The August 2014 issue of the Maine Grain and Oilseed Newsletter contains articles on seed bed preparation, tillage radish cover crops, and a reprint of last year’s article on harvest efficiency and combine adjustment.
Andrew Plant, Extension Agriculture Educator
57 Houlton Road, Presque Isle, ME 04769
207.764.3361 or 1.800.287.1462
Image Description: field of ripe grain
A Portland Press Herald article about Maine bakeries using more local grains mentioned the Northern New England Local Bread Wheat Project, a USDA-funded collaboration of researchers, farmers, millers and bakers in Vermont and Maine that aims to help farmers increase organic bread wheat production and quality. For the past four years, Alison Pray, co-owner of the Standard Baking Co. in Portland, has been working with the Northern New England Local Bread Wheat Project at the University of Maine and the Northern Grain Growers Association. The groups occasionally send her new heritage wheat varieties to bake with so she can evaluate their properties and flavor, according to the article.
Sarah Redmond, a Maine Sea Grant aquaculture specialist at the University of Maine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research, was interviewed for a Maine Public Broadcasting Network report about beer made with seaweed at the Marshall Wharf Brewing Co. in Belfast, Maine. David Carlson, the company’s owner, has been consulting with scientists including Redmond about using seaweed in the beverage. Redmond said if researchers can figure out how to farm seaweed on sea farms, then there will be a more sustainable source that could lead to innovation and new products, such as fertilizer, food ingredients, nutritional supplements or beer. NPR also carried the report.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Maine Harvest for Hunger program was the focus of the latest installment of the “Backyard Gardener” series on WVII (Channel 7). John Jemison, a soil and water quality specialist with UMaine Extension, spoke about the importance of the program that provides produce and recipes for those in need. This week, Master Gardener Volunteers at the Orono Community Garden will harvest greens for about 50 local senior citizens. Since Maine Harvest for Hunger began about 15 years ago, it has provided more than 1.6 million pounds of food for community members, according to the report.
The St. John Valley Times reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Potato Board will sponsor the “Potatoes for the Health of it” potato-cooking contest July 27 at the 2014 Northern Maine Fair in Presque Isle. Participants are asked to prepare a heart-healthy recipe using the Maine potato as a primary ingredient. Recipes must contain no more than 30 percent fat and no more than 140 mg sodium per serving, feature Maine potatoes and use ingredients that are readily available. Recipe categories are soups, salads, breads, casseroles, desserts and miscellaneous.
Rogers Farm is part of UMaine’s J.F. Witter Teaching and Research Center. The free event is designed for farmers, crop advisers and others interested in agricultural production. UMaine agricultural researchers and Extension faculty will present field research highlighting current applied agricultural research projects, including alternative weed management strategies in vegetable production, opportunities and challenges with winter grains and evaluating plants to support native pollinators.
Presenters include Ellen Mallory, Extension sustainable agriculture specialist; Lois Berg Stack, Extension ornamental horticulture specialist; Eric Gallandt, associate professor of weed ecology and management; John Jemison, Extension water quality specialist; Bryan Brown and Erin Roche, UMaine graduate students in Sustainable Agriculture; and Tom Molloy, sustainable agriculture research associate. Ilse Rasmussen, visiting scholar from the International Center for Research on Organic Food Systems, will discuss sustainable agriculture in Denmark.
Participants will receive one pesticide certification credit and two Certified Crop Adviser credits. Registration begins at 4:30 p.m.; events are 5-7:30 p.m. Participants are invited to arrive at 4 p.m. to participate in a walking weed tour conducted by Gallandt.
For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Mallory at or Jemison at 207.581.3241.
Image Description: UMaine Sustainable Ag Field Day
New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference and Trade Show
Tuesday through Thursday, December 17-19, 2013
Radisson Hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire
The New England Vegetable and Fruit (NEVF) Conference will include 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 on certain issues. There is also an extensive Trade Show with over 100 exhibitors.
The conference is put together with close collaboration between growers and Cooperative Extension from across the region. This is a great opportunity to meet with fellow growers, advisors, researchers, and industry representatives.
For more information and to register, please visit the NEVF Conference website, www.newenglandvfc.org.
This has been a frustrating harvest and fall sowing season to date due to the uncooperative weather we’ve all been experiencing. Reviewing weather data from Caribou, Maine for the season, we are significantly above normal for precipitation for the growing season, and through the harvest/fall sowing period of August 15-September 15, the longest consecutive stretch of days without precipitation was three days. The September issue of the Maine Grain and Oilseed Newsletter contains helpful articles about “Late Planting Fall Grains” and “Cover Crops to Protect Soils and Improve Crop Quality.”
Image Description: field of ripe grain
Ellen Mallory, sustainable agriculture extension specialist at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine director of the Northern New England Local Bread Wheat Project, spoke with the Bangor Daily News for the article “How Skowhegan became Maine’s new bread basket” after the annual Kneading Conference was held in Skowhegan. Mallory spoke about the need for more research and educational resources on what it takes to grow grain in Maine. She also said Skowhegan is becoming an example of how to foster agriculture-based economic development.
A Morning Sentinel article previewing this week’s Kneading Conference and Artisan Bread Fair in Skowhegan mentioned Ellen Mallory, University of Maine sustainable agriculture extension specialist and Maine director of the Northern New England Local Bread Wheat Project. Mallory is expected to give a presentation on the regional project and its goal to help farmers increase the production and quality of organic bread.