February 2016
Your Monthly News & Updates
firstaid First Aid Kits for Production Agriculture
Most farms and ranches require multiple first aid kits due to the many types of jobs and the dispersed areas of work in a production agriculture operation. Not only is it important to have appropriate first aid kits on your farm or ranch, it is important that you and others in your operation understand basic first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Accidents on farms and ranches can be quite severe, and space in a first aid kit is limited, so it is important to choose items for kits wisely. Follow these guidelines when assembling a first aid kit:
  • Include pertinent personal information in first aid kits for individuals who have specific medical conditions. For example, indicate that a certain person has an allergic reaction to bee stings. 
  • Include the contact information for the family doctor of each person working in the vicinity of the kit.
  • Remember that agricultural incidents may occur at night or in winter, so include items such as flares, flashlights, emergency blankets, and waterproof matches.
  • In an emergency situation, it is common for people to forget what they have learned in first aid classes, so include a first aid manual in each kit.
  • For the kits, use containers that are dust-free and water-resistant. Label the kits clearly.
Check first aid kits annually for expired products such as ice packs, heat packs, ointments, saline solution, and so on, and change the flashlight batteries. When you use any items in a first aid kit, replace the items immediately.
Larger first aid kits should be located at main farm or ranch buildings or in the home.  Smaller first aid kits should be kept on major pieces of farm equipment and in vehicles.
Click here for more detailed list of what to include in your first aid kits.
Source: First aid kits for production agriculture. (2013). Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/66377/first-aid-kits-for-production-agriculture

reap REAP Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants

Agricultural producers with at least 50% of gross income from agricultural operations  and rural small businesses can apply for guaranteed loan financing or grant funding to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements.
Funds can be used for purchase, installation and construction of renewable energy systems, such as:
  • solar array with hydralic actuator
    Photo by Andy Walker/ NREL
    Biomass (for example: biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels)
  • Geothermal for electric generation or direct use
  • Hydropower below 30 megawatts
  • Hydrogen
  • Small and large wind generation
  • Small and large solar generation
  • Ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation
Funds can also be used for energy efficiency improvements such as:
  • High efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC)
  • Insulation
  • Lighting
  • Cooling or refrigeration units
  • Doors and windows
  • Electric, solar or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots
  • Switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor
  • Replacement of energy-inefficient equipment
Funds include loan guarantees on loans up to 75% of total project, grants for up to 25% of project or combined grant and loan guarantee for up to 75% of project.
For more information click here or contact Brian Wilson with USDA Rural Development in Bangor or call 207.990.9168.
weedblast Weed Blasting Offers New Control Method for Organic Farmers
Weeds are a major scourge for organic growers, who often must invest in multiple control methods to protect crop yields. A relatively new weed control method known as abrasive weeding, or "weed blasting," could give organic growers another tool. The method, recently field-tested at the University of Illinois, is surprisingly effective.  
In conjunction with plastic mulch, abrasive weeding reduced final weed biomass by 69 to 97 percent compared to non-weeded control plots, said U of I agroecologist Samuel Wortman.
According to Wortman's research, weed blasting does affect some weeds more than others. Essentially, the smaller the seedling, the better. Also, seedlings whose growing points are aboveground (annual broadleaf species) are more susceptible to blasting than seedlings whose growing tips are located belowground (grasses and broadleaf perennials). Finally, Wortman noted that the presence of plastic mulch seemed to factor strongly into the equation. Weed blasting alone "is not a silver bullet, but it is an improvement," he said.
See weed blasting in action on this YouTube video.
Source: Wartman, Weed Blasting Offers New Control Method for Organic Farmers, ACES-News, 2016.
doverDover Cove Farmers' Market is looking for new vendors! 
We have been located at the busy and highly visible corner of South St. (Route 7 toward Dexter/Newport) and Pine St. for two years, and we have plenty of room to include more farmers and local food producers.
Our market runs from the end of May to the end of October on Tuesdays 2-6, and Saturdays 9-1. Currently, 5 farms/producers participate on one or both days each week. We have volunteers who process credit/debit and SNAP/EBT cards, as well as provide customer service, education, and other supports for the market.  
Besides including more vendors, our plans for growing the market include increasing outreach to allied community organizations and businesses, making Dover Cove Farmers' Market a highlight of downtown Dover-Foxcroft, and increasing consumer engagement.
Member vendors pay $150 for full membership (both days), $100 for half membership (Tuesday OR Saturday), and $25 per market for guest vendors (up to three markets per season). Maine Department of Agriculture licences and insurance are required. Prospective members must be approved by a majority of current members.
Interested in becoming part of our market? Please contact dovercovefarmersmarket@gmail.com before February 19th to be voted on at the Feb. 20th meeting. We will still consider members after this date. We prefer that vendors are present for two of our pre-season meetings.
New farmers are welcome to come to the first hour of the meeting on Feb. 20th to introduce themselves to the current vendors.  

surveyAgriculture Education Survey  
The Maine Farm Bureau has partnered with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to assess the educational needs of farmers, growers, and farm employees in Maine.  A short survey has been developed to determine these needs across the state.  Your input is appreciated.  
It will likely take 5 minutes or less to complete this survey.  Please complete the survey as soon as possible and by February 29, 2016.  
Feel free to invite other individuals on your farm to complete the survey, including employees.
If you would prefer to complete a paper copy of the survey, please call the Maine Farm Bureau Office at 207-622-4111.
interestItems of Interest
  • UMaine Extension Livestock Educator position description will be released later this month. Watch for it at UMaine Job Opportunities 
  • KVCC is currently hiring for the following positions: Farm Manager; Sustainable Agriculture Instructor and Coordinator; and Adjunct Faculty Farm Infrastructure II. Contact Elizabeth Fortin at 207.453.5858 
  • Maine Farmland Trust is looking for an Assistant for this season for the Veggies for All project. This position is designed as an Assistant Project Manager (pdf) (and trainee) for the 2016 season, that will transform into a full on Project Manager in 2017.
  • HPAI Strikes in Indiana A strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), H7N8, was found on a turkey farm there last week. This strain is different from the strain that caused extensive losses in 2015, and is thought to have arisen from North American strains of the flu. Read more at 2016 Maine: Heads-up Avian Flu Still a Threat in US   
  • Frost Seeding- low tech wonder or wishful thinking The principle behind frost seeding is quite simple. Seed is broadcast on the soil in mid-spring, when daytime temperatures are above freezing but nighttime temperature are below freezing. This daily freezing and thawing, which shrinks and swells the soil, works the seed into the soil.
  • Natural Resource Assessment Survey - Maine Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs), in cooperation with USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), are conducting a Natural Resources Assessment (NRA) across the state and need the help of Maine's citizens! Those completing the survey will be entered in a drawing for an exciting prize. Click here for NRA survey or contact your SWCD county office for a paper copy.
  • Sustainability Survey - The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is currently conducting a research project to help categorize how Maine farms are engaging in sustainable practices and farm best management practices.  Click here for MDACF survey. 
  • Maine Food Atlas - The Maine Food Atlas encourages diverse food operators-growers, processors, farm to school groups, food security organizations-to use the website and put themselves "on the map."
  • Farmers Tax Guide #225 available online.
  • 2016 Wild Blueberry Spring Meetings will be held on the following dates and times: FMI Phoebe.Nylund@maine.edu  or Tel: 207 581-2892
    WALDOBORO - Tuesday, March 22, 2016 from 6:00-9:00 p.m.
    ELLSWORTH - Thursday, March 24, 2016 from 6:00-9:00 p.m.
    MACHIAS - Saturday, March 26, 2016 from 1:00-4:00 p.m.
resourcesFeatured Resources

Do you use an android or ISO app to scan and organize your receipts? If you do please let Donna Coffin know what you are using, when you started using it, and how well it works for you and your operation. Thanks  


How to Frost Seed Pastures -  University of Maine Cooperative Extension discusses the technique of frost seeding to help improve production, and increase diversity, in hayfield grasses and legumes.
UMaine Food Safety Specialist Jason Bolton a Resource to Food Entrepreneurs  - Starting a business in the food industry can be challenging. State licenses, permits, inspections, sanitation procedures and product testing are a few of the hurdles an entrepreneur will face. For many, the foremost question is "Where do I begin?" Fortunately, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension provides guidance for food entrepreneurs. Food safety specialist Jason Bolton is an expert in food processing, manufacturing, facility design, equipment, food testing and more. As part of his job, he travels throughout Maine helping new and established companies manufacture food efficiently and safely. In this video, Bolton talks about the types of services he provides and the relationships he has had with Maine businesses.

Brown Bag Series: Farmers' Market Benchmarks, Thursdays at noon. By the Farmers' Market Federation of New York. Registration required for this free webinar series.
  • February 11: Income Potential for Farmers' Market Farmers
  • February 18: Marketing Standards for Success at Farmers' Markets
  • February 25: Employee Benchmarks for Farmers' Market Sales
  • March 3: Pricing Benchmarks for Successful Farmers' Market Sales
Raising Geese
Wednesday March 2, 2016 at 11:30 am EST - Free
Everything about geese for the beginner - benefits and challenges of incorporating geese into your small farm operation

Visit the UMaine Cooperative Extension online Publications Catalog
 for agriculture information, such as: 
  • When to Call the Veterinarian: Tips for Small Ruminant Producers in Maine # 1049.  As a sheep or goat producer, you will likely face livestock health challenges. Planning ahead by knowing when you would benefit from veterinary help, and budgeting for veterinary care, is part of good livestock management. This fact sheet can help you decide when a veterinarian is needed. 3 pages. © 2016 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free or buy a color copy $0.50
  • Watering Systems for Livestock #7129 A consistent supply of high-quality water is vital for livestock. This fact sheet includes information on quick-move systems, pasture pumps, ram pumps, sling pumps, and solar pumps. 4 pages. © 2002, 2010 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. 5 pages. © 2002 , 2016 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free or buy a color copy $0.75.
  • Silver Scurf of Potato #2444 This fact sheet discusses the symptoms, disease cycle and control of silver scurf in potato production. 2 pages. © 2016 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free: HTML (for browsing) or buy a color copy $0.50.
eventsUpcoming Events
  • February 8, 2016 Soil and Agronomy Workshop, UMPI campus, Presque Isle. FMI 207.764.3361 or pamela.hickey@maine.edu 3 hours of pesticide recertification credits
  • February 11, 18, 25 and March 3, 2016 Noon Brown Bag Series: Farmers' Market Benchmarks webinar.  
  • February 20, 2016 9 am Dover Cove Farmer's Market new vendor presentations. Contact Jackie Robinson for rules and application. Penquis Higher Education Center (PHEC) 50 Mayo St. Dover Foxcroft.
  • February 20, 2016 5 pm Raising and Hatching Baby Chicks by Scott DeMoranville, Maine Poultry Connection at Bangor Blue Seal Feeds, Stillwater Ave, Bangor.
  • March 1, 2016 SASWCD Winter School - Potato Production as Part of an Ecological System, UMaine Extension, Houlton, FMI 207.532.2087 X101 or angela.wotton@me.nacdnet.net 1 hour credit available.
  • March 2, 2016 Invasive Species Network Meeting, Hallowell - UMaine Extension.
  • March 5, 2016 Trees in Transition: Succession Planning for Your Woodlands, 10 am to 3:30 pm at the Parkman Town Office, $40 (includes lunch) Pre-registration required by contacting info@piscataquisswcd.org or 207.564.2321 ext.3.
  • March 5, 2016 Aroostook Sheep Day - Presque Isle
  • March 5, 2016 (Snow date March 6), MOFGA's Spring Growth Conference: Soils 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Registration (includes lunch): $75 individual, $100 couples, $50 students and apprentices. FMI and to register, please visit http://mofga.org/Events/SpringGrowthConference
  • March 5, 2016 Beginner Level Sheep Shearing School, Freeport.
  • March 7, 2016 Programs for Maine Foods Businesses - Sanitation - Orono, UMaine Extension
  • March 12, 2016 Alpaca School, Lisbon Falls - UMaine Extension
  • March 15 & 16, 2016 Programs for Maine Food Businesses - Meat and Poultry HACCP, Orono, UMaine Extension.
  • March 15 (Portland), March 16 (Bangor) Vegetable and Fruit School. UMaine Extension
  • March 19, 2016 Grazing Conference - Waterville
  • March 23, 2016 Apple Tree Pruning, 10 am to 2:30 pm, Tudor Farm, Dover Foxcroft. $30 Pre-registration required. Contact Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District to pre-register. info@piscataquisswcd.org or 207.564.2321 ext. 3.
  • March 23, 2016 Maine Grain Conference Northern Maine Community College, Presque Isle, click here to register. 2 hours credit available.
  • March 23, 2016 Maine Department of Education Farm to School Meeting, 8:00-12:30,
    Augusta Armory $20.00. All proceeds from registration will support the Maine Local Produce Fund. School nutrition professional participants will earn 4 hours of professional standards. FMI: Stephanie Stambach, stephanie.stambach@maine.gov
  • March 24, 2016 Penobscot and Hancock County SWOAM Meeting, Holden Town Hall, Holden FMI 207.989.6158 or redspruce@myfairpoint.net 2 hours credit available in Forestry Right of Way
  • April 2, 2016 Livestock 101 at the University of Maine Witter Center, Orono.
  • April 9, 2016 Cultivating Our Community, 10 am to 3 pm Mixer at 3:30 pm at East Sangerville Grange. Watch for more information.
  • April 15-16, 2016 34th National Pesticide Forum, University of Southern Maine, Portland. An opportunity for grassroots advocates, scientists, and policy makers to share efforts and build local, state, and national strategies for strength and growth. FEE: $20-$170
    Registration & FMI: here
  • May 20 - 22, 2016 Northeast Livestock Expo, Windsor
subscriptionNewsletter Subscription Information 
The Central Maine Farming Newsletter (CMFN), now received by over 775 readers, has been offered as an educational resource by University of Maine Cooperative Extension for over 10 years. As of January 1, 2015, the CMFN will be transitioning to electronic-only delivery. There will still be 
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. 
 3) A third option is to come into the Piscataquis, Penobscot or Waldo County Extension Office 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.

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.
quickQuick Links
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.
weatherLocal Weather Anytime
Many farming activities are driven by the weather.  Our local National Weather Service in Caribou has meteorologists on staff 24 hours a day.  They are willing to talk with you about rain predictions for your town.  Give them a call at 492-0180.  Or check out their online detailed maps at  http://www.weather.gov/car/.

Need Pesticide credits?  Check out the   Maine Board of Pesticide credit calendar.  Many approved pesticide applicator re-certification programs are listed.

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.

The 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)