February 2017
Your Monthly News & Updates
venisonVenison 101 Survey

Hello, UMaine Extension plans to offer a new workshop for hunters called Venison 101, and you are being invited to participate in a quick survey about it. The goal of this survey is to gather information on the interest about such workshop.
Venison 101 is a one-day, intensive hands-on program designed for hunters who have an interest in expanding their knowledge of deer diseases, processing, and preparing venison for friends and family. It provides information on deer hunting in Maine, how to identify deer diseases, and how to control risks when field dressing a deer. This class is ideal for both new and experienced hunters. We will have a live demonstration of proper field dressing, an opportunity for hands-on processing, and cooking/canning demonstrations. There will be plenty of opportunities to taste venison products and interact with speakers. 
If you agree to participate, please follow this link https://umaine.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6RycRQD2yZCi8Ml
If you have any questions and/or would like to receive updates about the offering of the workshop, please contact Robson Machado at robson.machado@maine.edu or (207) 581-3144
Thank you very much for your time.
newrulesNew Rules Prohibit Sale of 33 Invasive Terrestrial Plants

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) has adopted rules to prohibit the sale and distribution of thirty-three terrestrial plants that were deemed invasive. The plants were reviewed by a specially-convened committee of horticulture professionals, land managers, foresters, wildlife biologists and other scientists. The new rule went into effect on January 14, 2017, but the prohibition of sales does not begin until January 1, 2018.
"The plants on this list have invaded farms, fields, forests and wetlands throughout the state," said Commissioner Walt Whitcomb. "Although many were originally promoted with good intentions, such as, the prevention of soil erosion or to support wildlife, they have spread throughout Maine to the detriment of native species. In many places they have come to dominate forests, wetlands, fields and local landscapes, excluding native plants that support our economy and natural areas."
"All but three of the prohibited plants have been, or continue to be sold in the nursery trade, said Gary Fish, Maine State Horticulturist. "Some of them have already been discontinued by nurseries which recognized their harmful potential. Three are not intentionally sold, but are "horticultural hitchhikers" which sprout as weeds in the pots and rootballs of plants sold in the nursery trade. A few of the plants are still in some demand, including Japanese barberry, burning bush, privet and Norway maple, especially the crimson king variety. Maine nurseries and garden centers will have until January 1, 2018, to sell stock already on hand."
Many non-invasive alternatives are available to help homeowners and nursery professionals satisfy their landscape needs without using the invasive plants on the list.   
grantawardMaine Agricultural Development Grants Announced

MDACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb announced six (6) Agricultural Development Grant Program awards totaling $248,375. The projects address needs in the agricultural industry for improvements in the profitability of Maine grown crops; reducing costs associated with drought or other natural crop disturbances; product enhancements for value added, nutrition, marketing and/or food safety; and national, local and regional market development.
These projects have been identified as:
  • Maine Aquaculture Co-Op of Tenants Harbor ($46,000) - Maine Scallop Aquaculture: Development of Ear-Hung Scallop Aquaculture Infrastructure through Cooperative Model and New Technologies
  • Maine Cap N Stem, LLC of Gardiner($32,600) - Project to Increase Production Capacity of B2B Mushroom Farm to Meet Maine Demand
  • Maine Landscape and Nursery Association of Augusta ($50,000) - Plant a pollinator Garden! Promotion to support Maine's Nursery Industry
  • The Hop Yard, LLC of Portland ($19,775) - Creating Viable Commercial Hop Bales
  • Undine Marine, LLC of Damariscotta ($50,000) - Construction and beta testing of the Mark II Submersible Mussel Raft in Maine
  • Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine of Orono ($50,000) - Wild Blueberry School Foodservice Program
The Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry may allocate the grant funds among projects involving market research, market promotion, or a combination of those activities for the purpose of expanding existing markets and developing new markets for agricultural products produced in Maine; or for testing and demonstrating new technologies related to the production, storage or processing of State agricultural products.
It is anticipated that another Agricultural Development Fund RFP will be released in the future.
  gapGap Found Between Research and Practice in Sustainable Agriculture

Photo: Edwin Remsberg
Michigan State University-led research has found a big difference in the yields produced by alternative agricultural practices in commercial fields compared with the same practices in the small experimental plots ordinarily used to test them.
These differences have important implications for closing the global yield gap between research plots and farmer fields, especially for low-input practices adopted by organic farmers in the United States and by resource-strapped farmers in less developed regions.
The study, published in the latest issue of PNAS, compared the yields of a crop rotation of wheat, corn and soybeans under three different management practices: conventional, low-input and organic. The tests were conducted at small experimental plots and the much larger commercial field level. Though researchers found no appreciable difference in the yields produced at either level for conventional crop management, they noted a significant yield gap for both low-input and organic management.
According to Sasha Kravchenko, lead author and MSU plant biologist, this difference can be attributed to the additional challenges that large-scale production presents to both low-input and organic practices. Conventional management relies on the uniform application of chemical inputs such as fertilizer and pesticides, practices that can easily be scaled up to larger fields. In contrast, low-input and organic management require much more labor-intensive work, as well as the cultivation of cover crops, which is more difficult to perform consistently on large tracts of land. Because of the difficulty of scaling up low-input and organic practices to commercial fields, those farmers may see as much as a 30 percent lower yield than research suggests.
Source: A. Kravchenko, A., S. Snapp, G. Robertson, Field-scale experiments reveal persistent yield gaps in low-input and organic cropping systems, PNAS, vol 114 no 5 p 926-931.
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.
interestItems of Interest
  • Senior Farm Share farmer applications due to the MDACF by Feb. 17th.
  • Maine Garlic Pest Field Notebook (pdf) features pictures of eight pests of commercial garlic and includes management information. From UMaine Extension.
  • Sheep ID tags (Scrapie tags) USDA will not be providing free tags after October of 2017.  Please order tags that you will need for the future before they are not available from Gail at  508-363-2290.   After that date, they will need to be purchased from commercial tag companies. Premise IDs are required and Maine Dept of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry will be enforcing ID/scrapie tagging. The National Scrapie Eradication Program was initiated in 2001 and is a required program for all sheep and goats in the US.
  • Resources to Navigate Drought Successfully -  As a farmer, gardener or landowner, there are steps and management practices you can implement to reduce or eliminate threats caused by water shortages and damaging weather events. This collection of resources has been gathered for you to successfully navigate the impacts caused by drought.
  • Farm Animal Welfare Certification Guide -  ASPCA's partnered with Vermont Law School's Center for Agriculture and Food Systems to create the Farm Animal Welfare Certification Guide. The guide is designed to help farmers raising animals-as well as food companies, restaurant owners and chefs sourcing animal products-understand the three most meaningful welfare certification programs: Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane® and Global Animal Partnership. Cold Spring Ranch, North New Portland, ME is one of the featured farms. 
  • Rural Tax Education: Farmers, ranchers, other agricultural producers and Extension educators will find on this website a source for agriculturally related income and self-employment tax information that is both current and easy to understand.
  • IRS Farmers Tax Guide #225 
  • Positions Available: Ornamental Horticulture Specialist, 4-H Youth Development Professionals - Knox & Lincoln Counties and Franklin County. 
  • Maine Hay Directory - You can list hay that you have for sale or you can look for hay to buy. Listings are free.
resourcesFeatured Resources


Predator Control for Backyard Poultry Flocks - eXtension.org, Feb. 7 at 3 pm. Predators can be a problem with any poultry farm, large or small. This webinar will discuss some of the predators of concern and methods to minimize losses to predators. The presenter will be Dr. Matt Springer at the University of Kentucky. This webinar is free and will be archived.

Getting Started with Hoop House Management - eXtension.org Feb 13 at 7 pm.  Profitable production in hoop houses requires careful planning and management.  Collin manages the Michigan State University North Farm, including hoop houses.  He will provide background information on hoop house selection and siting, then concentrate his webinar on successful management to optimize production and sales. A fee of $10 is charged for this program.
Getting Started with Maple Syrup - eXtension.org Feb 27 at 7 pm.
For those interested in entering the maple syrup business, this webinar will provide an overview of what it takes to produce and market quality maple products. Bob is a Michigan State University Extension field crops educator and operates Battel's Sugar Bush with wife Sue and other family members as a private enterprise. A fee of $10 is charged for this program.
Animal Welfare Considerations for Backyard Poultry Flocks - eXtension.org, March 20 at 3 pm. As more people become interested in backyard flocks, it is important to consider the welfare of the birds in your flock. This webinar will discuss some of the concerns related to backyard poultry flocks. This webinar is free and will be archived. 

Visit the UMaine Extension online Publications Catalog
for agriculture information, such as:  
  • Maple Syrup Quality Control Manual #7038 This maple syrup producers' manual presents production techniques to ensure high quality maple syrup and syrup products. Discusses equipment care and quality, cleanliness, the sap collection process, sap processing, and packing. Includes appendix with relevant Maine regulations. 13 pages. © 2002, 2007 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free or buy a color copy $1.50.
  • Licensing and Regulations for Maple Syrup Processing in Maine #7041 Harvesters in Maine produce about 17% of the country's maple syrup -- nearly 550,000 gallons. The annual value of maple syrup production in Maine is nearly $18 million. If you are interested in getting a license to sell maple syrup there are things you need to know first. 5 pages. © 2014 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free or buy a color copy $0.75. 
From UMaine
  • Maine Farm Response to Changing Weather Changes in average and extreme weather are affecting Maine agriculture, bringing both risks and potential opportunities. Here are some observations of how Maine weather is now different from the past, what may lie ahead, and examples of farmer choices and actions that can minimize risk and help ensure productivity.
eventsUpcoming Events

  • Feb. 1 - 2, 2017 In-Service Training for Ag Service Providers, Holiday Inn, Portsmouth, NH. CCA and pesticide credits available.
  • Feb. 3, 2017 DDATT First Friday: Seed and Scion Swap and Making and Storing Ice for Refrigeration. 6 pm Abbott Memorial Library, Dexter. FMI info@ddatt.org or 277-4221.
  • Feb. 3 - 9, 2017 North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association Annual Convention Mystic, CT. The NAFDMA "farmers inspired" event includes bus tours, educational sessions, workshops, and a business exchange. Two days consist of bus-tour farm visits, followed by three days of sessions and workshops.
  • Feb. 4, 2017 Corn Tortilla Workshop, featuring Maine grown corn, sponsored by the Maine Grain Alliance. At Southern Maine Community College's baking kitchen in South Portland, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Feb. 7, 2017 Organic Certification for Farmers and Processors, 1 pm to 4 pm. Penobscot County Extension Office, 307 Maine Ave. (near the airport), Bangor. You do not need to be a certified organic producer to attend.
  • Feb. 10, 2017 Rural Maine's Next Economy, 8 am - 4:30 pm, Cross Insurance Center, Bangor.
  • Feb. 15, 2017 Slow Money Maine Gathering, 1 pm - 4 pm (pre-group start at 11:30 am) Christ Church, 1 Dresden Ave, Gardiner.
  • Feb. 17, 2017 (Feb. 24 snow date) Rural Renewable Energy workshop in Dover-Foxcroft for landowners, farmers and small businesses. PCSWCD is sponsoring and plans to have speakers on different types of renewable energy (biomass, photovoltaics, small scale hydro, wind, etc.) and funding sources. $30 for lunch and handout materials.  A registration fee of $30.00 will include all workshop presentations, handouts and lunch. For more information, please contact PCSWCD's Technical Coordinator Madeline Lubas at madeline.lubas@me.nacdnet.net or Executive Director, Joanna Tarrazi at joanna.tarrazi@me.nacdnet.net or by phone at 564-2321, extension 3.
  • Feb. 25, 2017 Vermont Hops Conference, S. Burlington, VT sponsor UVM Extension.
  • Feb. 26 & 27, 2017 Advanced Business Management Training by Richard Wiswall at MOFGA, Unity. Course fee $100. FMI and to preregister click here.
  • March 4, 2017 MOFGA's Spring Growth Conference. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Keynote speaker Will Brinton and a panel of farmers focus on soil microbiology.
  • March 7-9, 2017 Harvest New England Agricultural Marketing Conference and Trade Show, Sturbridge, MA
  • March 11, 2017 Sheep Health Seminar, Presque Isle Extension Office. 9 am to 3 pm. Parasite Management & Non-Surgical Artificial Insemination, Dr. Weber;FAMACHA, Dr. Knight; Marketing Aroostook Lamb, Lisa Webster. FMI Linda.Trickey@maine.edu.
  • March 13th, 2017 2017 Maine Grain Conference. Little School and Agriculture Museum, Littleton (just north of Houlton) This year's conference will focus on alternative crops and precision, guided cultivation systems. FMI contact Ellen.Mallory@maine.edu.
  • March 14, 2017 Dairy Seminar, Waterville, ME FMI David.Marcinkowski davidmar@maine.edu
  • March 18, 2017 Maine Grazing Conference, Waterville. Speakers include: Fred Provenza, Hue Karreman and Matt LaRouse.
    Wiswell Farm, Orrington.10 a.m. until done. Full schedule of speakers already lined up...details TBA... come meet your colleagues, socialize, learn, save money, get tax advice, have fun!
  • March 19 - 25, 2017 National Ag Week
  • March 21, 2017 National Ag Day - Agriculture: Food for Life
  • March 26, 2017 Maine Maple Sunday
  • April 5, 2017 Spring Swine Meeting 9 am to 3 pm at the Viles Arboretum in Augusta. Swine problems seen last year, Meghan Flanagan, Annabessacook Vet; problems seen with backyard swine, Rachel Fisk, MDACF; swine AI, Dr. Colt Knight, UMaine Extension. FMI Cindy.Kilgore@maine.gov or 215-4968.
  • April 20 to 22, 2017 27th Annual National Belted Galloway Sale and  Fryeburg Youth Show
  • April 24 to 28, 2017 Maine Meat Cutters School, Gardener area. Sponsored by UMaine Extension. Dr. Gregg Rentfrom, Penn State Meat Specialist is the lead instructor. More details TBA.
  • April 28 & 29, 2017 New England Meat Conference in Manchester, NH.
  • May 6, 2017 Annual Maine Greenhouse and Nursery Day. Posters will again be available at Spring Meeting as well as downloadable from the website, www.plants4maine.com.
  • May 19 - 21, 2017 Northeast Livestock Expo, Windsor Fair Grounds. Kids Day is Friday.
  • May 25, 2017 Poultry Processing Class - MOFGA, Unity
  • June 3,4 2017  17th Annual Maine Fiber Frolic, Windsor, ME
  • July 6, 2017 Poultry Processing Class - MOFGA, Unity
  • July 27 & 28, 2017 Kneading Conference 
subscription  Newsletter Subscription Information
The Central Maine Farming Newsletter (CMFN), now received by over 885 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  http://bit.ly/PPfarming 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
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307 Maine Ave. Bangor, ME  04401  207-942-7396 or 800-287-1485
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Open By-chance on Wednesday , Closed Tuesday 
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