July 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.
twilight UMaine Soil Health Research Twilight Tour

SOIL HEALTH  is the theme this year. Topics will include:
  • Soil health tests and demonstrations
  • Opportunities to reduce tillage in potato-grain rotations
  • Undersowing cover crops in small grains: Beyond red clover and fall plowing
  • Nurse cropping to prevent erosion in potatoes
  • Can soil health reduce the negative impacts of weather variability on crops?
  • Selecting winter rye varieties for different uses: cover cropping, mulching, or grain
  • Band sowing and cultivation to control weeds in small grains and other crops
When:  Thursday, July 6, 2017
Time: 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM (registration starts at 4:15 PM)
Where: UMaine Rogers Research Farm, 914 Bennoch Road, Old Town, ME
Cost:  FREE! and no pre-registration required
Pesticide Credits Available: 1
CCA Credits Available: 2.5
Refreshments provided on site.
Speakers Include:
  • John Jemison, Extension Soil and Water Quality Specialist
  • Audrey Laffley, MS Student, School of Food and Agriculture
  • Ellen Mallory, Extension Sustainable Agriculture Specialist
  • Margaret McCullough, MS Student, School of Food and Agriculture
  • Tom Molloy, Sustainable Agriculture Research Associate
  • Margaret Pickoff, MS Student, School of Food and Agriculture
  • Brogan Tooley, MS Student, School of Food and Agriculture
For more information, contact:   Ellen Mallory - ellen.mallory@maine.edu 207-581-2942
DIRECTIONS : The UMaine Rogers Farm address is 914 Bennoch Rd, Old Town, ME.  It is located on Rt. 16, 1.5 miles north of Stillwater.  Take exit 193 off I-95 and head east toward Old Town on Stillwater Ave.  At the third set of lights, turn left onto Bennoch Rd. (Rt. 16).  Rogers Farm is 1.5 miles north on Bennoch Rd.

Armed to Farm Training
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is partnering with United Farmer Veterans of Maine (UFVME) to bring its Armed to Farm (ATF) training to the Northeast. Veterans who want to attend the week-long training in Bangor, Maine, can apply online now.
ATF allows veterans and their spouses to experience sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and explore career opportunities in agriculture. At ATF, participants learn about business planning, budgeting, recordkeeping, marketing, livestock production, fruit and vegetable production, and more. Participants gain a strong foundation in the basic principles of operating a sustainable farm. In addition, ATF attendees join a nationwide network of supportive farmer-veterans and agricultural advisors.
ATF trainings include an engaging blend of farm tours, hands-on activities, and interactive classroom instruction. NCAT Sustainable Agriculture specialists will teach the training sessions. Staff from USDA Agencies and experienced crop and livestock producers will provide additional instruction.
Applications are available at https://www.ncat.org/atf_ME/ and are due by July 12, 2017.
This training is for veterans in the Northeast, with preference given to those in Maine. The number of participants will be limited. NCAT will notify selected participants by July 19. Spouses are welcome to apply as well.
Dates, Location, and Cost
Armed to Farm will take place August 21-25, 2017, in Bangor, Maine. Participants will attend classroom sessions and travel to local farms, including several successful, veteran-owned operations, for hands-on learning experiences.
The event is free for those chosen to attend; lodging, transportation to local farms, and most meals will be provided. Participants must pay their own travel costs to and from the event.
NCAT is organizing and hosting this Armed to Farm event in partnership with the UFVME. Financial support comes from the USDA's Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.
Please contact Margo Hale at margoh@ncat.org or 479-442-9824.
localfoodHow Do You Define "Local Foods?"
Farmers' markets and local foods are popular among today's consumers. Despite this popularity, researchers have only begun to fully understand the farmers' market consumer. The study discussed in this article involved a sample of 485 farmers' market consumers from across the United States and was designed to provide a better understanding of how farmers' market consumers define the term "local food"  and what characteristics these consumers expect from local foods. Differences among the definitions and characteristics relative to demographic variables were explored. 
People are more likely to use driving distance in comparison to geopolitical boundaries when defining "local food." People living in small cities and towns were more likely to identify "local foods" as those produced within 50 miles of their residence while people in large metropolitan areas were more likely to define "local foods" as those foods produced within 100 miles of their residence. 
People also endow "local foods" with a variety of characteristics that the foods may or may not actually have. It is suggested that Farmers' Market vendors offer descriptions, pictures and stories that speak to the safe, responsible production of the foods they offer. 
Over half of the people expect their foods to be organically grown. The association of organic and local is a concerning misconception that points to the need for consumer education regarding local foods and explanations of how "local" is defined and what the similarities and differences are among local, organic, sustainable and conventionally products foods. 
With the differences among consumer groups in how they define "local" and the characteristics they expect of local foods, it is understandable that this hinders the adoption of a nationally recognized definition of the term "local food." 
Source: Different Definitions and Great Expectations: Farmers' Market Consumers and Local Foods, Journal of Extension, June 2017, vol 55 no 3. 
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  donna.coffin@maine.edu .
crisisLong After the 1980s Farm Crisis, Farmers Still Taking Lives at a High Rate
The number of suicides among farmers and farmworkers in the United States has remained stubbornly high since the end of the 1980s farm crisis, much higher than workers in many other industries, according to a new study from the University of Iowa.
The study examined suicides and homicides among farmers and agricultural workers across the country from 1992 to 2010 and found 230 farmers committed suicide during that time, an annual suicide rate that ranged from 0.36 per 100,000 farmers to 0.95 per 100,000. The rate is well above that of workers in all other occupations, which never exceeded 0.19 per 100,000 during the same time period.
The 1992 to 2010 rate is not as high as the 1980s, when more than 1,000 farmers took their own lives because they were losing their farms to foreclosure, but study co-author Corinne Peek-Asa, professor of occupational and environmental health in the UI College of Public Health, says the new numbers still are excessive.
"Occupational factors such as poor access to quality health care, isolation, and financial stress interact with life factors to continue to place farmers at a disproportionately high risk for suicide," she says.
Peek-Asa says farmers are different from workers in most other fields in that their work is a significant part of their identity, not just a job. When the farm faces difficulties, many see it as a sign of personal failure.
"They struggle with their ability to carve out the role they see for themselves as farmers. They can't take care of their family; they feel like they have fewer and fewer options and can't dig themselves out," Peek-Asa says. "Eventually, suicide becomes an option."
Peek-Asa says policy solutions would include improving rural economies, increasing social networks in rural areas, and improving access to health care and mental health services in rural areas.*

UMaine Extension has a website: Helping Farmers Cope with Stress. and 
Maine Statewide Crisis and Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-888-568-1112.

*The study, "Trends and Characteristics of Occupational Suicide in Farmers and Agriculture Workers," was published in the Journal of Rural Health. It was co-authored by Kelley Donham, UI professor emerita in the College of Public Health; Marizen Ramirez of the University of Minnesota and visiting associate professor in the UI College of Public Health; and Wendy Ringgenberg of Des Moines University.
interestItems of Interest
  • The USDA Office of Tribal Relations (OTR) serves as a single point of contact for Tribal issues and works to ensure that relevant programs and policies are efficient, easy to understand, accessible, and developed in consultation with the American Indians and Alaska Native constituents they impact. If you have a question or suggestion on the format or distribution of these newsletters, please contact Josiah Griffin, Lead Outreach Coordinator, Office of Tribal Relations, at Josiah.Griffin@osec.usda.gov. 
  • The Maine Sheep Breeders Association is looking for breeders interested in participating in a mentor program. We would like to pair up novice breeders and experienced breeders for our program. The association is also forming producer groups for marketing and other topics of interest. It is only $20 a year to join our organization. Please email me at: sarah.s.farrell@maine.edu for more information.
  • UMaine Dept. of Physics and Astronomy has posted it's Science Summer Camp Schedule for youth. 
  • Capability, Quality, Food Safety, Consistency & Sustainability - Small-scale Farmers Supplying Produce Commercially: Five Issues & Associated Buyer Questions & Implications for Extension. Journal of Extension Article.  
  • Summary of how the Farm Bill affects Maine - developed by Farm Bureau.
  • MOFGA received a $600,000 USDA CIG grant to promote natural resources protection through the development of specialized loan products which will stimulate and reward conservation practices. Both short-term loans and small farm mortgage products will be made available through the Maine Harvest Credit Union. The project will also pilot the use of NRCS's Resource Stewardship Evaluation Tool as an assessment tool for the financial products. 
  • Later this fall it will be legal to offer spirits for sale and allow tastings at farmers' markets with more than 6 vendors. Here is a copy of LD1536.
  • Maine Geological Survey website with interactive map of Maine's Mineral Resources. There is more than slate in central Maine! 
  • Maine Hay Directory - You can list hay that you have for sale or you can look for hay to buy. Listings are free.
  • Agrichemical and Fertilizer Suppliers in Maine - compiled by David E. Yarborough, Extension Blueberry Specialist, University of Maine.
  • Did you know you can buy reused vinyl from billboards for use as tarps to cover hay, etc.? Go to Billboard Vinyls. 
  • Open Positions:
    • UMaine Extension -Ornamental Hort Spec., 4H STEM Spec., 4H Youth knox/Lincoln, Franklin, Hancock, & Oxford Cty, Temp. Field Teacher Oxford Cty, Home Hort Oxford Cty, Admin. Spec.
    • MOFGA has two positions open: Organic Dairy & Livestock Specialist and Organic Crop & Conservation 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)

2017-2018 New England Small Fruit Management Guides  now available. 
Copies can be purchased through UMaine Extension at Highmoor Farm. Cost of the guide is $12 plus $2.63 postage. Please send checks made payable to UMaine Cooperative Extension to Highmoor Farm, P.O. Box 179, Monmouth, ME 04259, attention Pam St. Peter. FMI call 207-933-2100 or pamela.stpeter@maine.edu 

  • Growing in Maine: A Lifetime of FarmingThe latest video in our Growing Maine series tells the story of Cedar Run Farm in Bradford, Maine, a natural grass-fed beef and pork operation. Leanne and Billy Waters started the farm when their kids were young. Their children, Cierra and Colby, are active in the farm operation. Their participation started in the UMaine Extension 4-H program and grew into a full-scale beef operation. Leanne, Cierra and Colby talk about the past, and the vision for the future, as each of the youth plan on staying connected to agriculture when they finish high school. 
  • Market Value, UMaine Today Video featuring Jason Bolton and industry partners - Bolton works tirelessly throughout Maine advising the state's established and budding food industries giving them the tools they need to succeed and grow.
  • Tick Check, UMaine Today video featuring Griffin Dill, Anne Lichtenwalner, John Rebar, and others.  As the number of ticks and the illnesses they spread rise around the state, University of Maine researchers in multiple disciplines are conducting research in an effort to protect residents, animals and the environment. UMaine's new Plant, Animal and Insect Laboratory, slated to open by early 2018, will offer tick identification, as well as safe screening of tick-borne diseases.
Visit the UMaine Extension online Publications Catalog    for agriculture information, such as: 
  • Managing Insect Pests of Sweet Corn #5101 This Sweet Corn IPM fact sheet describes monitoring, scouting, and pest control procedures for the three major insect pests of sweet corn in New England: European corn borer, corn earworm, and fall armyworm. Includes insert with 12 color photographs as well as sturdy chart with spray thresholds to post near your sprayer. 8 pages. © 1996 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free or buy a color copy $1.75.
  • The Cost of Preserving Food in Maine # 4032 University of Maine Cooperative Extension collected data from 2009-2016 on the cost of preserving food. There are many ways to preserve food, such as canning, freezing, and drying. Deciding which method to use depends on the recommended method for the product, your taste preferences, your household storage space, and cost. 7 pages. © 2017 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free or buy a color copy $0.75.
  • Pecking and Cannibalism by Hens: How to Stop It? # 2113. Chronic pecking or "picking," by other birds can cause many problems in a flock. Learn the steps you can take to prevent and cure this problem. 2 pages. © 2017. Download it for free or buy a color copy $0.50.

eventsUpcoming Events
  • July 6, 2017 Sustainable Agriculture Soil Health Research Twilight Tour at Rogers Farm, 914 Bennoch Rd, Old Town. 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Free and no pre-registration. 1-hour pesticide credit and 2.5-hour CCA credits. FMI ellen.mallory@maine.edu 
  • July 6, 2017 Poultry Processing Class- MOFGA, Unity
  • July 7 & 8, 2017 Beef Basics at Aldermere Farm, Rockport. FMI call 236-2739 or e-mail aldermere@mcht.org
  • July 21, 2017 Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training, 9 am to 6 pm, Maine Forest Products Building, 535 Civic Center Dr., Augusta. Brought to you by the MDACF. For fruit and vegetable producers to learn more about produce safety, FSMA Produce Safety Rule, GAP & co-management of natural resources & food safety. Cost is $10 for just snacks and $25 for lunch and snacks. AFDO certificate available. Registration through Kennebec County SWCD. 
  • July 27 & 28, 2017 Kneading Conference
  • July 23, 2017 Open Farm Day sponsored by the MDACF 
  • July 23, 2017 Conservation Biological Control Short Course. 9:00 am - 4:30 pm EDT, MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, 294 Crosby Brook Road, Unity, ME. Course is tailored to the needs of farmers, NRCS, SWCD, Cooperative Extension, and state department of agriculture employees, as well as crop consultants, natural resource specialists, and non-governmental conservation organization staff. Offered by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Registration is $45 per person. Course registration includes the Xerces Society's Conservation Biocontrol Toolkit and a copy of "Farming With Native Beneficial Insects." Please bring a sack lunch - lunch will not be provided. Canceled registrations can be refunded until July 14th, 2017
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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  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
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)