June 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.
armedArmed 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.

berryPenn State Researchers Hope to Extend the Berry Growing Season in the Northeast

"National demand for fresh strawberries and raspberries is strong and growing, but most domestic production occurs in select regions of the United States with the most suited climate," said Kathleen Demchak, senior extension associate in the  Department of Plant Science.
"Growers in the Northeast are in a great position geographically to supply more berries to consumers. But our growing season is short, temperatures are variable and rainy weather during harvest can be a big problem."
At the 
Horticulture Research Farm at Penn State , Demchak and colleagues have grown a wide variety of crops in 32 high tunnels (6 feet or higher), launching a widespread adoption of season-extension technologies by growers.
Now, 18 of those tunnels are devoted solely to growing strawberries and raspberries, while over an acre of low tunnels (3 feet or lower) are being used for growing strawberries. Researchers keep daily detailed records of tunnel conditions, plant health, and the quantity and quality of fruit.
Over the years, the researchers found that with a combination of the right cultivars and season-extension technologies, they could extend the strawberry production season from four weeks to at least five months, and the raspberry harvest season from three-to-four weeks to four months, albeit with a few peaks and dips in production.
Yield of strawberries doubled, and yields of raspberries doubled, tripled or quadrupled compared to the field, depending on production methods. In addition, the group eliminated the use of pesticides, relying totally on natural enemies for pest control, while improving the quality and shelf life of both berries.
Encouraged by the tunnel data, the researchers now are improving their strategies by studying the effects of various tunnel coverings infused with ultraviolet (UV) light blockers and stabilizers and infrared (IR) light blockers.
"Therefore, if we can control UV light in the tunnels by channeling its positive effects and limiting the negative, we hope to see an improvement in growth and reduction of disease," Demchak said.

silvo  Silvopasture Benefits Animal Welfare and Productivity
In a study in Virginia, reported in the  Temperate Agroforester,  showed that silvopasture delivered equivalent weight gains in sheep while improving animal welfare. Although the silvopasture system had 30% less forage availability compared to treeless systems, lambs had equivalent weight gains. Researchers believe that greater animal comfort provided by shade contributed to the productivity of the silvopasture system.
Integrating trees and shrubs with other enterprises on a farm can create additional sources of income, spread farm labor throughout the year, and increase the productivity of those other enterprises -- all while protecting soil, water, and wildlife. Such "agroforestry" systems include alleycropping, silvopasture, windbreaks, forest farming for nontimber forest products, and riparian buffer strips. While they clearly offer economic and ecological advantages, these agroforestry systems also involve complex interactions that complicate their management. When designing an agroforestry enterprise, you should research the marketing possibilities and include the agroforestry system in the total business plan for the farm. NCAT ATTRA has a publication that presents an overview of common agroforestry practices, evaluating and planning considerations, marketing opportunities, several case studies, and an extensive list of further resources. New opportunities related to climate change include renewable-energy production and the potential for earning carbon credits.
Photo: Edwin Remsberg
tomatoCherry Tomatoes in Hoop Houses - Prune or No Prune, That is the Question
Results of vegetable research providing market growers with an unexpected insight into the production challenges associated with the increasingly popular cherry-type tomatoes. The project report, which includes data on labor efficiency, weed control, and brown leaf mold susceptibility, is posted here.
'This research responded to growers struggling with controlling the rampant growth of the cherry-type tomato plants and questioning whether the time they spend pruning this vigorous tomato is worth the effort,' said project leader Amy Ivy, a vegetable specialist with the Cornell University Cooperative Extension Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program.
The Northern NY trial evaluated and compared the labor, efficiency, and yield of three different tomato training systems: an intensively pruned single leader, a standard double leader, and a less intensively pruned four-leader system.
'Most growers feel the intensive system takes too much time, but our research showed that it took less time to train and harvest than the less intensive system which became a tangle of vines that slowed the work,' noted Ivy.
'Comparing yield and efficiency of harvest with each treatment revealed additional significant difference to help growers decide which system may work best for their individual time and income goals,' Ivy added.
interestItems of Interest
  • The Maine Risk Management and Crop Insurance Education Program is seeking the input from farmers about the Federal crop insurance program.  This online survey should take 10 minutes to complete and responses will be anonymous.   Here is the link to the survey.  
  • American Chestnut Rescue will Succeed, But Slower Than Expected. The nearly century-old effort to employ selective breeding to rescue the American chestnut, which has been rendered functionally extinct by an introduced disease -- Chestnut blight, eventually will succeed, but it will take longer than many people expect , according to  Kim Steiner, professor of forest biology, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.
  • Fund-a-Farmer Project by Food Animal Concerns Trust awards grants to increase the numbers of animals raised humanely. They also have a booklet "Get Your Farm Funded: a Guide for Farmers to Find and Apply for Grants (pdf)."
  • New Farmers' Market in Greenville. Moosehead Farmers' Market. Fridays 11 am to 2 pm FMI call 207-431-7069.
  • Local Fiber Spinners - every 4th Saturday 9:30 am to 11:30 pm Basement of Abbot Free Library, Dexter. FMI starwalkr@gmail.com
  • 5 Maine Farm Stands that Offer More Than Fresh Produce, by Mary Ruoff, Maine Today. She highlights 5 stands that are listed in the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry website GetRealMaine.com.  You can list what your farm has available for sale, where you sell it, contact information, etc. all for free! If you sell direct to consumers and are not listed you are missing a great opportunity! 
  • 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.
  • 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

Designing, Evaluating, and Using Wearable Technology for Agriculture Workers' Safety and Health by AgriSafe Network. June 5, 2017 noon to 1 pm CDT. 

Eglu Omlet Coop - Now for the chicken that has everything. 
Hazelnuts: The Good, The Bad & the Ugly Farminar by Practical Farmers of Iowa

Visit the UMaine Extension online Publications Catalog    for agriculture information, such as: 
  • Fiddlehead: Ostrich Fern #2540  Fiddleheads from ostrich ferns are an iconic spring edible in Maine. Fiddleheads are important to Maine's economy, with pickers, retailers, and woodland owners earning extra income from them each spring. Includes information on biology, identification and the when to pick. 4 pages. © 2012 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free or buy a color copy $1.00.
  • The Pond Guide Book #2488 Constructed ponds of all shapes and sizes dot the American countryside, for many different purposes: irrigation, fish, recreation, nature study, and real estate value, among others. A pond creates its own microenvironment, bringing peepers, dragonflies, and cool morning mists to the landscape. Yet mistakes in pond management can affect people and wildlife downstream and downhill: water does not recognize property boundaries. This book, developed by faculty from Cornell and Penn State, addresses construction, water chemistry, aquatic weed management, fish stocking, wildlife (wanted and unwanted), maintenance, safety, and more. 76 pages, 2007. by NRAES $19.75

eventsUpcoming Events
  • June 3 & 4, 2017  17th Annual Maine Fiber Frolic, Windsor, ME and Wool Pool 8 am to noon on June 3rd. FMI on the wool pool contact Lindsey Rice at 207-683-2251.
  • June 9, 2017 Pond Construction and Maintenance Clinic 9 am to 3 pm, Dover Foxcroft. Sponsored by the Piscataquis and Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation Districts. $30 fee. Click here for more information & registration. 
  • June 10, 2017 4-H Horse Clinic A 4-H Horse Clinic at the University of Maine Witter Farm in Old Town (very close to UMaine campus) from 10:00 to 2:00. Topics at the clinic will be horse dentistry, prevention and management of colic, and the dos and don'ts of trailering a horse. For more information or to register for the event, contact Sheila Norman at sheila.norman@maine.edu or call 942-7396.
  • June 10, 2017 and every 2nd and 4th Saturday, Farm to Table Breakfast 9 am to 11:30 am sponsored by the United Farmer Veterans of Maine at 63 Columbia St Bangor, Maine with Veteran grown food, veterans cooking the food, and veterans serving the food as well. Please join us on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month for a great veteran breakfast! Questions can be taken at 207-322-7625.
  • June 10,2017 (Jonesboro) How to Inspect Hives for Pests and Disease Join the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry's Apiculturist, Jennifer Lund at one of three open hive training sessions geared towards veterinarians and beekeepers interested in learning more about honey bees and hive inspections. Participants will get a close-up look at the inside of a hive and learn how to inspect hives for pests and diseases. Hive trainings run from 10am-1pm and are free.  For more information contact jennifer.lund@maine.gov
  • June 11, 2017 Farm and Homestead Day - MOFGA, Unity
  • June 15th, 2017 Maine B2B Trade Show, at The Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston: The Maine B2B celebrates business, entrepreneurship, and creativity. Visit Rural Development staff to learn more about the Business and Cooperative Program loans, grants, and guarantees. Rural Development can assist with nearly every aspect of business development, from marketing to land acquisition, to refinancing.
  • June 16, 2017 Applications of UAVs/Drones and LiDAR in Agriculture and Forestry, 8:30 am to 4:15 pm, UMaine Presque Isle Campus Center. Sponsored by the Maine GIS Users Group. FMI and to register click here
  • June 17, 2017 Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Come and learn all you need to know and more about living in rural Maine. All workshops are hands-on. Free! More information.
  • June 19 -23, 2017 Maine Start Up & Create Week - Portland. We welcome both "startups" (innovative and high-growth teams, regardless of the size or age of the company) and "creators" (anybody in the business of making things, from physical to digital), and provide an intimate week of cutting-edge content, opportunities for applied learning, and plenty of connections of the most exciting kind.
  • June 22, 2017 Organic Wild Blueberry Meeting sponsored by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension from 1:00-3:00 p.m.  The meeting will be hosted by Arthur Harvey on Ellsworth Damon's organic wild blueberry field on 158 Thayer Road, Whitefield, Maine.  
    This is an opportunity to get a review on insects, weed diseases and fertilizer updates from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and University of Maine researchers and to network with your fellow organic wild blueberry growers. 
  • June 25th, 2017, Cowabunga 5K and Family Dairy Day in Portland sponsored by the MDACF and Maine Dairy Promotion Board.  The event will feature a 5K run/walk, local farmers, live calves, educational demonstrations, local and state dairy businesses and organizations, and dairy products for attendees.  Proceeds will be donated to the Howard C. Reiche Community School's food pantry, which operates through the summer, as part of the Milk2MyPlate program. FMI   jami@drinkmainemilk.org .
  • June 27th, 2017 Weed Management (Collaboration with MOFGA)  Goranson Farm, 250 River Rd, Dresden, ME.Weed control is a primary challenge in organic farming systems. This workshop will offer ecological and cultural approaches to weed management with UMaine Extension Professional Jason Lilley, University of Maine Professor Eric Gallandt, and farmer expertise from Carl Goranson. Potluck to follow.  Fee: FREE, RSVP: Email extension.rlreception@maine.edu (RSVP required to attend) 
  • June 27, 28, or 29, 2017 Blueberry Field Training for Integrated Crop Management Scout Training. Click here for times and locations. 
  • July 6, 2017 Sustainable Agriculture Field Day at Rogers Farm. FM 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 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.
  • 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.
quick  Quick Links  
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)