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Farm Scoop – April 2014

UMaine Extension offers Hayfield,
Pasture Management Workshops

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering free workshops on hayfield and pasture management this spring around the state.

Rick Kersbergen, UMaine Extension educator in Waldo County, will lead the “Got Hayfields?” workshops, which focus on how to best manage hayfields and pastures to produce high-quality feed for livestock. Topics include weed control, managing soil fertility, hay and pasture renovation techniques, grazing management and basics of forage quality.

Workshops are scheduled for the following dates, times and locations:

•  April 3, 6-8 p.m., Farmington Grange, 124 Bridge Street, West Farmington

•  April 10, 7-9 p.m., UMaine Extension, 307 Maine Avenue, Bangor

•  April 24, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Vassalboro Grange, Route 32, East Vassalboro

•  April 30, 2-4 p.m., UMaine Extension, 57 Houlton Road, Presque Isle

•  May 14, 5:30-7:30 p.m., UMaine Extension, 24 Main Street, Lisbon Falls

•  June 3, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Noon Family Sheep Farm, 78 Sunset Road, Springvale

Pre-registration is requested. Register here, or to request a disability accommodation, call 1.800.287.1426.

 

School for Poultry Producers Focuses on
Best Practices, Bird Health

UMaine Extension and Maine Poultry Growers Association (MPGA) will offer a daylong school for poultry producers on Saturday, April 5th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield.

Topics will include best management practices, bird health and disease prevention for egg layers and meat birds. Additional topics include poultry nutrition, poultry product quality and organic practices.

The school is designed for farmers with a poultry enterprise and is appropriate for backyard keepers, bird fanciers and 4-H teens. The $25 fee ($10 for MPGA members) includes a reference notebook, a poultry break-even calculator and refreshments. Participants should bring their lunch.

The Maine Farm Bureau and Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association are co-sponsors. For more information and to register, visit the Cumberland County Extension page, or call UMaine Extension, 207.781.6099. To request a disability accommodation, call 207.781.6099 or 1.800.287.1471 (in Maine only).

 

Conservation of our Native Bees

Alison C. Dibble, Ph.D., conservation biologist and pollination ecologist from the University of Maine, Orono, will speak on April 8, at 7:00 p.m. (weather date April 15) at the Standish Town Hall. Her talk will feature a summary of what we know of the 270 species of native bees in Maine, their importance as pollinators, and recognition of their potential role in crop pollination given the decline of the introduced honey bee due to Colony Collapse Disorder. She will offer practical tips on how to enhance bee habitats in the home garden and around the farm, and where to look for more resources. She will emphasize bumble bees, which are easy to recognize and are starting to fly in early April. With Dr. Frank Drummond and others at the University of Maine, Dr. Dibble researches use of native bees as pollinators of the wild blueberry crop in a 5-year USDA-funded project on pollination security in four crops of the northeast (includes also apple, cranberry, squashes). She also prepares pollinator habitat enhancement plans for farmers around the state.

The talk is hosted by the Wildridge Garden Club and is free and open to the public.

 

Final Date for Maine Farms for the Future Clinics

GET YOURSELF READY NOW! This is the final free clinic offered by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, to help interested and farmers confirm their eligibility and “practice” applying for the Maine Farms for the Future Business Planning Grant in mid-September.

The last clinic will be held in Room 319 of the Deering Building which is located at 90 Blossom Lane in Augusta.

Thursday, April 10 – 1:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Space is limited to 15 participants per clinic. Please call Kimbalie Lawrence at 207.287.3491 to reserve your place at the table and get a jump on your application.

 

Organic Livestock Health Care

with Susan Beal

April 12, 2014; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Common Ground Education Center, Unity.

Please bring a bag lunch and Register here.

Susan has a clear understanding of organic livestock care and its relation to physiology, nutrition, herbs and homeopathy. She will give a good overview related to all species.

Agenda:

Morning: Patterns and Articulation: Individual and Intergenerational Health and Vitality

Afternoon: Building Holistic Health: Patterns and Practices, Tools and Techniques

Question and Answer Session

 

Blade Shearing School with Kevin Ford

Date: April 11-12, 2014

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Fee: $110 per student. Limit of 10 participants. Includes shearing manual, morning refreshments and lunch each day.

Location: At the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Maine.

Spectators are welcome.

 

Intermediate Level Sheep Shearing School
with Gwen Hinman

Date: April 13th, 2014

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Fee: $85 per student. Limit of six participants. Includes shearing manual, morning refreshments and lunch.

Location: Washington, Maine

 

Beginner Level Sheep Shearing School

Date: April 26th, 2014

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Fee: $40 per student. Limit of 18 participants. Includes shearing manual, morning refreshments and lunch.

Location: Wolfe Neck Farm, Freeport, ME

Spectators are welcome.

For more information or to register please visit the Cumberland County Extension page.

 

Farm Tractor Safety Course for
Youth and Adults

Farm work can be dangerous, but a University of Maine Cooperative Extension tractor safety course will help reduce risks to Maine farmers and farm workers. A farm tractor safety course will be held on 5 consecutive Tuesday evenings starting April 29, 2014 at the Maine Forest Service Building on Route 26 (356 Shaker Road) in Gray.

Participants should be at least 13 years of age to participate in this certified course. Adults

Location for Most Sessions: Maine Forest Service, Route 26 (Shaker Road) in Gray

Instructor: Richard J. Brzozowski, Extension Educator

Fee: $20.00 (scholarships available)

Course Schedule:

Session #1 6:30 – 8:30 p.m, Tuesday, April 29, 2014 – Maine Forest Service, Route 26, in Gray. Registration and introduction to the course, requirements of the course, all assignments must be completed and submitted plus ten hours of practice driving.

Session #2 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 6, 2014 – Meet at Hall Implement in Windham (Foster’s Corner near the rotary of Routes 302 / 202) Safety check of farm equipment exercise and tractor controls and parts identification exercise.

Session #3 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 13, 2014 – Maine Forest Service Building, Gray.

Session #4 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 20, 2014 – Maine Forest Service Building, Gray. Practice driving, safety video, and review for final exam.

Session #5 5:30 – 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 27, 2014 – Driving Test and Written Final Exam. Tentatively scheduled for Windham Public Works, 185 Windham Center Road, Windham.

An adult must sign off on driving hours logged for youth. Participants must successfully pass the final written exam, and successfully complete the tractor hook up and driving exams, to be certified.

For more information call 207.781.6099 or 1.800.287.1471 (in Maine) or email Lynne Hazelton. Registration is required, and space is limited.

 

York County Farmers’ Network (YCFN) Upcoming Events

YCFN Potluck Dinner and Conservation Easement Workshop

Date: Tuesday, April 15

Time: 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Location: Anderson Learning Center, 21 Bradeen St., Springvale, Maine 04083

Cost: Free

Jointly sponsored with Three Rivers Land Trust, from 5:30 to 6:15, enjoy the potluck dinner (bring a dish to share and your own plates and utensils). Following dinner, we’ll have a presentation about conservation easements, with a special focus on how easements may fit into landowners’ plans for future use of their farm or property. Please RSVP and feel free to tell interested friends and neighbors about this event.

 YCFN Potluck Supper and Farm Tour at Riverside Farm

Date: Tuesday, May 13

Time: 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Location: N. Berwick, hosted by Riverside Farm owner Dave Tuttle

Potluck supper, followed by a tour of Riverside Farm’s new hydroponics endeavor. Dave Tuttle will lead discussions on small tools as well as on farm transitions: wholesale to retail and from one generation to the next. Questions, or if you need directions, please contact Frank Wertheim or Becky Gowdy at UMaine Extension in York County, 207-324-2814.

 

UMaine Cooperative Extension offers
2014 Master Food Preserver Program

Master Food Preserver (MFP) volunteers serve to extend Extension’s educational programs in food preservation to adults and youth. The MFP Program includes 10 three-hour kitchen lab sessions in the Gorham Middle School, Family and Consumer Science Room, and the UMaine Cooperative Extension Cumberland County office in Falmouth.

Sessions will take place throughout the growing season from June – September, focusing on food preservation techniques including: canning, drying, freezing, fermenting and winter storage techniques.

Once MFPs have successfully completed the Program, they serve as a volunteer and resource in the community to provide the public with research-based information from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and USDA.

Details and application packets are available online at the Food Preservation – Master Food Preserver Program page.

 

University of Maine Cooperative Extension
launches a new Garlic Website

Garlic is a member of the Allium family, which includes onions, chives, and leeks. Garlic originated in central Asia, and has been grown for 5,000 years in Egypt and India. Found as an important ingredient in many cuisines, garlic is an easy-to-grow, high value crop that is increasingly popular in Maine with farmers and gardeners. Visit the new garlic website for more information.

 

Wishing for Spring?

Read the latest articles on gardening in the Maine Home Garden News. Sign up online to receive monthly issues throughout the growing season.

 

USDA Enhances Farm Storage Facility Loan Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the expansion of the Farm Storage and Facility Loan program, which provides low-interest financing to producers. The enhanced program includes 22 new categories of eligible equipment for fruit and vegetable producers, and makes it easier for farmers and ranchers around the country to finance the equipment they need to grow and expand.

Producers with small and mid-sized operations, and specialty crop fruit and vegetable growers, now have access to needed capital for a variety of supplies including sorting bins, wash stations and other food safety-related equipment. A new more flexible alternative is also provided for determining storage needs for fruit and vegetable producers, and waivers are available on a case-by-case basis for disaster assistance or insurance coverage if available products are not relevant or feasible for a particular producer.

Additionally, Farm Storage and Facility Loans security requirements have been eased for loans between $50,000 and $100,000. Previously, all loans in excess of $50,000 required a promissory note and additional security, such as a lien on real estate. Now loans up to $100,000 can be secured by only a promissory note.

Other new changes to the Farm Storage and Facility Loan program will allow FSA State Committees to subordinate Commodity Credit Corporation’s lien position. These changes to the program were issued via an official notice to state and county Farm Service Agency offices and are effective immediately. More than 33,000 loans have been issued for on-farm storage, increasing grain storage capacity by 900 million bushels since May 2000.

More information about tools and resources available to small and mid-sized farmers will be rolled out in the coming months, including information about access to capital, risk management, food safety, and locating market opportunities on USDA’s Small and Mid-Sized Farmer Resources webpage.

Visit the FSA website or an FSA county office to learn more about FSA programs and loans, including the Farm Storage Facility Loan Program.

 

 

Image Description: Baling hay

Image Description: A queen bee with some of her attending workers.

Image Description: sheep shearing

Image Description: Youth on Tractor

Image Description: Mason jars full of canned produce

Image Description: 4-garlic-bulbs

Farm Scoop – March 2014

Maine Hay Directory & Maine Straw Directory

Do you have enough hay to get through the winter?  Do you have hay for sale?  Use the Maine Hay Directory to locate possible hay sources or post the availability of your hay.

If you need straw or have straw for sale, use the Maine Straw Directory.

 

York County Farmers Network Upcoming Events

Off-the-Farm YCFN Winter Breakfast

Date: March 4th
Time: 8:00 a.m.
Location: Hen House Cafe, 446 Main Street, Springvale, Maine 04083
Cost: Free to YCFN members, generously sponsored by Farm Credit of Maine

​Thanks to Farm Credit of Maine, this breakfast is free to YCFN members.  A small donation from non-member visitors is requested. The Hen House Cafe in Springvale is a quick hop from the Extension office building, right across the street from the Maine District Courthouse on Main Street (Route 109). Questions, or if you need directions, please contact Frank Wertheim or Becky Gowdy at 207.324.2814. You may call the Extension office before 4:30 p.m. on the day before the breakfast (Monday) to check on possible cancellation due to weather.

YCFN Potluck – Farm Transitions and Succession Planning: What to Do, What Not to Do

Date: March 18th
Time: 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (program starts at 6:30 p.m.)
Location: Nasson Heritage room, Anderson Learning Center, 21 Bradeen Street, Springvale, Maine 04083

Who is going to carry on your work on the family woodlot or family farm when you’re gone? Please come for a potluck dinner and presentation on farms and other real property in transition from the current owners to the next generation or to others, and pointers on how to help it happen smoothly. Rich Merk, President of SWOAM (Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine), will lead a discussion on succession planning; how to plan for the future ownership or control of real property that you have invested in for years or maybe generations. The Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine, Three Rivers Land Trust and the York County Farmers Network jointly present this program.  Questions, or if you need directions, please contact Frank Wertheim or Becky Gowdy at UMaine Extension in York County, 207.324.2814. You may call the Extension office before 4:30 p.m. on the day of the event to check on possible cancellation due to weather.

YCFN Potluck – 100 Unique Maine Farms

Date: March 25th
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (program starts at 6:30 p.m.)
Location: Nasson Heritage room, Anderson Learning Center, 21 Bradeen Street, Springvale, Maine 04083

York County resident Mary Doyle spent two years on the road visiting 100 unique Maine farms and is writing a book on that topic. She has incredible stories and pictures to share. Questions, or if you need directions, please contact Frank Wertheim or Becky Gowdy at UMaine Extension in York County, 207.324.2814. You may call the Extension office before 4:30 p.m. on the day of the event to check on possible cancellation due to weather.

Chelsea (MA) Market YCFN Field Trip

Date: March 27th
Time: 1:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m.
Location: Wells Transportation Center parking lot

Meet at the Wells Transportation Center/Park at 1:00 a.m. and commute with fellow farmers to a 3:00 a.m. arrival at Chelsea Market outside of Boston. Experience a unique behind the scenes tour of the market. We should be done by 5:00 a.m. and back in Wells by 7:00 a.m. for a day’s work.

FMI on all these events visit the York County Farmers Network.

 

The Andy Valley Successful Farmer Workshop Series –

Rescheduled for March!

Dates: Wednesdays, March 5-26, 2014
Time:
5:45 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. 
Location: Androscoggin Valley Soil & Water Conservation District,
254 Goddard Road, Lewiston, Maine 04240

Registration: Full 5-session registration $50/person or $15/individual session

Join with other new and experienced farmers, University of Maine Cooperative Extension educators, and other agricultural professionals to share strategies for successful farming. Topics include crop, nutrient and pest management; irrigation, and transition to organic production. This series includes four evening sessions and one full-day session in May. Full details, including how to register, are available at AVSWCD. Contact Jane Heikkinen, 207.753.9400 x 400, with any questions or to request a disability accommodation.

Sponsored by Androscoggin Valley Soil & Water Conservation District, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry; USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services; and University of Maine Cooperative Extension. All sponsors are equal opportunity employers.

FREE Cover Crops Webinars

Dates: Thursdays, March 6-27, 2014, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. (EST)
Registration: FREE to all who wish to participate! Register online for individual webinars or the entire series.

Improving soil health not only cleans up water quality and reduces soil loss but also provides a better environment for cash crops to succeed. Learn about basic soil health principles and how cover crops are key to making those happen on your farm.
This ASA webinar series will focus on cover crops and their implications on soil health, maximizing yields, livestock considerations, and crop management.
Webinars 

March 6 – Cover Crops, Soil Health Principals and Maximizing Yields

March 13 – Combining Livestock, Manure and Cover Crops

March 20 – Cover Crops Seed Selection and Planting

March 27 – Cover Crop Management and Termination

 

2014 Maine Grain Conference

Saturday, March 15th
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Spectacular Events Center, Bangor
(395 Griffin Road, near the airport)

Guests:

Agenda:

Get more information, or register online by March 13th for the Maine Grain Conference! Pre-registration is required – $20 before March 10th; $30 afterwards; Includes snack and lunch. Pesticide and CCA credits have been requested. To register by phone and pay by check, call Meghan Dill, 207.581.3878. Other questions, call or email Cooperative Extension Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Ellen Mallory, 207.581.2942.

Maine Grass Farmers Network 10th Annual Grazing Conference

Saturday, March 15th
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield

The cost is $75 per person, $25 for each additional person from the same farm or household, with discounts for students and MGFN members. This conference is designed for livestock producers who want to learn how to best use pasture and forage crops to feed their livestock profitably.

This year’s conference features Forrest Pritchard, a professional farmer, writer and public speaker. His farm, Smith Meadows, is one of the first “grass finished” farms in the country, and has sold products at farmers markets in Washington, D.C., for 15 years. His book Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm was named a Top Read by Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post and NPR’s “The Splendid Table.” Pritchard’s keynote presentation is “The Economics of Grass-Based Livestock.”

Additional presenters will include University of Vermont livestock specialist Joe Emenheiser and Crystal Springs Farm manager Seth Kroek. The conference will also feature the MGFN annual business meeting, a grass-fed beef cook-off and a trade show.

For more information and to register, visit the MGFN website. For any questions or to request a disability accommodation, contact Rick Kersbergen, or 207.342.5971

The MGFN Conference is co-sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension; The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association; The Natural Resources Conservation Service; The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry; and the Maine Beef Producers Association.

 

2014 Pesticide Applicator Recertification Training

Presented by UMaine Cooperative Extension & Maine Board of Pesticides Control

For your convenience, recertification meetings have been scheduled at various sites around the state. Each of these sessions is worth 4 recertification credits.

Seating is limited at each location, so be sure to pre-register by returning the Pesticide Registration Form by March 17. Pre-registration is $20. Registration after March 17 is $30.

Locations, Dates and Times:

Presque Isle – March 25 – Presque Isle Inn, 116 Main St., 12:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Brewer – March 26 Jeff’s Catering, 15 Littlefield Ave., 8:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Augusta – March 26 Augusta Civic Center, Washington and York Rooms, 76 Community Dr., 12:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Portland – March 27 – Keeley’s Banquet Center, 178 Warren Ave., 8:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Agenda:

Credits are given for one session only.  Questions about your recertification credits? Call the Board of Pesticides Control 207.287.2731.

 

Maine Farms for the Future Clinics

GET YOURSELF READY NOW!  In March and April, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, will offer three free clinics to help interested and farmers confirm their eligibility and “practice” applying for the Maine Farms for the Future Business Planning Grant in mid-September.

The clinics will be held on the following dates, in Room 319 of the Deering Building which is located at 90 Blossom Lane in Augusta.

Space is limited to 15 participants per clinic. Please call Kimbalie Lawrence at 207.287.3491 to reserve your place at the table and get a jump on your application.

Transferring the Farm

A Workshop to Help Farm Families Minimize Farm Business Succession Risk by addressing estate planning, business structures, and developing plans to move your farm to the next generation.

Two dates/locations from which to choose:

April 1, 2014
Cooperative Extension Office
307 Maine Ave.
Bangor, ME

April 2, 2014
Androscoggin-Sagadahoc Extension Office
24 Main Street
Lisbon Falls, ME

Additional information and registration available here, 2014 Transferring the Farm brochure Bangor and Lisbon Falls. Registration deadline is March 28.

 

The Maine Migrant Health Program

Do you need affordable health insurance? Free, in-person help is available! The Maine Migrant Health Program is a non-profit organization with over 20 years of experience providing healthcare to Maine’s migrant and seasonal farmworkers. If you own your own farm, need coverage for you and your family, are an employee who is looking for coverage, or a member of the general public, we are here to help members of Maine’s agricultural community get enrolled in a health insurance plan.

We have Certified Application Counselors across the state that are available to:

Our services are free and available to the general public. Don’t delay!  The deadline to enroll is March 31, 2014.  Please call Liz Charles at 207.441.1633 or Eduardo Cortes at 207.485.5553 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

UMaine Cooperative Extension offers
2014 Master Food Preserver Program

Master Food Preserver (MFP) volunteers serve to extend Extension’s educational programs in food preservation to adults and youth. The MFP Program includes 10 three-hour kitchen lab sessions in the Gorham Middle School, Family and Consumer Science Room, and the UMaine Cooperative Extension Cumberland County office in Falmouth.

Sessions will take place throughout the growing season from June – September, focusing on food preservation techniques including: canning, drying, freezing, fermenting and winter storage techniques.

Once MFPs have successfully completed the Program, they serve as a volunteer and resource in the community to provide the public with research-based information from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and USDA.

Details and application packets are available online at the Food Preservation – Master Food Preserver Program page.

School for Poultry Producers Focuses on Best Practices,
Bird Health

UMaine Extension and Maine Poultry Growers Association (MPGA) will offer a daylong school for poultry producers on Saturday, April 5th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield.

Topics will include best management practices, bird health and disease prevention for egg layers and meat birds. Additional topics include poultry nutrition, poultry product quality and organic practices.

The school is designed for farmers with a poultry enterprise and is appropriate for backyard keepers, bird fanciers and 4-H teens. The $25 fee ($10 for MPGA members) includes a reference notebook, a poultry break-even calculator and refreshments. Participants should bring their lunch.

The Maine Farm Bureau and Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association are co-sponsors. For more information and to register visit the UMaine Extension Maine Poultry School page, or call UMaine Extension, 207.781.6099. To request a disability accommodation, call 207.781.6099 or 1.800.287.1471 (in Maine only).

Presentation on Conservation of our Native Bees

Alison C. Dibble, Ph.D., conservation biologist and pollination ecologist from the University of Maine, Orono, will speak on April 7 at 7:00 p.m. (weather date April 14) at the Standish Town Hall. Her talk will feature a summary of what we know of the 270 species of native bees in Maine, their importance as pollinators, and recognition of their potential role in crop pollination given the decline of the introduced honey bee due to Colony Collapse Disorder.

She will offer practical tips on how to enhance bee habitats in the home garden and around the farm, and where to look for more resources. She will emphasize bumblebees, which are easy to recognize and are starting to fly in early April.

With Dr. Frank Drummond and others at the University of Maine, Dr. Dibble researches use of native bees as pollinators of the wild blueberry crop in a 5-year USDA-funded project on pollination security in four crops of the northeast (includes also apple, cranberry, squashes). She also prepares pollinator habitat enhancement plans for farmers around the state.

The talk is hosted by the Wildridge Garden Club and is free and open to the public.

Blade Shearing School with Kevin Ford

April 11-12, 2014
Time: 9:00 a.m.

Fee: $110 per student. Limit of ten participants. Includes shearing manual, morning refreshments and lunch each day.
Location: At the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Maine.

Spectators are welcome.

Intermediate Level Sheep Shearing School with Gwen Hinman

April 13th, 2014
Time: 9:00 a.m.

Fee: $85 per student. Limit of six participants. Includes shearing manual, morning refreshments and lunch.
Location: Washington, Maine

Beginner Level Sheep Shearing School

April 26th, 2014
Time: 9:00 a.m.

Fee: $40 per student. Limit of ten participants. Includes shearing manual, morning refreshments and lunch.
Location: Wolfe Neck Farm, Freeport, ME

Spectators are welcome. Information and registration are available online.

Proposed Changes to the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS)

EPA has issued proposed changes to the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) to increase protections from pesticide exposure for the nation’s two million agricultural workers and their families.  The best source of information is on the EPA website. EPA is seeking your input by the date specified in the Federal Register notice, which will publish within 10 days, identified by docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0184-0002.

Background:

EPA is proposing revisions to the Worker Protection Standard through a Federal Register Notice.  These revisions will protect more than two million farm workers from pesticide exposure.

Key Proposed Challenges:

Wishing for Spring? 

Read the latest articles on gardening in the Maine Home Garden News. Sign up online to receive monthly issues throughout the growing season at:  http://umaine.edu/gardening/maine-home-garden-news/

Image Description: round bales of hay piled in a field; photo by Edwin Remsberg

Image Description: Farmer and duck with ducklings

Image Description: wheat field

Image Description: Maine Migrant Health Program

Image Description: Vegetables for food preservation

Image Description: Maine Poultry Growers Association

Image Description: A queen bee with some of her attending workers.

Image Description: sheep shearing

Farm Scoop – February 2014

Webinar on Availability of Agricultural Grants and Application

Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014
10:00 a.m.-Noon
Hosted by Farm Credit East

Northeast producers are invited to participate in a webinar that will provide answers to questions about the grant process. This webinar is hosted by Farm Credit East.

This webinar will provide information on grants available to agriculture producers and who funds them, as well as answer questions about the grant process. Topics to be covered include what the application process is like, grants farmers can apply for on their own and when a grant writer should be engaged. In addition, information will be provided on the services Farm Credit East provides.

Presenter for this webinar will be Nathan Rudgers, director of business development for Farm Credit East. Mr. Rudgers works with clients planning or undergoing major business changes, including projects involving renewable energy systems, in particular, farm based renewable energy. He frequently speaks in state, national and international forums on such topics as renewable energy, food safety, international trade, agriculture policy and economic development.

Join us on Thursday, February 27, from 10:00 a.m. to noon to learn more about agricultural grants and how to apply. This webinar is free to participate. If you’d like to attend, click here to register.

 

February 17 & 18, 2014 – Business Planning Workshop with Richard Wiswall

Monday – 9:00 am to 4:00 pm; Tuesday – 9:00 am to noon

MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center, 294 Crosby Brook Road, Unity, Maine. Directions.

$60 per person including lunch – Register online for the Business Planning Workshop

This one and a half day workshop is designed to help those who have one year of farm production data and are ready to sharpen their pencil and get a better handle on their business. Please bring pen, paper, and a calculator. If possible bring your financials from the 2013 season including crop plan, income & expenses and sales figures. 

The workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Planning for Profit
  • Making a Profit on YOUR farm
  • Understanding Financial Statements
  • Your marketing strategies
  • Enterprise Budgeting

Instructor Richard Wiswall is the owner/operator of Cate Farm in Vermont and author of The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook.

An Update on The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

The comment period on FSMA will be reopened after the FDA has completed their initial review of over 17,000 comments submitted during the first open comment period. What does this really mean? It means that, if you think any parts of the proposed Produce Rule will negatively impact the environment on your farm or around your farm, you may submit your comments in one of the ways outlined below.

Written comments can be submitted to the following address:

Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305)
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061
Rockville, MD 20852

Submit electronic comments.

The Andy Valley Successful Farmer Workshops

Have You Been Looking For New Strategies For Your Farm? New and veteran farmers are welcome.

Workshop Topics

February 4 – Soil Health and Nutrient Management — Sign-in 5:45 p.m., Class 6:00-9:00 p.m. – Topics will be soil testing & analysis, conditioning preparation & spreading, phosphorus index, and related programs – at USDA Service Center, 254 Goddard Road, Lewiston.

February 11 –  Pest Management for Fruit and Vegetables – Sign-in 5:45 p.m., Class 6:00-9:00 p.m. – Topics will be pesticide safety & licensing, common pests and diseases, pest identification and resources, crop integrated pest management, related programs – at USDA Service Center, 254 Goddard Road, Lewiston.

February 18 – Transitioning To and Organic Production – Sign-in 5:45 p.m., Class 6:00-9:00 p.m. –  Topics will be best management practices, common amendments and fertilizers, regulations and certifications, related programs – at USDA Service Center, 254 Goddard Road, Lewiston.

May 6 –  Irrigation for Field and High Tunnel Production – Sign-in 8:45 a.m., Class 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. – Topics will be state regulations, water budget, watering systems, drip irrigation, soil moisture monitoring, water conservation and related programs. Classroom session at Androscoggin-Sagadahoc Cooperative Extension Office, 24 Main Street, Lisbon Falls and on-site session at Six River Farm in Bowdoinham. BRING YOUR OWN LUNCH.

Advanced registration is required. To register contact Jane Heikkinen at 207.753.9400 ext. 400 for a form, or go to www.androscogginswcd.org. Please notify us with any special accommodation needs five days before session. Cost for each workshop session is $15 per person. Scholarships are available for second person from the farm. Call at number above for scholarship details. Costs are able to remain minimal because of grant funding provided by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service under project. If any session is cancelled due to weather, workshop will be held the next day.

Pesticide Credits

February 11 – Two pesticide credits

February 18 – One pesticide credit

Nutrient Management Credits

February 4 – Two nutrient management recertification credits

February 18 – One nutrient management recertification credit

York County Farmers Network Upcoming Events

Sourcing Local Food – How We Do It – February 11, 5:30 p.m. – Potluck dinner and program starts at 6:30 p.m., 21 Bradeen Street, Springvale, Maine.
A panel discussion between farmers, restaurateurs and others who source local foods for CSAs, restaurants and other markets.

Farm Transition and Conservation Easements – March 18, 5:30 p.m. – Potluck dinner and program starts at 6:30 p.m., 21 Bradeen Street, Springvale, Maine.
A presentation on farms in transition from the current owners to the next generation or to other farmers, and considerations for farmland conservation easements.

100 Unique Maine Farms – March 25, 5:30 p.m. – Potluck dinner and program starts at 6:30 p.m., 21 Bradeen Street, Springvale, Maine.
York County resident Mary Doyle spent 2 years on the road visiting 100 Unique Maine Farms and is writing a book on that topic. She has incredible stories and pictures to share.

Chelsea Market Field Trip – March 27 - Meet at the Wells Transportation Center/Park at 1:00 a.m. and commute with fellow farmers to a 3:00 a.m. arrival at Chelsea Market outside of Boston. 
Experience a unique behind the scenes tour of the market. We should be done by 5:00 a.m. and back in Wells by 7:00 a.m. for a day’s work.

FMI on all these events visit www.ycfn.org.

February 18: Join the Cover Crops and Soil Health Forum

You are invited to attend a free live broadcast of the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health and join the discussion about soil health, improved yields, preventing erosion, managing pests, and building resilience in your farming system. In 40 locations across the Northeast, farmers and farm advisors will have an opportunity to learn from one another while exploring local and national perspectives on cover crops.

Beginning at 10 a.m. EST, a live-streamed broadcast of opening sessions from the national conference will feature Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, and Howard G. Buffett, along with a panel of expert farmers. This session will be followed by facilitated discussions on local issues pertaining to cover crops. See a list of broadcast locations in the Northeast.

Because the national conference attendance is limited, these local forums are a way to include farmers, educators and researchers across the country in the conversation about the use and benefits of cover crops.

There is no cost to participate, but please contact the site you plan to attend in order to register and confirm both the location and other program details. Providing an RSVP will help host locations make adequate accommodations. Learn more about the conference.

The Maine Board of Pesticides Control will offer 1 pesticide recertification credit for participation.

February 19: Greenhouse Energy Workshop at Cozy Acres Greenhouses, North Yarmouth

Would you like see an operating solar panel/geothermal heat system in a Maine greenhouse? Learn about funding sources that can help you install a greenhouse energy project? Hear about a program that will subsidize an energy audit at your business? Learn about energy projects that other Maine greenhouse growers have installed? It’s all happening February 19th at Cozy Acres Greenhouses, North Yarmouth Maine from 9:00 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. The cost is $15, which includes lunch.

Sponsors: Cozy Acres, UMaine Cooperative Extension, Maine State Florists’ and Growers’ Association, Northeast Greenhouse Conference, and Maine’s Ornamental Horticulture Council

Space is limited, and preregistration is required. Register online.

Questions? Please email or call Lois Stack at lois.stack@maine.edu or 207.581.2949

Hope to see you there. This is a great way to get started on that energy project you’ve been thinking about!

Maine Vegetable and Fruit School 2014

The day-long Maine Vegetable and Fruit School is offered on two dates at two locations: March 10 in Portland or March 11 in Bangor.  
Preregistration is required.  Registration cost is $35 and includes lunch. Please register by February 21, 2014.

More information.

SAVE THE DATE! 2014 Maine Grain Conference

The Maine Grain Conference will be March 15th, at the Bangor Spectacular Events Center, and feature speakers Mary-Howell and Klaas Martens of Lakeview Organic Grains, Penn Yan, NY.  The Martens are regional experts in all aspects of organic grain production and handling.  They will discuss crop rotations, fertility and weed management, seed production, and post-harvest grain cleaning, drying, and storage; as well as the topics and questions that you bring.  We’ll also learn from a panel of Maine grain growers about their successes and lessons learned; and hear about results from UMaine grain research. Registration information will be online at http://umaine.edu/localwheat/events/ when available.

Maine Wants People to Report Ice Storm Damage

The Maine Emergency Management Agency wants to hear from people who’ve suffered ice storm damage. MEMA is collecting information about the damage from the Christmas week storm that knocked out power to more than 160,000 homes and businesses, and left many in the dark for a week. MEMA Spokeswoman, Lynette Miller, says more information is needed to determine if the state might be eligible for assistance; it’s especially important to report major damage like burst pipes, heating and electrical problems and roof and structure damage from falling limbs and ice.

Mainers can report their damage by dialing 211.

The Maine Poultry Growers Association Wants You!

The Maine Poultry Growers Association (MPGA) is looking to add new members to its organization and wishes to extend an invitation to you. The MPGA provides strong and enlightened leadership to Maine poultry growers, poultry fanciers, and game bird growers as well as strengthening sustainable poultry production. It also encourages environmental and animal care stewardship, the development and consolidation of specialty markets, and the production of unique and wholesome products.  The MPGA is also involved in teaching youth to acquire positive life skills by raising and caring for poultry, for fun and profit. Member benefits include educational programs, a MPGA newsletter, access to poultry experts, and much more! Becoming a member is easy. All you have to do is fill out the form found on the link below, then return with appropriate annual dues to the MPGA Treasurer, Alexander Luke.

For more information please visit our website www.mainepoultrygrowers.org.

2014 Maine Poultry Keepers School

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is partnering with the Maine Poultry Growers Association in presenting a day-long school for poultry producers scheduled for Saturday, April 5, 2014 at the Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Additional co-sponsors of the school include the Maine Farm Bureau, Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association and the Central Maine Bird Fanciers.

The purpose of the school is to equip Maine producers of poultry meat or eggs with practical knowledge and skills to improve their production and the quality of their products.  The school is designed for full or part-time farmers with a poultry enterprise.  However, the information presented will also be suitable for backyard keepers, bird fanciers and 4H teens.   A team of instructors from Cooperative Extension, MOFGA and the agricultural community will cover topics of poultry nutrition, efficient production, poultry health, best management practices, organic production considerations, labor saving tips and poultry meat quality.

The fee for participating in this school is $25 per person.  A discounted fee of $10 is available to members of the Maine Poultry Growers Association (MPGA). Each participant will receive a reference notebook, a poultry breakeven calculator, additional resources and refreshments.  Lunch will not be provided.  Registrants should bring their own lunch.

For more information and to register for the 2014 Maine Poultry Keepers School, please visit the Maine Poultry Keepers School website or call 207.781.6099.

2014 Ag Trades Show Pesticide Applicator Recertification Program Presentations Available Online

Some of the pesticide applicator recertification presentations from the 2014 Agricultural Trades Show have been posted on the Board of Pesticides Control website. We will post as many as we can get permission to post. Currently you can see the following presentations:

2014 Agricultural Trades Show Presentations

To look for more presentations, go to http://www.maine.gov/dacf/php/pesticides/download_library.shtml#PRESENT.  Just remember to refresh your browser each time. 

 

Image Description: Tomatoes growing in a High Tunnel

Image Description: potatoes

Image Description: Cozy Acres Greenhouses logo

Image Description: Highmoor Farm

Image Description: Maine Poultry Growers Association

Image Description: Agricultural Trades Show Maine logo

Farm Scoop — December 2013/January 2014

New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference

Dates: December 17–19

Time: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. sessions, plus evening events

Location: Radisson Hotel, 700 Elm St., Manchester, NH

Cost: $105 for the first member of farm or business; $75 each additional member.

Includes more than 25 educational sessions over 3 days, covering major vegetable, berry and tree fruit crops as well as various special topics. A Farmer to Farmer meeting after each morning and afternoon session will bring speakers and farmers together for informal, in-depth discussion. There is also an extensive Trade Show with over 100 exhibitors. For more information: http://www.newenglandvfc.org.

Cornell Small Farms Marketing Class

Dates: Monday, January 6 – Monday, February 10, with webinars once weekly on Monday evenings

Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. EST

Location: online

Cost: $200; multiple people from the same farm may participate without paying extra

It is rare to find someone who got into farming because they’re passionate about selling. It’s the growing part that attracts most people, and many farmers start small enough that they can get away without a well-planned marketing strategy at first. But as the farm expands and competition grows, it’s harder to be successful without a strategy. New and experienced farmers alike will benefit from honing their marketing skills with the Cornell Small Farms Program’s online course BF 201: Effective Marketing for the Busy Farmer. Join popular Cornell Cooperative Extension educators Matt LeRoux and Laura Biasillo, and several savvy farmers to learn and apply practical, on-the-ground tips to focus your marketing and use your limited time wisely. The course runs Monday, January 6 – Monday, February 10, with webinars once weekly on Monday evenings from 6:30-8:00 p.m. EST. The cost is $200, and multiple people from the same farm may participate without paying extra.

2014 Maine Agricultural Trades Show

Dates: January 7 – 9, 2014

Times: Tuesday, January 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 8 from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., and Thursday, January 9 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Location: Augusta Civic Center, Augusta, Maine

Cost: FREE!

The 73nd annual Agricultural Trades Show will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on January 7-9, 2014. Admission is FREE! This show provides an atmosphere to walk through, observe, and educate the public about different areas of agriculture. Many commercial agriculture associations will hold their annual meetings and sponsor educational workshops over the course of the three days. A full schedule of events and program will be posted on the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry website at http://www.getrealmaine.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/calendar.detail/event_id/94/ in December 2013. Show hours are Tuesday, January 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 8 from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., and Thursday, January 9 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG)

The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) was issued today in the Federal Register. Applicants must demonstrate that they meet all definition requirements at 7 CFR 4284.902 for one of the following applicant types: Independent producer, agricultural producer group, farmer or rancher cooperative, or majority-controlled producer-based business venture. If you are a Harvester, it is the Agency’s position that you may only apply as an Independent Producer applicant type because harvester operations do not meet Agency definition requirements for a Farm or Ranch. This program provides funds for planning or working capital. There are separate and distinct applications for each. Funds cannot be used for construction, machinery or equipment. These are available at the USDA Rural Development website at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_VAPG.html; all program regulations are also available on this website. There is a matching funds requirement of at least $1 for every $1 in grant funds provided by the Agency (matching funds plus grant funds must equal proposed total project costs). There are new maximum limits for grant requests. The maximum grant amount for a planning grant is $75,000, and the maximum grant amount for a working capital grant is $200,000. This is a change from the last round of funding. To be eligible for funding, you must submit your application by February 24, 2014. Paper applications must be postmarked and mailed, shipped or sent overnight by this date.

USDA Farm Storage Loans Available

USDA Maine State Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, Donovan E. Todd, III, reminds farmers and ranchers that Farm Storage Facility Loans (FSFL) are available through FSA.

The Farm Service Agency offers low-interest loans to grain producers to build new or upgrade existing storage facilities and permanent drying and handling equipment. Loan opportunities

Farm storage facility loans must be approved prior to site preparation, equipment purchase or construction, and must be secured by a promissory note and security agreement. The new maximum principal loan amount is $500,000. Participants are required to provide a down payment of 15 percent, with CCC providing a loan for the remaining 85 percent of the net cost of the eligible storage facility and permanent drying and handling equipment.

Additional security is required for poured-cement open-bunker silos, renewable biomass facilities, cold storage facilities, hay barns and for all loans exceeding $50,000. New loan terms of seven, 10 or 12 years are available depending on the amount of the loan. Interest rates for each term rate may be different and are based on the rate which CCC borrows from the Treasury

Contact your local county office for more information.

Farm Aid Needs Your Feedback

The national farm organization, Farm Aid, is exploring their role in the food and farm movement and how they communicate that to you.

Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual concert to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. Since 1985, Farm Aid has raised more than $43 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.

The survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and is an opportunity to share your insights. Your responses will be anonymous and confidential.

Please do not hesitate to contact Jessie Deelo at Farm Aid if you have any questions or concerns. She can be reached at jessie@farmaid.org or 617.354.2922.

AgriTourism Link

Is your farming operation involved in agritourism or is an agritourism enterprise in your farm’s future? Rutgers University has developed an excellent resource for farmers and others on the topic. UMaine Extension is collaborating with Rutgers on this project. The website has 6 training modules, 3 short training videos, and plenty of fact sheets and support materials. This winter could be a great time to explore the possibilities. Here is a link to the website: http://agritourism.rutgers.edu/training/.

What Are Lenders Looking For?

A UVM Extension New Farmer Project webinar, Thursday, December 19, Noon – 1:00 p.m., EST

Join Benneth Phelps, Loan and Outreach Coordinator for the Carrot Project for a webinar on the “tools” that every farm business should have to help them obtain financing, even if they don’t need it now. Improve your understanding of available financing and gain perspective on how financing can help your business succeed! Benneth Phelps is Loan and Outreach Coordinator at The Carrot Project, a non-profit offering financing and assistance to both farms and food enterprises in the Northeast. Originally a fruit and vegetable farmer by training, she has a decade of experience farming in New England.

This webinar is free and requires no preregistration. Newcomers to online learning are welcome. All you need to participate is internet access and a computer that you can hear sound through. To participate, please go to http://go.uvm.edu/aemon at about 11:45 a.m EST on December 19, 2013 and click on the webinar title. For more information, contact newfarmer@uvm.edu or call 802.223.2389 x203. If you require accommodations to participate in this program, please let Jessie Schmidt know by December 15, 2013 at 802.223.2389 or 1.866.860.1382 (toll-free in VT) or newfarmer@uvm.edu so we may assist you. If you have not participated in a webinar before, we recommend you download the necessary software for free the day before the webinar is scheduled at http://tiny.cc/UVMWebinarCheck.

Cornell Small Farms Program

Step One to farming profitably is having organized financial records. Step Two is knowing how to read what those records are telling you. If you don’t yet have a record-keeping system set up, or you aren’t happy with your current system, have no fear! The upcoming 6-week online course BF 104: Financial Records: Setting Up Systems to Track Your Profitability is perfect for you. This course will help you create a record-keeping system that is as simple or complex as you need it to be, in Excel or Quickbooks.

(Incidentally, Step Three to farming profitably is taking corrective action if you don’t like what your current financial records tell you about your business. But that’s covered in BF 203: Holistic Financial Planning)

“It’s been hard for me to take my focus off production and spend time on record keeping — it always falls to the end of my long to-do list. But this course made me realize that once I have a good system set up, it doesn’t have to take long to maintain, and the information I get from these records is helping me feel much more confident about my farm.”
— farmer participant from Jan. 2013 BF 104 course

If you complete the course you will:

The course runs Mon. Jan. 13 – Feb 17, with webinars once weekly on Monday evenings from 6:30-8:00 p.m. EST. The cost is $200, and multiple people from the same farm may participate without paying extra.

See the BF 104: Financial Records course description for more on the target audience, instructors, and course outline.

BF 104: Financial Records – Setting Up Systems to Track Your Profitability is part of the line-up of 12 online courses offered this Fall, Winter and Spring by the Cornell Small Farms Program. To learn more about each course, please visit http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses. From this site you can learn more about our instructors, see answers to Frequently Asked Questions, read details for each course, and view the calendar of course offerings for 2013-2014.

Courses often fill very quickly, so don’t miss your chance to sign up today!

Get Your Business Energy Audit While Grant Funds Last! 

Maine Rural Partners currently offers a heavily discounted energy audit and renewable assessment for Maine’s farms and small businesses. From demand management techniques to equipment upgrades, the audit delivers tailored cost saving recommendations and clear payback analyses for your operation. The audit also qualifies your business to apply for USDA grants, loans, and cost-shares to underwrite efficiency investments.  
 
If you are interested in exploring solar, biomass or heat pump technologies, the energy solution provider conducting the audit can perform a renewable assessment as well for your business. Following the assessment, you may apply to become a Farm Energy Partners demonstration site, which brings more technical and financial assistance to the table. An audit is required to receive the renewable assessment. 
 
To be eligible, you must qualify as an agricultural producer or rural small business. Priority is being given to farms and food-related businesses. If you are interested taking advantage of this opportunity, contact Matt George at 207.778.3885 or matt@mainerural.org. Or fill out the free Business Energy Survey at www.mainerural.org to get started and Matt will contact you. 
 
Note for Agricultural Producers: The FY14 NRCS Energy Initiative Sign-up Deadline is December 20th. Order an MRP audit NOW to apply for implementation assistance (payment amounts not yet available but applications accepted in county offices).

 

Image Description: New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference 2013

Image Description: Woman in front of hoop houses on small farm; photo by Edwin Remsberg

Image Description: Agricultural Trades Show Maine logo

Farm Scoop — October/November 2013

The MOFGA Farmer to Farmer Conference

Join with other farmers, University of Maine faculty and UMaine Extension educators, and other agricultural professionals to share information and farming experiences on November 2 – 4, 2013. Full details, including registration and scholarship application forms, are available on the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) website. For further information or questions, please contact Andrew Marshall at MOFGA or call  207.568.4142. The conference will be held at Point Lookout Resort, 67 Atlantic Hwy, Northport ME 04849. Full conference registration $150/person or $50/person half-days. Limited scholarships available. The conference is approved for up to 3 pesticide applicator recertification credits on November 3 and up to 3 more credits on November 4.

Free Work Safety Stickers for Your Farm

With harvest season underway, many Maine farmers and farm workers are operating farm tractors in fields and on roads. To promote workplace safety, the Maine AgrAbility Program of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, in partnership with Goodwill Industries of Northern New England and Alpha One, developed a brightly colored decal to be applied to tractor fenders, dashboards and windshields. The decal reminds operators to work safely.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s AgrAbility Program will give as many as five free safety stickers to each farm in Maine. To order, contact Maine AgrAbility Coordinator Lani Carlson at maine.agrability@maine.edu or 207.944.1533.

Maine AgrAbility is an outreach program for farmers and farm workers with disabilities or chronic illnesses to help them keep farming. Maine AgrAbility is sponsored by UMaine Extension in collaboration with Alpha One and Goodwill Industries of Northern New England. More information about Maine AgrAbility is online (umaine.edu/agrability).

2013-2014 New England Small Fruit Management Guide

Copies of the 2013-2014 New England Small Fruit Management Guide are now available at Highmoor Farm. Cost of the guide is $10.00 plus $2.53 postage for a total of $12.53. Copies of the 2012-2013 New England Vegetable Management Guide with color pictures of the important pests and diseases are also available at Highmoor Farm. Cost of the guide is $25.00 plus $3.43 postage for a total of $28.43. To order the guides, please send your check made payable to UMaine Cooperative Extension mailed to: Highmoor Farm, P.O. Box 179, Monmouth, Maine 04259, atten. Pam St. Peter. For more information, contact Pam St. Peter at 933.2100 or pamela.stpeter@maine.edu. Members of the Maine Vegetable & Small Fruit Growers Association (MVSFGA) or the New England Vegetable & Berry Growers Association receive free copies of the guides. For MVSFGA membership information, contact Bill Jordan at 799.1040.

Ethnic Marketing of Lamb and Mutton

A 4-Part Webinar Series for US Sheep Producers will be offered Tuesdays, November 19 & 26, December 3 & 10, 2013. This series was developed jointly by Richard Brzozowski, Extension Educator, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, with Susan Schoenian of the University of Maryland Extension and Roger High of Ohio State University. This free, 4-part webinar series will provide sheep producers with the necessary skills to effectively market sheep/lamb meat to ethnic communities in their respective market areas. The series includes four live webinars, associated readings, activities, assignments, and group discussions.

For more information, contact Richard Brzozowski at richard.brzozowski@maine.edu or 207.781.6099.

The Maine Hay and Straw Directories

As we head towards winter, you may be looking to buy or sell high quality mulch or feed for your farm. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension maintains two online directories for farmers to list the straw or hay they have for sale. Listings include location, contact information, products for sale and pricing. You can create your free listing on the Straw Directory or the Hay Directory with a simple online form or by emailing Sonia Antunes at sonia.antunes@maine.edu. Buyers will find listings throughout Maine and in Canada.

Cornell Small Farms: Online Berry Production Course

Berries and bramble fruits are popular farm enterprises, and for good reason: when planned and managed well, they can be very profitable, and they make a great add-on to existing enterprises. Whether you’re totally new to farming or are an existing farmer considering diversifying into berry crops, the Cornell Small Farms Program’s online course BF 122: Berry Production — Getting Started with Production and Marketing provides a thorough introduction. You’ll hear practical, on-the-ground tips from successful farmers as well as the latest research and recommendations on site selection, cultural requirements and variety recommendations for major and minor berry fruits, post-harvest handling, and marketing berries.

The course runs Thurs. Nov 21 – Thurs. Dec 12, with webinars twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7:00-8:30 p.m. EST (skipping Thanksgiving on Thurs. Nov 28). The cost is $200, but multiple people from the same farm may participate without paying extra. See http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/all-courses/bf-122-berry-production for more on the course learning objectives, instructors, and outline.

24th Annual Maine Beef Conference

The Maine Beef Producers Association (MBPA) will hold its Twenty-fourth Annual Beef Conference titled “Keeping Your Herd Healthy,” Saturday, December 7, 2013 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Bangor, ME with registration open at 8:00 a.m. This year, MBPA has joined forces with the Maine Grass Farmers Network (MGFN) to host the conference with sponsors University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Industry sponsors include Hilton Garden Inn. Speakers include Walter Whitcomb, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Dr. Simon Alexander VMD, Exeter Veterinary Services, Cindy Kilgore, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Livestock Specialist, Dr. Anne Lichtenwalner, University of Maine Extension Veterinarian & Director of the Animal Diagnostic Lab. Non-member registration, including lunch, is $60 for the first person from the farm and $40 for all others from that farm. Discounts for MGFN and MBPA association members are available, as well as a student rate. For registration details, contact Melissa Libby at 1.800.287.7170 in Maine or 207.581.2788 outside of Maine. Registration details will be available on the UMaine Extension Beef website. UMaine Extension programs are open and accessible to all in accordance with program goals. Any person with a disability who needs accommodations for this program should contact Melissa Libby at 1.800.287.7170 to discuss their needs at least seven days in advance.

Pesticide Applicator License Exam Training

Pesticide Applicator License Exam Training will be offered at Highmoor Farm on November 14, 2013. The Core pesticide training and exam will be offered in the morning, followed by lunch. There will be Orchard Fruit Commodity AND Vegetable Commodity trainings and exams offered concurrently in the afternoon. This is a great opportunity to gain certification credits. For detailed information, visit our website.

Preregistration is required. Registration fee is $10. An optional catered lunch is available for an additional $15.

We hope to see you there!

Image Description: Work, Keep Farming Safely

Image Description: lambs in barn

Image Description: round bales of hay piled in a field; photo by Edwin Remsberg

Image Description: beef cattle; photo by Edwin Remsberg

Farm Scoop — September 2013

Online Form to Report Livestock Losses from Predators

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has partnered with USDA Wildlife Services to offer an online form to record predator attacks and losses of livestock in Maine. USDA Wildlife Services will use the data to plan and implement effective control measures, and farmers and others will be able to receive annual reports of predator losses by county. The information could help farmers prevent losses through improved management and preventative measures. For more information on predator management, contact USDA Wildlife Services in Maine, 207.629.5181.

So You Want to Farm in Maine? — A Short Course for Individuals Who Want a Profitable Farm Operation

The purpose of this course is to equip participants with the business knowledge and skills to start, adapt, and maintain a profitable land-based business. It is designed for current farmers and those who want to have a farm. This multi-session course will be offered on four consecutive Tuesday evenings starting October 29, 2013 from 6:30 p.m. -9:00 p.m.  The course will be held at the UMaine Extension Oxford County office, 9 Olson Road in South Paris. The cost is $50 and includes the text for the course, Starting and Running a Small Farm Business by Sarah Aubrey, and all handouts. More than one member of a farm business may attend for one fee, provided you only require one set of materials.

To register, please contact Barbara Murphy at 1.800.287.1482 (in Maine) or barbara.murphy@maine.edu. Pre-registration is required. Class size is limited to 25.

Four Season Garden/Farm

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardeners and staff are offering a hands-on workshop on Four Season Gardening on Thursday, September 12, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Wells Reserve, 342 Laudholm Farm Road in Wells, Maine.

Gardening/Farming doesn’t have to stop when the growing season ends in Maine anymore. By using simple, small, movable hoophouse structures you can start growing winter greens in late summer and keep them going right through the winter. Join us to learn the basics of building a small inexpensive home garden greenhouse including a materials list and plans for making your own. Planting schedules and recommended crops for winter greens will also be discussed.

Meet at the All Seasons Garden behind the lab/science building, and learn as we construct a hoophouse structure, provide ideas and plans, and describe which hardy greens to use and when to get them started. Dress for the outdoors and be prepared for “hands on” learning. To register, see www.wellsreserve.org/calendar. Workshop cost of $7 ($5 for members of Laudholm Trust) is payable at the event. Questions, please call 207.324.2814 or 800.287.1535 (in Maine).

The program, led by Allan Amioka, Glenn MacWilliams, and Frank Wertheim, is the last one in this year’s All-Season Gardening series brought to the Wells Reserve at Laudholm by York County Master Gardeners. The All Seasons Garden is a test bed for rotational and companion plantings and advanced composting techniques.

Lyme Disease Statistics for Maine

For all those who work outside, you should know the latest in Lyme disease statistics for your area. The data portal link from Maine CDC below will allow you to look at the history and trends of Lyme disease in Maine. Protect yourself with the proper clothing, repellents, showering right after being in brushy areas, and twice daily tick checks. Know the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease.

Some of the early signs of Lyme disease include the following:

If you have questions about the data or Lyme disease, please direct them to Sara Robinson at Maine CDC: 207.287.4610 (office), 1.800.821.5821 24-hour Reporting Line, or e-mail sara.robinson@maine.gov.

Consider Joining the Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society — Free

The mission of the Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society (MESAS) is to explore, develop, and promote agricultural systems and practices that allow Maine farmers to retain a greater share of consumer expenditures for farm products. This is accomplished by developing methods to reduce the need for purchased inputs and by adding value to farm production. To learn more about MESAS, visit http://mesas.org/. You can become a member of MESAS for free. More information on membership.

Ever Heard of Aronia?

Aronia is a berry hardy to Maine’s climate. Learn more about aronia at the UMaine Extension aronia website. The website includes several links to other university-based aronia resources, which provide useful cultural recommendations and marketing tips. Links to two US aronia grower associations are also included.

SARE Partnership Grants for Farmers & Growers

The application materials for Partnership Grants are now ready for downloading from the Northeast SARE website.

Use the “for applicants” box on the right side of the page to get proposal instructions and the budget justification template. The deadline is November 13, 2013 for awards in March 2014.

If you have questions that aren’t answered in these materials, feel free to call Northeast SARE at 802.656.0471 or e-mail Carol Delaney.

Interested in Draft Animals?

Maine has an active organization for farmers who work with draft animals (horses, mules, and ponies). For more information, visit the Farmers Draft Horse, Mule & Pony Club website or call their president, Stan Merril, at 207.583.4677.

Mainers Urged to Sign Up for Free Disposal of Banned, Unusable Pesticides

Mainers are urged to take advantage of a free opportunity to dispose of banned or unusable pesticides that they may have in their homes or elsewhere on their properties.

This free disposal program is open to homeowners, family-owned farms and greenhouses. To participate, you need to register by September 27, 2013. Registration by September 27, 2013, is mandatory—drop-ins are not permitted. To register, get details, and learn important information about the temporary storage and transportation of obsolete pesticides, go to the BPC Web site at thinkfirstspraylast.org, or call 207-287-2731.

New From UMaine Extension

Maine’s USDA Agricultural Mediation Service

This mediation service is designed to help resolve agriculture related disputes before they end up in court. For more information, visit the Volunteers of America Northern New England website.

Local Weather Application for Mobile Devices

As a farmer, you might be interested in a free app (application) called MyRadar. A satellite detects your position and provides the radar for weather in real time. For more information or to download the app, visit MyRadar Weather Radar.

Tax Tips If You’re Starting a Business

If you plan to start a new business, or you’ve just opened your doors, it is important for you to know your federal tax responsibilities. Here are five basic tips from the IRS that can help you get started.  

  1. Type of Business. The most common types are sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, S corporation, and Limited Liability Company. Each type reports its business activity on a different federal tax form.

  2. Types of Taxes. The type of business you run usually determines the type of taxes you pay. The four general types of business taxes are income tax, self-employment tax, employment tax, and excise tax.

  3. Employer Identification Number. A business often needs to get a federal EIN for tax purposes. Check IRS.gov to find out whether you need this number. If you do, you can apply for an EIN online.

  4. Recordkeeping. Keeping good records will help you when it’s time to file your business tax forms at the end of the year. Good records will help you monitor your business’ progress and prepare your financial statements. You may choose any recordkeeping system that clearly shows your income and expenses.

  5. Accounting Method. Each taxpayer must also use a consistent accounting method, which is a set of rules that determine when to report income and expenses. The most common are the cash method and accrual method. Under the cash method, you normally report income in the year you receive it and deduct expenses in the year you pay them. Under the accrual method, you generally report income in the year you earn it and deduct expenses in the year you incur them. This is true even if you receive the income or pay the expenses in a future year.

For more information, check out the “Business Taxes” page on IRS.gov. From there, review the special section on Starting a Business. Publication 583, Starting a Business and Keeping Records, may also help new business owners with the tax aspects of running a business. The booklet is also available on IRS.gov or by calling 800.TAX.FORM (800.829.3676).

Image Description: Female black-legged tick

Image Description: aronia berries

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Farm Scoop — August 2013

New UMaine Extension Publications

UMaine Extension Small Grains Website & Newsletter

Small grains have long played an important role in Maine agriculture, and their value is increasing with new and local markets for a greater variety of grains. You will find information on growing small grains and oilseeds for feed, food, and energy at the new UMaine Extension Grains & Oilseeds website.

The Maine Grain and Oilseed Newsletter, included on the website, provides production and research information to Maine’s grain and oilseed producers. Information includes tips on production, fertility, marketing, pest management, and more.

Are You Thinking of Employing an Intern on Your Farm?

Here are links to some guidebooks that may prove useful:

Pesticide Credits at Maine Farm Days

Maine Farm Days is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, August 21 and 22 at Misty Meadows Farm in Clinton. There will be workshops for private applicators to earn credits on both days. See the workshop schedule.

Upcoming Composting Workshops

The Maine Compost School will be offering three trainings that could be useful to your farm business: Food Waste Management Compost and Anaerobic Digestion on August 21 & 22; a Food Waste Management Tour (Coach bus with Lunch) on August 23, 2013; and the Maine Compost School on October 21- 25, 2013. For more information or to register, visit the Maine Compost School website.

Ever See a Sheep Being Milked?

A dairy sheep farm tour is planned for Saturday, August 17, 2013 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Northern Exposure Farm in Dedham (near Bangor).  The farm is located at 18 Country Lane in Dedham. This tour is sponsored by the Maine Sheep Breeders Association and the Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society. The tour is free and open to all.

Haymaking Tips for 2013

UMaine Extension Educator Rick Kersbergen provides tips that address the current haymaking situation in his article Haymaking Weather Woes Continue.

Search for Information on eXtension

To search for topics that interest you, go to eXtension’s One Search. At One Search, you can quickly search more than 1,000 Cooperative Extension sites, including UMaine Extension. eXtension is a critical part of the Cooperative Extension System and an educational partner with 75 land-grant universities in the United States.

Farm Safety & You

Farm safety programs are being planned by UMaine Extension for this fall and winter in southern Maine. Please fill out our short online survey by August 15 to provide input about the topics that you would like to see offered for yourself, family members or your employees.

Risk Analysis, HACCP, and Creating a Culture of Food Safety

This one-day course will cover how to analyze food safety risks and food safety hazards. You will learn about HACCP plans versus risk-based plans, and how to use the best of both to create a culture of food safety at your company. The training will be offered on October 25, 2013 at the Androscoggin Chamber of Commerce, 415 Lisbon Street, Lewiston ME. The course fee is $125 if pre-registered (up to 5 days prior to course start) or $145 at the door. Please note that courses are capped at 25 participants and fill up quickly. Register online or call 908.907.7798.  This course is presented by Dirigo Quality Meats.

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Image Description: baling hay

Farm Scoop — July 2013

York County Farm Network Twilight Sprayer Calibration Clinic

The York County Farmers Network will hold a twilight sprayer calibration clinic for airblast and boom sprayers at McDougal Orchards, 201 Hanson Ridge Road, Springvale, on Tuesday, July 23 at 5:00 p.m. George Hamilton of the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension will demonstrate new tools for calibrating sprayers and will emphasize the importance of checking your sprayer’s calibration mid-season. Many factors can affect a sprayer’s output during the spray season. Recalibration exposes problems an operator might otherwise miss, such as worn nozzles or faulty gauges. The clinic is free and participants are asked to bring a bag lunch. Beverages and dessert will be provided by the York County Farmers Network. Participants will receive two pesticide applicator recertification credits. For more information call 207-324-5054 or e-mail mcdorch@gwi.net.

Wildlife Services in Maine

As a farmer you ought to know who to contact regarding wildlife problems. There is a new contact for Wildlife Services in Maine. She is Robin Dyer, State Director/Certified Wildlife Biologist ®, USDA, APHIS, Wildlife Services, 79 Leighton Road, Suite 12, Augusta, ME 04330, telephone: 207.629.5181, e-mail: Robin.A.Dyer@aphis.usda.gov.

Fresh Pizza from a Wood Fired Oven

One of the vendors at a farmers market in Ellensburg, Washington, designed and constructed a portable wood fired pizza oven. His family was selling pizza at $4 and $5 per slice. Would something like this make sense at your farm stand or market? If you want more information, send an e-mail to richard.brzozowski@maine.edu and we will provide the farmer’s contact information.

Shopping Bags from Your Farm Stand or Farmers Market

Another idea from the Washington market was the sale of shopping bags that promoted the market. Some consumers appreciate having something other than plastic or paper into which they place their goods. These bags sold for $15 each at the market.

Sweet Corn IPM

You can stay up to date with the latest information on pests and condition of sweet corn around Maine. The 2013 University of Maine Cooperative Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program for sweet corn is underway. Pheromone traps are being set up at volunteer farms to monitor the adult (moth) stages of European corn borer, corn earworm, and fall armyworm. We will also be scouting these fields for feeding injury by insect larvae. The information collected, along with management recommendations, will be shared every week through the University of Maine Sweet Corn IPM Newsletter. It will also be posted on the Highmoor Farm news and events blog, where you can subscribe to weekly updates. If you would prefer to receive this newsletter via e-mail or regular mail, contact Pam St. Peter at 207.933.2100 or pamela.stpeter@maine.edu.

Hay Website Resources

  1. Hay and Forage Grower (popular press)
  2. Progressive Forage Grower (popular press)
  3. PA Forage and Grassland Council (organization for hay, forage and pasture producers and industry personnel)
  4. New Holland Haymaker’s Handbook (PDF)
  5. Pennsylvania Machinery Custom rates

Highmoor Farm Summer Tour

The Maine State Pomological Society and Maine Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers Association will be joining with the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to hold a public field day at Highmoor Farm in Monmouth on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, rain or shine.

Highmoor Farm is the Field Research Station for fruits and vegetables, and has been working with Maine farmers to improve crop production since 1909, when the farm was purchased by the state to carry out research on orchard practices. For more than 100 years, researchers at Highmoor Farm have helped to develop cultural techniques, new varieties, and pest management practices to improve the success of Maine’s vegetable and fruit farmers.

This year’s field day will include tours of current research projects in tree fruit, including new apple varieties with scab resistance, and projects in vegetables and berries, including grape and raspberry variety trials, sweet corn evaluations, pumpkin trials, broccoli evaluations, as well as high tunnel tomatoes, irrigation and compost application in high tunnels, trellis installation, and ORSI picking platforms.

Participants may receive one Pesticide Applicator recertification credit for attending the morning program, and one Pesticide Applicator recertification credit for attending the tree fruit tour or the berry and vegetable tour. Growers are welcome to attend the whole day, or may come for just the morning or afternoon programs and tours. Whichever you decide, please plan to be there for lunch to share some time and informal discussion with fellow farmers, research and Extension staff, and state officials. Please contact Pam St. Peter at pamela.stpeter@maine.edu or 207.933.2100 to preregister. Cost for registration (including lunch) is $20.00 per person and checks are to be made payable to University of Maine Cooperative Extension. For more information, visit the Highmoor Farm news and events blog.

Organic Grain Twilight Meeting and BBQ

Tuesday, July 9, 2013
5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension Office
57 Houlton Road, Presque Isle ME

Free, but pre-registration is required for the meal.

Please join us and learn more about:

BBQ will follow the field tour. Pre-register by July 5 with Meghan Dill or call 207.581.3878.

2 Certified Crop Advisor credits and 1 Pesticide credits will be offered.

For questions regarding the field day, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Ellen Mallory or call 207-581-2942.

Co-sponsored by UMaine Extension, Organic Valley, and Maine Organic Milling (MOM).

Image Description: Air Blast Sprayer Calibration Equipment

Image Description: woman standing in front of pizza vendor

Image Description: customer displaying canvas shopping bag

Image Description: Tomatoes growing in a High Tunnel

Image Description: ORSI Picking Platform in orchard

Image Description: harvesting wheat

Farm Scoop — June 2013

Pest Management & Your Farm

Below are three sources of information that you may find helpful this growing season:

1.  UMaine Extension Pest Management Office, 491 College Avenue, Orono, ME 04473. You may submit disease or insect specimens for identification or diagnosis by sending them directly to the Insect & Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab (directions for submitting plant samples; directions for submitting insect samples). Or you may send digital images to clay.kirby@maine.edu (insects) or bruce.watt@maine.edu (plant diseases). There is no fee for submitting specimens.

2.  Dr. Eric Sideman, Organic Crops Specialist for the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, writes regular pest reports during the growing season. These reports are useful to organic or conventional vegetable or fruit growers. Sign up to receive Sideman’s pest reports via e-mail.

3.  Entomologist Alan Eaton, University of New Hampshire Extension, offers an informative electronic IPM newsletter for fruit and vegetable growers. It is free. Subscribe to the newsletter. In addition, you may want to visit the University of New Hampshire Extension IPM website.

Keeping a Log of Pesticide Use

Keep track of the pesticides you use on your farm and when they are used. Pesticide log books are available from UMaine Extension’s Pest Management Office for $3.00 each. Send check, made payable to University of Maine Cooperative Extension, to Pesticide Log Book, Pest Management Office, 491 College Avenue, Orono, ME 04473.

Know Your Veterinarian(s)

Every livestock producer ought to have a veterinarian with whom they work. If you don’t have a veterinarian, you can find one through the Maine Veterinary Medical Association. A list of large animal vets is available on UMaine Extension website.

You may have a need for the Maine State Veterinarian. She is Dr. Michele Walsh. Dr. Walsh is located in Augusta. Her phone numbers are 207.287.7615 and 207.215.6727. Her e-mail address is michele.walsh@maine.gov.

In addition, Dr. Anne Lichtenwalner is UMaine Extension’s Veterinarian. She directs the Animal Health & Diagnostic Lab in Orono. Dr. Lictenwalner’s phone number is 207.581.2789. Her e-mail address is anne.lichtenwalner@maine.edu.

UMaine Extension Offers Workshops for Sheep and Goat Producers

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering FAMACHA workshops this spring for sheep and goat producers interested in learning more about an internal parasite of small ruminants. The practical workshops will show producers how to determine the degree of infection from the barber pole worm (Haemonchus contorutus) by observing the blood color of the capillaries around the eyes of sheep or goats.

Participants will receive an information packet and record sheets. The workshop fee is $20 per farm.

The two-hour workshops are offered at two locations:

For more information, see 2013 FAMACHA Workshops for Sheep and Goat Producers.

When sheep and goat producers learn the FAMACHA technique and apply it to their livestock, they are apt to have a more productive herd. They also save on deworming because of this targeted approach and select those animals for breeding that are resistant.

For more information or to request disability accommodations, call 207.781.6099 or 1.800.287.1471 (in Maine only).

USDA Offers Farm Loans for Beginning Farmers & Socially Disadvantaged Groups

Maine State USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Don Todd III reminds producers that FSA offers specially-targeted farm ownership and farm operating loans to Beginning Farmer (BF) and Socially Disadvantaged (SDA) applicants. “Farming and ranching is a capital intensive business and FSA is committed to helping producers start and maintain their agricultural operations said SED Todd.” To date, in fiscal year 2013, Maine FSA has obligated $1.9 million in direct and guaranteed loans to beginning farmers and socially disadvantaged producers.   

FSA defines Beginning Farmers as those who have not operated a farm or ranch for more than 10 years, do not own a farm or ranch greater than 30 percent of the median size farm in the county if applying for a farm ownership loan, and who substantially participate in the operation of the farm. It defines Socially Disadvantaged applicants as a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of the group without regard to their individual qualities. These groups consist of: American Indians and Alaskan Natives, Asians, Blacks or African Americans, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, and women.

For more information, call 207.753.9400, Ext 2, or e-mail Marcia Hall at marcia.hall.me.usda.gov.

Maine Compost School Workshops

The Maine Compost Team and University of Maine are hosting several compost workshops this summer. All of the workshops have been accepted for CCA credits. The following is a list of workshops:

USDA Announces Farm Payments Scheduled to Resume — MILC, SURE, and NAP will restart on May 8

Administrator Juan M. Garcia announced today that farm payments, which had been temporarily suspended due to sequestration, are scheduled to resume May 8. This includes payments for the 2011 Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), the Noninsured Crop Assistance Program (NAP) and the Milk Income Loss Contract Program (MILC).

Producers should be advised that program sign-up periods currently underway have the following enrollment deadlines: 2013 Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) Program – June 3; 2011 SURE – June 7; and the 2013 Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program – August 2. Producers should contact their local Farm Service Agency office as soon as possible for appointments to enroll in these programs before the deadlines. For more information on MILC and other FSA programs, visit a local FSA service center or www.fsa.usda.gov.

USDA Announces Conservation Reserve Program Sign-Up Release

CED Marcia Hall would like to remind farmers and ranchers that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will conduct a four-week Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up beginning May 20 and ending on June 14. Marcia Hall also announced the restart of sign-up for continuous CRP, including the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement Initiative, the Highly Erodible Land Initiative, the Grassland Restoration Initiative, the Pollinator Habitat Initiative, and other related initiatives.

Producers are also encouraged to look into CRP’s other enrollment opportunities offered on a continuous, non-competitive basis. USDA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years.

For more information on CRP and other FSA programs, visit a local FSA service center or www.fsa.usda.gov.

Image Description: Squash Bug

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Image Description: compost; photo by Edwin Remsberg, USDA

Farm Scoop — May 2013

Farm Scoop is produced by Richard Brzozowski, Extension Educator, Cumberland County; Tori Jackson, Extension Educator, Androscoggin & Sagadahoc Counties; and Frank Wertheim, Extension Educator, York County

New District Foresters

There are two new district foresters in southern Maine. Covering Androscoggin, Cumberland and Sagadahoc Counties, Shane Duigan is based in Gray. His e-mail address is shane.p.duigan@maine.gov and his phone number is 207.592.1251. Ken Canfield is based in Lyman in York County, his e-mail is ken.canfield@maine.gov, and his phone number is 207.441.3712.

Is a Specialty Food in Your Farm’s Future?

Get more information on how to start a specialty food business by reading a new UMaine Extension fact sheet #3101 Recipe to Market: How to Start a Specialty Food Business in Maine. (Read/download the fact sheet online or call your local Extension office to send a hard copy of the fact sheet.)

Is Agritourism of Interest to You?

If you are involved in agritourism or thinking about it, you might want to connect with Marc Edwards of UMaine Extension. There is much to consider when people visit your farm and property. Marc’s programming focus is agritourism. E-mail Marc at marc.edwards@maine.edu or call him at 1.800.287.1478.

What Is eXtension and How Might You Benefit?

Did you know you can find all sorts of information about a variety of topics on eXtension.org? Go to www.extension.org and view the side bar where categories such as Community; Disaster Issues; Energy; Environment; Family; Farm; Health and Nutrition; Lawn and Garden; Pest Management; and Youth are listed. Delve into these categories further for factsheets, videos, on-line courses, and other educational resources can be found.

Farm Safety Manual

A limited number of Farm Safety Manuals are available. The manual is a collection of farm safety fact sheets written for Maine farm families. The following categories are addressed: children; first aid; fire; home; pesticides; buildings; equipment harvest; and general. This manual could be a good reference for yourself and employees. Contact the Cumberland County Extension Office at 1.800.287.1471 if you would like a copy.

Northeast Livestock Expo

May 17, 18 & 19 at the Winsor Fairgrounds in Windsor, Maine. For more information, visit the Expo 2013 website.

Maine Wool Pool

The Maine Wool Pool is scheduled to take place from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday, June 1, 2013 at the Maine Fiber Frolic. The price for raw wool is 55 cents per pound. Visit the Maine Sheep Breeders Association website and click on the Wool Pool 2013 link for details for acceptable wool. 

Maine Harvest for Hunger

Since 2000, hundreds of volunteers have donated more than 600 tons of fresh produce to hungry Mainers through UMaine Extension’s Harvest for Hunger program. We need your help! Home gardeners, farmers, employers, civic organizations, schools, and volunteers — you can help feed hungry Mainers. If you have quality produce left over in the field after your harvest, or if you participate in a Farmers’ Market which has some after-market produce left over, we may be able to work with you to get that food to a local pantry or shelter.

Contact Barbara Murphy, state coordinator for Maine Harvest for Hunger, to see if we have volunteers in your community who can help get the food where it is needed. Barbara’s e-mail is barbara.murphy@maine.edu and her phone number is 207.743.6329 or 1.800.287.1482 (in Maine).

2013-2014 New England Small Fruit Management Guide

Copies of the 2013-2014 New England Small Fruit Management Guide are now available at Highmoor Farm. The guide contains the latest information on management control options for the major small fruit pests as well as scouting information. Cost of the guide is $10.00 plus $2.53 postage for a total of $12.53. Copies of the 2012-2013 New England Vegetable Management Guide with color pictures of the important pests and diseases are also available at Highmoor Farm. Cost of the guide is $25.00 plus $3.43 postage for a total of $28.43.

To order the guides, please send your check made payable to UMaine Cooperative Extension mailed to: Highmoor Farm, P.O. Box 179, Monmouth, Maine 04259, atten. Pam St. Peter. For more information, contact Pam St. Peter at 933.2100 or pamela.stpeter@maine.edu.

Members of the Maine Vegetable & Small Fruit Growers Association (MVSFGA) or the New England Vegetable & Berry Growers Association receive free copies of the guides. For MVSFGA membership information, contact Bill Jordan at 799.1040.

Image Description: woman with cheese

Image Description: volunteers distribute fresh produce to hungry Mainers


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University of Maine Cooperative Extension


Contact Information

Cooperative Extension: Agriculture
5741 Libby Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5741
Phone: 207.581.3188, 800.287.0274 (in Maine) or 800.287.8957 (TDD)E-mail: extension@maine.edu
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
A Member of the University of Maine System