July - August 2016
Your Monthly News & Updates
radishForage Radish Best Cover Crop
When it comes to the most beneficial cover crops farmers can use to suppress weeds and increase production values, University of New Hampshire scientists have found that forage radish is at the top of the list, according to new research from the
Cover crops are plants that are grown before or after cash crops are planted and harvested. Cover crops are used to protect soil from erosion, improve soil fertility, suppress weeds, and/or provide additional habitat for pollinators and other beneficial organisms. Because they minimize erosion and can help to keep nitrogen and other nutrients from leaching to ground waters or being lost via other pathways, cover crops can be important tools for reducing pollution and other negative environmental impacts associated with agricultural activities.
Researchers examined the performance of eight different cover crops intended to fill the late summer and fall fallow period that occurs between crop harvest in the summer and the following springtime planting of a subsequent cash crop. This fallow period would typically follow the harvest of vegetable crops such as snap beans, broccoli, sweet corn, and spinach, or corn silage.
Their research found that forage radish was consistently among the highest biomass-producing treatments in the fall, provided excellent fall weed suppression, and resulted in some of the highest production values in the test-crop the next season.
Source: UNH Researchers Find Forage Radish is the Cream of Cover Crops, May 2016.
transportNew Study Compares Transportation Energy Efficiency of Local and Conventional Food
After systematically studying the transportation efficiency of local farmers in the Knoxville, TN region, the researchers highlight two main factors that impacted local farmers' competitive advantage in transportation:
(1) Farms located within 25 miles of the downtown market tend to deliver their produce to market at least as efficiently as conventionally distributed foods from California; and
(2) More distant farms need to scale up their production and distribution operations to remain within the competitive transportation zones.
The authors reached a third conclusion: defining travel distance thresholds of cities could provide policy-makers with useful information in planning land use and infrastructure investment projects for local food systems and for designating sustainable geographic boundaries for local food economies.
  Source:New Study Compares Transportation Energy Efficiency of Local and Conventional Food:
Farmers Located Closer to City May Be More Prepared to Withstand Energy Price Shocks, 2016.  
Photo_ Edwin Remsberg
sustain    Principles of Sustainable Agriculture
Taking charge of change, building community relationships, recognizing resource limitations, striving for a high-quality product, and balancing passion with practical business sense are just some principles that tend to make a farmer a role model in sustainable agriculture practices.
University of Florida researchers took the knowledge and expertise of agricultural professionals and combined them with concepts that farmers use to operate their farms to determine what themes define a sustainable farm and a sustainable farmer.  
The nine principles are as follows:
  1. Sustainable farmers anticipate change ­- they recognize, accept, plan for, and create change.
  2. Sustainable farmers recognize and identify limitations and resources and create strategies to develop their resources and to minimize and overcome limitations.
  3. Sustainable farmers build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with individuals, institutions, and organizations based on a sense of responsibility to the community and the need to give back to the community.
  4. Sustainable farms invest in their employees to create a loyal, dedicated, and engaged workforce that shares responsibility for the success of the farming operation.
  5. Sustainable farmers are not satisfied with average business practices or products; high quality characterizes every component of their business.
  6. Sustainable farming operations are management-intensive, distribute responsibility and decision-making among employees, draw upon diverse skill sets in management, and integrate management functions and decisions across the farm operation.
  7. Sustainable farms are businesses first and foremost, but profits are used to grow the business and to address broader social and environmental goals.
  8. Sustainable farmers take appropriate risks, incur reasonable debt, and make investments based on mid-to long-term challenges and opportunities.
  9. Sustainable farmers have a passion for farming reflected in their dedication, integrity, and honesty as professionals, but their passion is practical because they understand that the success of the business makes it possible to pursue their passion.
"The degree to which these principles incorporate key ideas about the environmental, social, and economic components of sustainability varies," said Moore. Nonetheless, most of the research focusing on concepts about environmental, social, and economic sustainability is reflected in the operating principles of these businesses. This suggests that these principles are relevant for the practice of sustainable agriculture."
interestItems of Interest

  • Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Proclaims August 7-13 "National Farmers Market Week"
    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today signed a proclamation declaring Aug. 7-13, 2016, as "National Farmers Market Week." This year marks the 17th annual National Farmers Market Week to honor and celebrate the important role that farmers markets play in local economies.
  • Snap Shot Week - Capturing the story of Maine's markets and of some of their devoted friends is the goal of Snapshot Week - the same week as National Farmers Market Week. Participating markets will be encouraging shoppers to tell the story of their market through photos, shared memories, special events and surveys. To learn more about Snapshot Week and to find a farmers' market in your area, visit  http://www.mainefarmersmarkets.org
  • Spotted Wing Drosophila update and management information available. This pest affects strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Their numbers are on the rise!
  • Corn Ear Worm Threat is low this week. Updates posted on the website.
  • As of July 29, no potato late blight has been reported anywhere within the state of Maine. For the latest information on potato late blight, please call the hotline at (207) 760-9ipm (760-9476) or 1-888-use-umce (1-888-873-8623).
  • Net Zero Poultry Layer House being built in Alberta, Canada. Will use insulation, solar panels and heat recovery system to reduce energy needs.
  • Food Sampling Policy updated for Farmers' Market vendors. The State of Maine Dept of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry updated the food sampling policy to give farmers and others provide samples best practices when providing samples to their customers for tasting.
  • 2015 Maine Wild Blueberry Grower Survey Results. Last year researchers contacted Maine wild blueberry grower to get a sense of the types of management practices they use, where they get their information, size of farm, yield and price information.
  • Intercropping Buckwheat with Squash to Reduce Insect Pests and Disease Incidence and Increase Yield by Janine Razze, University of Florida. Found strip cropping buckwheat on either side of zucchini reduced insect and disease pressure by attracting beneficial insects.
  • A practical guide to differential diagnosis in poultry. Correctly identifying problems on the poultry farm and their influencing factors goes a long way to finding a workable solution.
  • Maine Hay Directory - You can list hay that you have for sale or you can look for hay to buy. Listings are free.
  • Two UMaine Extension Positions - Livestock Educator position has been re-advertised. Salary range is $58,000 - $70,000 commensurate with education and experience for this full time position housed in Orono. Also, a Maine Food and Agriculture Center Coordinator/Professional with salary range from $13,000 to $15,500 for this part time (20 hour/week) position to be housed in Orono.
resourcesFeatured Resources

USDA Launches Resource for Farmers, Ranchers - See  www.FarmAnswers.org for a new USDA resource to help farmers and ranchers get easy to access, reliable information for technical assistance in getting their business started. Here find online courses, videos, presentations, apps, and other materials.
The American Lamb Board is an industry-funded research and promotions commodity board that represents all sectors of the American Lamb industry including producers, feeders, seed stock producers and processors has an American Lamb Locator  that customers can find local source of wholesale or retail lamb by zip code. Recipes are included that farms selling direct to consumers could print off.  

The new series of farm-to-fair videos released by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry:
SARE Offers Free Online Sustainable Agriculture Courses Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) is offering three free, online, self-paced sustainable agriculture courses. These include Sustainable Agriculture Principles and Concept Overview, Strategic Farm/Ranch Planning and Marketing, and a new course on Agricultural Ecosystem Management. This program is designed primarily for Cooperative Extension and Natural Resources Conservation Service personnel and
is open to farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural professionals nationwide.

The Lean Farm: How to minimize waste, increase efficiency, and maximize value and profits with less work by Ben Hartman. Available at commercial bookstores. 
Visit the UMaine Cooperative Extension online Publications Catalog
 for agriculture information, such as:
  • Echinococcus granulosus canadensis (EG) in Maine Moose: Suggestions for Dog Owners #1002 EG is a very small tapeworm that has a two part life-cycle: one in canids (coyotes/foxes/domestic dogs) and the second in ruminant-type animals, such as moose or sheep. Learn how moose, canids, and even humans can be exposed and how to prevent infection. 2 pages. © 2013 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free or buy a color copy. $0.50. 
  • Best Ways to Wash Fruits and Vegetables   #4336Are the fruit and vegetable washes you see in the supermarket necessary? This fact sheet weighs the effectiveness of different ways of washing produce in reducing food-borne illness. Includes video for online viewing. 3 pages. © 2004, 2011, 2013 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free or buy a color copy $0.50.It was our most viewed publication with 55,332 views.
eventsUpcoming Events
  • August 7 - 13 Farmers' Market Week Celebrations and Snap Shot Week 
  • August 9 UMaine Extension Plant Clinic 2 pm to 6 pm at Dover Cove Farmers' Market, Rt. 7, Dover-Foxcroft.
  • August 16 Bangor Energy Expo 3 p.m. to  7 p.m. at Cross Insurance Center, 515 Main St, Bangor is free and open to the public.  Energy Efficiency vendors will be attending with information on weatherization, insulation, and energy efficient heating systems.
    For more information:  (207) 992-4284;   bangormaine.gov/energysmartbangor 
  • August 17 Lake Smart Workshop, 9 am to 1 pm Greenville Town Office. Free. To register call 207-564-2321 ext. 3, info@piscataquisswcd.org
  • August 24 - 25 Maine Farm Days at Misty Meadow Farm in Clinton. FMI 622-7847 x3 There are  "Pesticide Credits" available through the UMaine Cooperative Extension Service if you need those. The workshops will cover issues of
    • Pest and Weed Identification,
    • Plant Diseases,
    • Forage Quality,
    • Integrated Pest Management,
    • Pesticide Storage
  • August 25 - 28 Piscataquis Valley Fair, Dover-Foxcroft
  • September 10 Northern Aroostook Rural Living Day, Aroostook Farm Museum, Houlton
  • September 11 - 12 New England Made Giftware and Specialty Food Show, Sturbridge, MA. For folks thinking about getting into the wholesale end of business. 
  • September 23 - 25 Common Ground Fair, Unity. mofga.org
  • September 28 - 29 Tentative schedule for presentations by Extension Livestock Educator Candidates in Orono. Contact Donna Coffin for specific times.
  • October 6 Buying Meat from Local Farmers 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm Piscataquis County Extension Office, Dover Foxcroft. Sign up through Penquis Valley Adult Education Collaborative.
  • October 12 Buying Meat from Local Farmers 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm NOKOMIS High School, Newport. Sign up through RSU28 Adult Ed.
  • October 28 Piscataquis Extension Annual Meeting 6 pm to 8:30 pm, Dover Foxcroft Congregational Church in Dover-Foxcroft.
  • November 3 Scaling Up - A Walk Through Sodexo's Maine Course Initiative...Selling to Sodexo 101 Understanding Our Supply Chain and Networking Opportunities, Wells Commons, UMaine Campus, Orono. More details later.
  • November 9 Buying Meat from Local Farmers 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm Bucksport High School. Sign up through RSU Adult Ed.
  • November 19 - 20 Harvest Festival, Cross Center, Bangor
subscription  Newsletter 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.
weather  Local 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.
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)