August 2017
Your Monthly News & Updates
Make sure your farm counts!
NASS conducts a census of all agricultural operations every five years as well as other agricultural surveys.  We need to know about all types of agricultural operations of all sizes. The Information you provide is kept confidential by law and will not be disclosed to any other government or private entity.
Tomato Production in High Tunnel Discussion
As part of a Northeast SARE project focused on tomato production in high tunnels, we are going to hold a Farmer-to-Farmer Round-Table Discussion for experienced tunnel tomato growers, researchers, and Extension educators.  The meeting will take place on Thursday, August 3 at Johnny's Selected Seeds in Albion, Maine, from 1:00 p.m. - around 3:00 pm. 
This meeting is a part of a SARE research project looking at tomato production in high tunnels. The research project includes participants from MOFGA, University of Maine, University of New Hampshire and the University of Vermont.    
The day will include a tour of the tomato trials at Johnny's, an update of the research project, and a round table discussion of any and all the tomato growing issues growers raise. We know that summer is a hard time for you and us to leave our farms, but it is the only time to offer the opportunity to see how others grow. We hope to see you there! 

For more information Tel. 207.933.2100 X100 or Email:
weedidWeed Identification Walk & Pesticide Recertification
  • When: Thursday, August 10th
  • Time: 6 pm to 8 pm
  • Where: Stutzman's Farm Stand and Bakery, 891 Douty Hill Rd, Sangerville
  • Cost: Free but let us know you are coming. Online or call 207-564-3301.
  • Pesticide Credits Available: 2
  • Option: Participants can plan to come early and buy supper at the Stutzman's Farm Stand and Bakery.
Farmers will benefit from the weed identification walk by learning common weeds that can invade their vegetable, fruit and other cultivated crops. Donna Coffin, Extension Educator will lead the walk and have a number of references available for farmers to learn how to identify weeds and how to manage them in their crops. Farmers with weeds to identify from their home farm are encouraged to bring a digital picture of their problem weed.

Also, Marilyn Tourtelotte, District 4 Pesticide Inspector with the Maine Board of Pesticide Control will do a short talk on inspection issues and a Worker Protection Standard update.
The  Maine Board of Pesticides Control manages the pesticide licensing, training and recertification program for farmers and others who use pesticides commercially in Maine. This is to be sure they are familiar with the proper use of any pesticides including organic, general use over-the-counter, or restricted use materials. Agriculture Basic pesticide applicators need to attend 3-hours of recertification training every 3-years and private pesticide applicators need to attend 6-hours of recertification training every 3-years.

For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Donna Coffin at (207) 564-3301 or (800) 287-1491 (in Maine), or e-mail .
sheepaiArtificial Insemination of Sheep
Day-long short courses in non-surgical artificial insemination of sheep with chilled semen on September 9th in southern Maine (TBD) and September 30 at UMaine Witter Center, Orono. 
This course is targeted toward experienced sheep breeders (ie. familiar with good flock management practices / completing one or more breeding / lambing seasons.)
A comprehensive overview of a simple method of non-surgical vaginal artificial insemination (VAI) used in Iceland will be given along with reproductive evaluation of breeding rams and synchronization of estrus. 
Morning will be devoted to lecture and afternoon will be hands-on labs on reproductive management of sheep. 
Lunch will be provided. 
For more information contact Dr. Jim Weber, at To register for either session contact Salley Farrell at or 207-324-2814. 
bedstraw in flower
Controlling Smooth Bedstraw 

Key Management Points
Manage your hayfield by testing the soil and keeping nutrients and pH at levels where grasses and legumes will thrive. Apply nutrients and lime as needed.
Keep bedstraw plants from flowering, setting, and spreading seed, no matter which additional control option you use. If you manage hayfields, try to get the haycrop mowed before bedstraw sets seeds. This will help control the spread, give the grasses a more competitive edge, and also provide you with a better-quality crop. Be aware of a second flowering and seed-production period in August!
Make sure to control the spread of seed. Mowers, balers, rakes, and tedders can carry substantial amounts of seed from infested fields to clean fields. Remove any source of seed from equipment when moving from field to field. Research is still inconclusive about the spread of bedstraw via manure applications.
Tillage and rotation is very effective in killing perennial crowns and new seedlings that may develop. Consider a weed-controlling cover crop such as buckwheat or sorghum-sudangrass hybrids as part of your reseeding regime. Remember that a new seeding will need optimum management to keep smooth bedstraw from reinvading the field.
If using an herbicide such as Crossbow, Milestone, or Forefront R&P, make sure you control the weed's seed rain during the season prior to application, and understand that all broadleaf plants, including desirable clovers or alfalfa, will also be killed. If you decide to use glyphosate to renovate a pasture and kill perennial crowns of bedstraw, controlling seed rain is also critically important. Glyphosate treatments are most effective in late-summer applications.
Since bedstraw is so invasive, a neighborhood approach may be necessary to slow down the spread of this weed.
A well-managed, fertilized hayfield with a dense stand of perennial forages will be a good defense against invasion by smooth bedstraw.

lateblightLate Blight Found in Potatoes  
Two locations in Aroostook County have been confirmed to have late blight in potatoes. Growers are encouraged to be vigilant. Currently the dry weather has kept the disease in check. It is suspected that the late blight came in on uncertified seed used in the planting. 
Some of our resources on Late Blight include: 

interestItems of Interest
  • REAP Grant deadline: October 31, 2017:  Applications are due for REAP Grant requests $20,000 and under. Agricultural producers and rural small businesses are eligible to apply.  Grants funds may be used to install renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.  Maximum Grant amount is $20,000.
  • Maine Hay Directory - You can list hay that you have for sale or look for hay to buy. Listings and search are free. 
  • Agrichemical and Fertilizer Suppliers in Maine - compiled by David E. Yarborough, Extension Blueberry Specialist.  
resourcesFeatured Resources

Pest Alerts: 
Leaf Hoppers - insect in potatoes, beans, eggplant, alfalfa & strawberries. (UCONN)
Armyworms - insect in grasses, small grains, timothy & corn (UMAINE)
Smooth Bedstraw - weed in minimally managed hay fields & pastures. (UMAINE)
Ticks - arachnid on people, pets & livestock (UMAINE)

Protect Yourself from Pesticides - by the Pesticides Education Resources Collaborative. Worker Protection Standard Compliant. Free to download or purchase online.

Online Courses:
Online Goat Management and Care Course, starts  September 5, 2017. Sponsor  Sustainable Food and Farming program at UMass Amherst.

Beemapper,  is an interactive web tool that displays land cover and predicted wild bee abundance throughout the Maine wild blueberry production landscape. Developed by UMaine.

Identifying Late Blight - University of Maine Cooperative Extension discusses how Late Blight affects your tomato and potato plants, how to identify the disease, and how to minimize its effect on your plants.

Visit the UMaine Extension online Publications Catalog    for agriculture information, such as: 

eventsUpcoming Events
  • August 3, 2017 Tomato Production in High Tunnel Discussion  1 - 3 pm, Johnny's Selected Seeds in Albion. FMI 207.933.2100X100 or email 
  • August 10, 2017 Weed Identification Walk and Pesticide Recertification Training, 6 pm, Stutzman's Farm Stand and Bakery, 891 Douty Hill Rd, Sangerville. 2 pesticide recertification credits. Free to attend, but please let us know you are coming either online or call 207-564-3301.
  • August 21 - 25, 2017 Armed to Farm Training sponsored by National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is partnering with United Farmer Veterans of Maine (UFVME) Applications due July 12th. Click here for more information. 
  • August 23 & 24, 2017 Maine Farm Days, Misty Meadows Farm, Clinton. 
  • September 9, 2017 Artificial Insemination of Sheep with Chilled Semen, southern Maine location TBA. For more information contact Dr. Jim Weber, at To register for either session contact Salley Farrell at or 207-324-2814. 
  • Saturday, September 9 to Saturday,  September 16, 2017  The Mite-A-Thon is a week to test Honey Bee hives for levels of Varroa mites across all of North America.
  • September 30, 2017 Artificial Insemination of Sheep with Chilled Semen, southern Maine location TBD. For more information contact Dr. Jim Weber, at To register for either session contact Salley Farrell at or 207-324-2814. 
  • October 10, 2017 Incorporating Health Insurance and Health Care into Farm and Ranch Viability and Risk Management webinar. 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm. sponsored by UVM. 
  • October 16 - 20, 2017 Compost School, Highmoor Farm, Sponsored by UMaine Extension, Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection, and Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry. Cost: $525. 
  • November 9, 2017 The Potato Disease Summit, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main St., Bangor, Maine, sponsored by the UMaine Extension is designed for scientists, consultants, regulatory officials, and potato seed growers and buyers. It will focus on such topics as current advances in detection and diagnosis of Dickeya; an overview of Pectobacterium in the U.S.; and management of Enterobacteriaceae spread and risk.
  • Nov. 19, Dec. 13, 2017 and Jan. 8 & 24, Feb. 7 & 21, 2018  NxLevel (TM) Tilling the Soil of Opportunity, 9 am - 3:30 pm, at KVCC, Fairfield, a business planning course tailored for Maine farmers sponsored by the Maine Dept of Ag, Conservation and Forestry, Maine Farms for the Future and FarmSmart Business Services. 
subscription  Newsletter Subscription Information
The Central Maine Farming Newsletter (CMFN), now received by over 875 readers, has been offered as an educational resource by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension for over 10 years.  On January 1, 2015 the CMFN transitioned to electronic-only delivery. There is still three ways to receive the CMFN from your local UMaine Extension:

1) Central Maine Farming Newsletter remains available online for free! You can sign up to receive the newsletter through your email or view the archived issues anytime at If you currently do not have an email, you can get one for free from several email hosts. If you do not have a computer, community libraries have computers for you to use to access information on the Internet and to view your email.
2) Those with no email can opt to pay an annual subscription to receive the newsletters monthly for $15/year by contacting your County office. 
 3) A third option is to come into the Piscataquis, Penobscot or Waldo County Extension Offices and pick up a free printed copy of the newsletter.
We appreciate our readers referring others to the newsletter, and sharing it with their family and friends.   Thank you for your continued support of the CMFN, providing valuable agricultural information from Extension for folks in the central Maine area since 2003.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is the major educational outreach program of the University of Maine with offices statewide. UMaine Extension provides Maine people with research-based educational programs to help them live fuller, more productive lives.
Mention or display of a trademark, proprietary product, or firm in text or figures does not constitute an endorsement and does not imply approval to the exclusion of other suitable products or firms.
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Donna Coffin, Extension Educator
Rick Kersbergen, Extension Educator
The goal of the Central Maine Farming Newsletter is to provide timely information on the production and marketing of crops and livestock grown in central Maine.
T he University of Maine does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, including transgender status and gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, 207.581.1226.
Photos: Donna Coffin unless indicated otherwise. 

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Penobscot Office - website 
Open Monday - Friday
8 am to 4:30 pm
307 Maine Ave. Bangor, ME  04401  207-942-7396 or 800-287-1485
Piscataquis Office  - website 
Open Monday, Thursday, Friday
8 am to 4:30 pm,
Open By-chance on Wednesday , Closed Tuesday 
165 East Main St. Dover-Foxcroft, ME  04426  207-564-3301 or 800-287-1491 
Waldo Office  - website 
Open Monday - Friday
8 am to 4:30 pm 
992 Waterville Road, Waldo, ME 04915-3117 Phone: 207.342.5971 or 800.287.1426 (in Maine)