educator received funding for a research project to try to assess if our fescue or ryegrass pastures or haylands are infected, how widespread the infected grasses are in Maine and how much of a concern it should be for livestock producers. If you have stands that are predominantly fescue or ryegrass and would like to have them tested for free for endophyte please contact her at 207.564.3301 or by email at Donna Coffin.

 

USDA Announces Funding Availability for Biomass Material into Energy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began accepting applications June 16 from energy facilities interested in receiving forest or agricultural residues to generate clean energy. The support comes through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

BCAP provides financial assistance to farmers and ranchers who establish and maintain new crops of energy biomass, or who harvest and deliver forest or agricultural residues to a qualifying energy facility. Of the total $25 million per year authorized for BCAP, the 2014 Farm Bill provides up to 50 percent ($12.5 million) each year for matching payments for the harvest and transportation of biomass residues. BCAP matching payments will resume this summer, while crop incentives will begin in 2015. Some matching payments will support the removal of dead or diseased trees from National Forests and Bureau of Land Management public lands. This will be turned into renewable energy while reducing the risk of forest fire. Agriculture residues, such as corn cobs and stalks, also may qualify as energy-producing feedstock.

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), which administers BCAP, will begin accepting applications from biomass conversion facilities beginning June 16, 2014, through July 14, 2014. Information on funding availability can be found in the Federal Register notice. For more details on applications and deadlines on BCAP, visit a local FSA county office or go online.

 

Hay & Straw DirectoryBaling hay

June has been a great month for making hay.  If you have excess or are the position to sell hay or straw, consider using the Maine Hay and Straw Directory.  It is free to use.  More information is available online, or call Cooperative Extension 1.800.287.1426.

 

Preserving the Harvest July Workshops AnnouncedVegetables for food preservation

Ever wonder about preserving your garden produce?  Learn how at a University of Maine Preserving the Harvest class. Visit the UMaine Cooperative Extension Food and Health page for a listing of current workshops.

 

Maine Home Garden News July Issue Announced

Gardening advice by the month throughout the growing season!  Sign up for gardening information, timely tips and research-based articles written by UMaine Extension staff and Master Gardener Volunteers at Maine Home Garden News.

 

Have you Considered Agritoursim?

Agritoursim is one way to generate more income from the farm.  But it is not for every farm.  Learn more about the benefits and drawbacks by visiting a web site hosted by Rutgers University. The site was initiated to train agriculture service providers. However, much of the information posted can be used directly by farmers and growers. At the site, you will find short videos, training module, fact sheets and worksheets.

 

Tractor Safety on Public Roadsteen on tractro

Consider a safety check-in and conversation with your family members or employees regarding operating tractors on public roads.  Here are a few links for information you may find useful.  Road Safety for Tractors & Farm Machinery and Operating the Tractor on Public Roads.

 

Maine Farms: Life and Business in Balance

The Maine Family Farms: Life and Business in Balance  series recognizes that the needs of farmers at each various life stage are unique, as choices about farming practices, child rearing, business growth, and succession planning enter into decision making. This series consists of five fact sheets plus an introductory fact sheet that can purchased/downloaded individually or as a series. Click here to view

Retail price: FREE DOWNLOAD; color printout $3.00 entire series / $0.50 – $0.75 each

Contact person:  Leslie Forstadt and Tori Jackson

Publisher: UMaine Extension

To order: by email extension.orders@maine.edu or call 207.581.3792 .

To view all the publications:

 

Backyard Locavore Day

Backyard Locavore Day scheduled for August 9th Rain or Shine. This is a unique one day educational event. Gain knowledge on food preservation and gardening from UMaine Extension’s Master Food Preservers and Master Volunteers.  Learn more at the Backyard Locavore Day page.

 

NRCS Announces Application Deadline for Conservation Programs

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the application deadline dates for two of its conservation programs — the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Agricultural Management Assistance Program.  The Fiscal Year 2015 application deadline for both of these programs is August 15, 2014.

Agricultural producers and foresters are encouraged to sign up now for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which provides financial and technical assistance to address varying natural resource priorities. The Fiscal Year 2015 funding consideration application deadline for most EQIP fund pool categories will be August 15, 2014.  This does not include the EQIP National Water Quality Initiative and Conservation Innovation Grants.  These deadlines are yet to be determined.

The August 15, 2014 deadline for 2015 funding consideration is for both applications for EQIP local Field Office fund pool categories (such as animal waste, cropland, forestry, seasonal high tunnels, pasture, and wildlife) and the statewide fund pool categories (Beginning Farmer, Socially Disadvantaged, Tribal Projects, Water Conservation/Irrigation, Aquatic Organism Passage Projects, Conservation Activity Plans, On-Farm Energy and Organic).  The August 15, 2014 signup deadline is an extension to the previously posted July 1, 2014 deadline for the EQIP local Field Office fund pool, or “general” categories.

Agricultural producers are also encouraged to sign up now for the Agricultural Management Assistance Program (AMA), which also has a Fiscal Year 2015 funding consideration application deadline of August 15, 2014.  AMA assists agricultural producers to manage risk and voluntarily address issues such as water management, water quality, and erosion control by incorporating conservation practices into their farming operations. For 2015, Maine NRCS will again be offering financial assistance for irrigation systems and  introducing an opportunity for funding deer exclusion fencing for orchards through the AMA program.

There is a continuous, year-round sign-up for these two programs, but applications submitted by August 15, 2014 will be considered for funding in Fiscal Year 2015.  Proposals submitted after that date will be held for Fiscal Year 2016 funding consideration.

Interested landowners should visit their local NRCS office located at the USDA Service Center to determine eligibility.   USDA Service Centers are listed online, or in the telephone book under United States Government, Agriculture Department. For more information on EQIP and AMA, please visit the NRCS website.

 

usdaNew USDA Website for Beginning Farmers

New Farm Bill measures and other policy changes to improve the financial security of new and beginning farmers and ranchers. Harden also unveiled www.usda.gov/newfarmers, a new website that will provide a centralized, one-stop resource where beginning farmers and ranchers can explore the variety of USDA initiatives designed to help them succeed.

“New and beginning farmers are the future of American agriculture,” Said Deputy Secretary Harden. “The average age of an American farmer is 58 and rising, so we must help new farmers get started if America is going to continue feeding the world and maintain a strong agriculture economy. The new policies announced today will help give beginning farmers the financial security they need to succeed. Our new online tool will provide one-stop shopping for beginning farmers to learn more about accessing USDA services that can help their operations thrive.”

USDA’s new farmer website has in depth information for new farmers and ranchers, including: how to increase access to land and capital; build new market opportunities; participate in conservation opportunities; select and use the right risk management tools; and access USDA education, and technical support programs. These issues have been identified as top priorities by new farmers. The website will also feature instructive case studies about beginning farmers who have successfully utilized USDA resources to start or expand their business operations.

Today’s policy announcements in support of beginning farmers and ranchers include:

  • Waiving service fees for new and beginning farmers or ranchers to enroll in the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for the 2014 crop year. NAP provides risk management tools to farmers who grow crops for which there is no crop insurance product. Under this waiver, announced via an official notice to Farm Service Agency offices, farmers and ranchers who already enrolled in NAP for the 2014 crop year are eligible for a service fee refund.
  • Eliminating payment reductions under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for new and beginning farmers which will allow routine, prescribed, and emergency grazing outside the primary nesting season on enrolled land consistent with approved conservation plans. Previously, farmers and ranchers grazing on CRP land were subject to a reduction in CRP payments of up to 25 percent. Waiving these reductions for new and beginning farmers will provide extra financial support during times of emergency like drought and other natural disasters. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).
  • Increasing payment rates to beginning farmers and ranchers under Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP). Under this provision, beginning farmers and ranchers can claim up 90 percent of losses for lost livestock, such as bees, under ELAP. This is a fifty percent increase over previously available payment amounts to new and beginning farmers.

USDA 2014 Farm Bill logoIn the near future, USDA will also announce additional crop insurance program changes for beginning farmers and ranchers – including discounted premiums, waiver of administrative fees, and other benefits. These policy announcements are made possible through the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.

The Deputy Secretary made these announcements at the inaugural meeting of the reconvened Beginning Farmer and Rancher Advisory Committee held at the University of California Davis, California. This Advisory Committee, composed of 20 members, including Extension agents, lenders, farmers, ranchers and academics will meet through 2015 to learn, discuss, and formulate recommendations to USDA on how to support new and beginning farmers.

Additional information about USDA actions in support of beginning farmers and ranchers is available online.

Farm Scoop – June 2014

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

MOFGA Logo

Farm & Homestead Day – June 14

Farm & Homestead Day, a free event, offers hands-on and interactive sessions on farming and homesteading skills. It will be held on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s Common Ground Education Center on Crosby Brook Road in Unity. More information can be found on the MOFGA website.

 

Maine Family Farms: Life and Business in Balance

By Associate Extension Professors Leslie Forstadt and Tori Jackson, University of Maine

With the 2012 Census of Agriculture numbers available, a portrait of Maine farmers reflects lives that are complex, with much to keep in balance. There are more than 8,000 farms in Maine, an increase of 12 percent since 2002. Of these, 49 percent list their primary occupation as farming, with the average age of the principal operator 57 years old. Among women farmers, 57 percent list their primary occupation as farming, and 38 percent of them are in the “beginning farmer” category, with 10 or fewer years of farming experience on the present farm. The principal female operator is 53 years old on average, but there are young women too—24 percent of primary women farmers are under the age of 44 years.

The needs of farmers at each life stage are unique, as choices about farming practices, child rearing, business growth, and succession planning enter into decision making.

This series, Maine Family Farms: Life and Business in Balance, provides a starting point for farm families to think about issues that range from family conversations to managing stress and sharing ideas about life and business balance.

Titles include:

#4801 Why “Thank You” Matters: Expressing Appreciation
#4802 Running Successful Farm-Family Meetings
#4803 Farm and Family—Finding Balance
#4804 Understanding Roles in the Farm Family
#4805 Recognizing the Signs of Farm Family Stress

There are rewards and stressors at each stage of farm business and farm family life. This series of publications was designed with the people of Maine’s farming industry in mind. Interpersonal and intrapersonal needs are addressed, as readers are encouraged to think about, discuss, and access resources to support the personal experiences and relationships in family farming. We hope that these fact sheets will help foster farm family sustainability.

Workshops are available on the topics listed and more! For farmers and farm service providers Contact Leslie Forstadt for more information.

 

Food Donation and Liability on the Farm

Little Ridge Farm in Lisbon, Keena Tracey101 Gould Rd, Lisbon Falls, ME 04252Are you interested in donating produce you cannot sell, or having gleaners come into your fields to harvest unwanted crops? Are you worried about liability issues? The Federal Public Law 104-210, The Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, may relieve any fears or trepidation related to allowing gleaning or donating to occur on your farm.

Federal law: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-104publ210/pdf/PLAW-104publ210.pdf

Maine State Revised Statutes: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/14/title14ch7.pdf

The existing UMaine Extension publication Bulletin #4301, Food for Your Community: Gleaning and Sharing has this information included in it.

 

Vegetable Growers: Expanded Crop Label for Dual Magnum® Herbicide

Maine vegetable growers now are able to use Dual Magnum® on an expanded range of vegetable crops including: asparagus, bell pepper, cabbage, carrots, garden beets, dry bulb onions, green onions, spinach, Swiss chard, pumpkin.  The target weeds for this registration and use are galinsoga and yellow nutsedge.  Growers need to go to Syngenta’s web site and agree to a waiver of liability and print off the 24C label. All label instructions will be supplied after the application for use is completed. Once on the farm assist web site, click products at top left, then indemnified labels.  Create a user name and password, select Dual Magnum, and the crop.  This is ONLY for the product Dual Magnum®, EPA #100-816.  It is not for Dual II Magnum® or the generic Dual/metolochlor products. Rates are about ½ of the normal rate of Dual® on many of these crops, so growers will need to pay attention to that.

 

Agricultural News – Sources You Might Find of Interest

  • Harvest Public MediaHarvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Harvest covers these agriculture related topics through an expanding network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest.
  • Morning Ag Clips – This electronic ag news service collects breaking news and information for today’s farmer. They aggregate stories from the general media, industry trades, extension publications and other sources. Through their website or state-by-state daily e-blast, farmers, ranchers, industry leaders, advocates, educators and friends of farming get quick news on agriculture happenings every business day.  Morning Ag Clips New England edition is available.

 

usdaUSDA Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program Sign-Up Begins –
Deadline is August 29, 2014

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that sign-up begins today for 2012 crop losses under the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program. The program, established by the 2008 Farm Bill, provides for one final period of eligibility for producers suffering crop losses caused by natural disasters occurring through Sept. 30, 2011, for crops intended for 2012 harvest.

“This sign-up period is only for those producers who suffered crop losses for 2012 crops before Sept. 30, 2011” said FSA Administrator Juan M. Garcia.

To be eligible for SURE, a farm or ranch must have:

  • At least a 10 percent production loss on a crop of economic significance resulting from a disaster occurring on or before September 30, 2011. A crop of economic significance contributes at least five percent of the expected revenue for a producer’s farm.

Additionally, the crop must also meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • The crop must be considered a 2012 crop which means, in general, that the crop was intended for harvest in 2012;
  • For insured crops, the coverage period must have begun on or before Sept. 30, 2011;
  • For crops covered by the Non-Insured Crop Assistance Program, the coverage period must have begun on or before Sept. 30, 2011;
  • The final planting date, according to the specific coverage for the crop, must have been on or before Sept. 30, 2011.

Note:  A producer who only plants fall seeded or spring seeded crops with a final planting date on Oct. 1, 2011 or later) cannot meet the above eligibility criteria and will not be eligible for the 2012 SURE program.

  • A policy or plan of insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program for all economically significant crops;
  • Been physically located in a county that was declared a primary disaster county or contiguous county by the Secretary of Agriculture under a Secretarial Disaster Designation. Without a Secretarial Disaster Designation, individual producers may be eligible if the actual production on the farm is less than 50 percent of the normal production on the farm due to a natural disaster. A “farm” for SURE purposes means the entirety of all crop acreage in all counties that a producer planted or intended to be planted for harvest for normal commercial sale or on-farm livestock feeding, including native and improved grassland intended for haying.
  • Producers considered socially disadvantaged, a beginning farmer or rancher, or a limited resource farmer may be eligible for SURE without a policy or plan of insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program coverage. Farmers and ranchers interested in signing up must do so before the Aug. 29, 2014, deadline. For more information on the 2012 SURE program, visit any USDA Service Center or online.

 

NRCS Announces Deadline for Conservation Programs

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the application deadline dates for two of its conservation programs — the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Agricultural Management Assistance Program.  The Fiscal Year 2015 application deadline for both of these programs is August 15, 2014.

Agricultural producers and foresters are encouraged to sign up now for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which provides financial and technical assistance to address varying natural resource priorities. The Fiscal Year 2015 funding consideration application deadline for most EQIP fund pool categories will be August 15, 2014.  This does not include the EQIP National Water Quality Initiative and Conservation Innovation Grants.  These deadlines are yet to be determined.

The August 15, 2014 deadline for 2015 funding consideration is for both applications for EQIP local Field Office fund pool categories (such as animal waste, cropland, forestry, seasonal high tunnels, pasture, and wildlife) and the statewide fund pool categories (Beginning Farmer, Socially Disadvantaged, Tribal Projects, Water Conservation/Irrigation, Aquatic Organism Passage Projects, Conservation Activity Plans, On-Farm Energy and Organic).  The August 15, 2014 signup deadline is an extension to the previously posted July 1, 2014 deadline for the EQIP local Field Office fund pool, or “general” categories.

Agricultural producers are also encouraged to sign up now for the Agricultural Management Assistance Program (AMA), which also has a Fiscal Year 2015 funding consideration application deadline of August 15, 2014.  AMA assists agricultural producers to manage risk and voluntarily address issues such as water management, water quality, and erosion control by incorporating conservation practices into their farming operations. For 2015, Maine NRCS will again be offering financial assistance for irrigation systems and  introducing an opportunity for funding deer exclusion fencing for orchards through the AMA program.

There is a continuous, year-round sign-up for these two programs, but applications submitted by August 15, 2014 will be considered for funding in Fiscal Year 2015.  Proposals submitted after that date will be held for Fiscal Year 2016 funding consideration.

Interested landowners should visit their local NRCS office located at the USDA Service Center to determine eligibility. USDA Service Centers are listed online, or in the telephone book under United States Government, Agriculture Department.

More information on the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Agricultural Management Assistance Program can be found online.

 

Seeds for Veterans

If you are or know of a family of a military veteran, Burpee Seeds has a special program with free seeds. UMaine Extension is partnering with Maine Farmer Veteran Coalition in making these seeds available in Maine. To obtain the “welcome home” packet of garden seeds, contact Extension at 1.800.287.1471 or email Lynne Hazelton. Use Seeds for Veterans in the subject line of your email message.

New publication: Preventing Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) Virus in Maine

Friday, September 13th, 2013

3 horses in pasture; photo by C. Eves-ThomasEastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is a preventable, but fatal, disease. Horses (and other equine species) are the most sensitive to the disease, but other domestic animals, including llamas and alpacas and some bird species, can be affected by EEE. Unfortunately, this disease can also affect humans — if they are bitten by mosquitoes that carry the virus. Learn more about the transmission and prevention of EEE in Bulletin #1003, Preventing Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) Virus in Maine. Printed color copies can be ordered from the UMaine Extension Publications Catalog.