March 2018
Your Monthly News & Updates
surveyVeterinary Feed Directive Survey - 

Managing the health of your herd is a primary responsibility of all farmers. The Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rules that went into effect January 1, 2017 may have impacted how you manage herd health. The rules limited the use of medically important antibiotics to disease prevention, control or treatment, and only when a veterinarian writes a VFD for their use.
Michigan State University Extension, in partnership with Land-Grant Universities nationwide, is conducting a survey of farmers who raise and manage dairy or beef cattle, pigs, sheep or goats. They want to learn about changes that have occurred, in response to the VFD, in terms of your use of antibiotics, health of your herd, and, in your relationship with your veterinarian.
The survey is open from now until April. All responses are confidential and your participation is voluntary. It will take 10-15 minutes to complete. Click to take the survey: VFD Survey. 

Thanks for your help.
Saturday, April 14th from 1 pm to 3 pm
Foxcroft Veterinary Clinic Barn, 1441 Dexter Rd.
Keeping sheep, goats, alpacas and other small ruminants healthy is the focus of this workshop.
Sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension, topics include what is considered normal for specific animals, including nutrition, vaccination schedules, deworming, foot care and basic veterinary care. Dr. Catarina Ruksznis, a large-animal veterinarian in Vermont, will lead the workshop. Ruksznis is originally from Dover-Foxcroft.
Live demonstrations will be held in the barn. Participants must dress for the weather and wear shoes that can be disinfected on-site.
The workshop is free; registration is requested. Register online ( Youth under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. 

For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact More information also is available online (
vegguide2018-2019 New England Vegetable Management Guide Available 
Copies of the 2018-2019 New England Vegetable Management Guide are now available at Highmoor Farm. The guide contains the latest information on management control options for the major vegetable pests as well as scouting information. This guide has been significantly revised and updated. We recommend all earlier editions of the guide be discarded, in favor of this latest edition.
Cost of the guide is $25.00 plus $3.68 postage for a total of $28.68. To order the guides, please send your check made payable to UMaine Cooperative Extension mailed to:  Highmoor Farm, P.O. Box 179, Monmouth, Maine 04259, atten. Pam St. Peter. For more information, contact Pam St. Peter at 933.2100 or
Members of the Maine Vegetable & Small Fruit Growers Association (MVSFGA) or the New England Vegetable & Berry Growers Association receive free copies of the guides. For MVSFGA membership information, contact Bill Jordan at 799.1040.

It is also available online at
cropinsurMarch 15 Deadline for Crop Insurance Approaching
When February rolls around you may be thinking about taxes, seed orders, and other prep for the spring season.  One additional yet important item to consider is that the deadline to enroll spring-seeded crops in crop insurance for 2018 is nearing.  Farmers must meet with a crop insurance agent by March 15 in order to purchase crop insurance or change existing coverage on crops such as sweet corn, field corn, small grains, potato, etc. How do you know if you need crop insurance? One way to help determine this is by answering a few basic questions about your risks and your farm business.
Planning for the weather in all its possible forms is challenging but having various risk management strategies in place is the best way to reduce the impact of a loss.  Along these lines, I heard a farmer at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show say "invest in the things that give yourself the options to help you respond to risks." This could mean a lot of different things depending on the farm.  For example, having irrigation in place would address drought or could provide frost protection.  Investing in high-capacity equipment might give more leeway during a wet spring.  If you don't have a good way to address certain weather risks or one of your approaches falls short, a safety net such as crop insurance is a way to guarantee you'll have some baseline protection in the event of adverse conditions.
How much of your livelihood is derived from your crops? How much do you have invested in your farm?  If you experience a crop failure will you be able to meet loan obligations or maintain your customer base?  If much of your livelihood is derived from the farm, crop insurance may be a good way to protect your investment.  A crop insurance indemnity will never compensate the farmer for the full market value of a crop but it could reduce the financial impact of a loss. The buy-up levels of coverage provide between 50 - 85% protection of your average crop yield or revenue whereas catastrophic or CAT coverage is the lowest level of coverage, protecting 50% of the average crop yield and pays at 55% of the price election.
With nearly one month until the deadline, farmers are encouraged to seek out an agent to find out specific details regarding premium quotes and coverage options.  A portion of premium costs are subsidized by the government and oftentimes the farmer's portion of the premium isn't due until mid-summer.  A list of agents can be found using the agent locator tool:  If you're not producing an  insurable crop, contact your local Farm Service Agency about the Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP).  The NAP program works similar to crop insurance but is available for most crops that farmers cannot get multi-peril crop insurance on, for example, pumpkins, tomatoes, etc.  The NAP program also has a March 15 enrollment deadline.
For more information about policies visit the UMaine Risk Management and Crop Insurance website at Contact Crop Insurance Education Program Manager Erin Roche ( or 207.949.2490).

 Springtime and the jobs that need to get done on the farm may seem never ending. You won't be able to do them all, but how to prioritize them? One tool you can use is the Eisenhower Box. 
Ike separated his tasks into how urgent and how important they are. Urgent things need to be reacted to now or very soon. Important things contribute to the your long term mission, values and goals.  There are four possibilities.

Urgent Not Urgent
Important Do It Yourself Do It Later
Not Important Delegate Someone Else Eliminate

1. Urgent and Important (stuff you do)
2. Important but not Urgent (tasks you schedule to do later)
3. Urgent and Not Important (stuff you delegate)
4. Neither Urgent nor Important (tasks you eliminate)

The Eisenhower Box can be used on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis. For farmers, you can make your work plans and to-do lists in it and then during the season record the activities where you want them to occur in the future. 
Source: Atina Diffley, Time Management & the Eisenhower Box 
by Howla nd Farmers' and Artisans' Market        
Thu, April 12, 2018  
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM EDT
Come enjoy a complete meal made with foods which are all sourced in Maine, most within a 40 mile radius! The menu
includes: Maple Glazed Roasted Carrots, Spinach Salad, Homemade Bread, Apple Crisp, an d of course, Smoked Chicken. You will also have a demonstration on smoking chicken on your grill, learn about UMaine's Witter farm and their pastured poultry study with Dr. Colt Knight, UMaine Extension Livestock Specialist. And hear from the Howland Farmer's and Artisans' Market improvements for the coming season. It will be a great night. All proceeds benefit the Farmers' and Artisans' Market. Door prizes and other raffles available. $10 tickets sold  in advance. Seating is limited.
farmmarkSign Up for Farmers' Market Now
The Maine Federation of Farmers' Markets (MFFM) reminds farmers, food producers, and others interested in joining a Maine farmers' market for the 2018 summer season that they should be finalizing their applications now. Most markets accept applications from new vendors in January and February, and some continue to accept applications through March.
The winter application process is vital for anyone planning to sell at farmers' markets in the coming season. Typically the application is reviewed by a committee, and potential new vendors may also be invited to attend a market meeting to meet the current members and discuss the new vendors products. (Learn more about the process and read our FAQ here.) 
Maine has more than 130 summer farmers' markets, and each is operated locally. To find out whether a particular market is accepting new vendors this year, visit the market's website and social media. The Maine Federation of Farmers' Markets maintains a Facebook page to help connect vendors with markets ( ). Unexpected vacancies may occur at any market, and vendors of less common products (such as bread, fish, and cheese) may have more latitude, but generally, a winter application process is the norm.

interestItems of Interest
    Grants & Loans
  • FSA Microloan Program: The focus of Microloans (up to $50,000) is on the financing needs of small, beginning farmer, niche and non-traditional farm operations, such as truck farms, farms participating in direct marketing and sales such as farmers' markets, CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture), restaurants and grocery stores, or those using hydroponic, aquaponic, organic and vertical growing methods.
  • Do you have an idea that could improve conservation in Maine?  The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is announcing availability of Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate the local development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in Fiscal Year 2018 will be up to $250,000 in Maine. NRCS will consider offering CIGs in the following areas: Forestry, Aquatic Organism Conservation, Soil Health, and Pollinator Conservation. April 16th deadline. Applications online at
resourcesFeatured Resources

Scaling Up Series: Pricing Discussion for Small Producers and Processors - with Dr. Jim McConnon, UMaine Extension Small Business Specialist and Brittany Hopkins, Wise Acre Farm. 11 am March 30th. 
Feeds and Feeding of the Backyard Flock - April 19th at 3 pm. Archived talk will be available.  Whether you have a small, commercial poultry operation or a few chickens in the backyard, proper nutrition is essential to the health and productivity of your birds. This webinar will review some of the basics of poultry nutrition as well as selecting the right feed for your flock or mixing your own feed. The webinar will also look at different feed additives including probiotics and prebiotics. Justin Fowler is an Extension Specialist at the University of Georgia with a specialty in the area of poultry nutrition.

Virtual Field Trip: Blueberries - Ultra Niche Crop Series from Rutgers  <
A 20-minute session on the production and marketing PYO High Bush Blueberries. The video includes on-farm interview with Haines Berry Farm producer Tim Haines. Also, Janet Yunghans of the family owned Littleworth Tree Farm and one of her best customers give tips on marketing to local consumers and advice on using social media for farms. 

Pod Cast: 
Draft Horse Question from ATTRA - NCAT  From time to time, we feature a popular question from ATTRA's Ask an Ag Expert feature on ATTRA: Voices from the Field. In this episode we discuss the question "What Are the Benefits of Using Draft Horses on the Farm." We also discuss the ATTRA Publication:    Draft Animal Power for Farming.

Soils Matter, Get the Scoop, Soil Science Society of American, Feb 2018. 

Visit the UMaine Extension online  Publications Catalog for agriculture information, such as: 

  Why High Tunnel Growing in Maine Might Be a Suitable Enterprise for Persons with Disabilities #1054   Having a disability or chronic illness might prevent or limit an individual from being employed by another person or company in a full-time or part-time basis. However, with appropriate planning, assistive tools, and safety measures in place, farming could be considered suitable employment or self-employment to generate income (or partial income) for a person with limitations.  6 pages. © 2018 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free or  buy a color copy $.075.
Using Your Smartphone to Enhance Your Farm Business in Maine #1061 You likely have a smartphone in your pocket, so why not use it to make your farm business more efficient and more profitable? If your phone is used primarily to make calls, then this fact sheet will help you explore how your phone can help you in your farm business. 4 pages. © 2018 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free or buy a color copy $0.75.
Storey's Guide to Raising Pigs #1113 Learn how to successfully raise your own pigs with a focus on a sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices. Expert tips on making your hog operation more efficient and profitable. Great resource for beginners. Authored by Kelly Klober. 374 pages. From Workman Publishing. $19.95.
Storey's Guide to Raising Sheep #1114 Drawing from years of hands-on experience, Paula Simmons and Carol Ekarius provide expert advice on breed selection, lambing, feeding, housing, pasture maintenance, and medical care. You will also find tips on profitably marketing your meat and fiber products, as well as information on obtaining organic certifications. 438 pages. From Workman Publishing. $19.95
eventsUpcoming Events  
  • March 12, 2018 Maine Greenhouse "Best Practices Workshop", 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, $30/person, Michell Center, Rm 107 Norman Smith Hall & Roger Clapp Greenhouses at the University of Maine in Orono. 
  • March 13, 2018 Is Farming for ME? - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the  United Technology Center, Bangor. $20
  • March 14, 2018  Maine Vegetable & Fruit School at the Bangor Motor Inn Banquet & Conference Center
  • March 14, 2018 Maine Food Business: Sanitation Class, 7:30 am to 5 pm $85 (includes lunch and notebook) 307 Maine Ave., Bangor, ME. Instructors: Dr. Jason Bolton, Food Safety Specialist, UMaine Extension Staff
  • March 15 & 16, 2018 Maine Food Business: Meat & Poultry 2-day class, $250 (includes Sanitation class, notebook and lunch) Sanitation class is a recommended preresquisite for this class.  307 Maine Ave., Bangor, ME. Instructors: Dr. Jason Bolton, Food Safety Specialist, UMaine Extension Staff
  • March 16, 2018 Maine Invasive Species Network (MISN) Annual Meeting 8:00am-4:00pm  at the Maple Hill Farm Inn & Conference Center, Hallowell. Worms, Bugs and Fish-Oh My! Registration here. $10 includes lunch. 4 pesticide recertification credits available.  
  • March 16, 2018 Grazing Conference, 9 am to 3 pm, Alfond Campus, Kennebec Valley Community College, US Route 201, Hinckley, ME. NOTE CHANGE IN DAY OF THE WEEK!
  • March 17, 2018 Present and Likely Future Weather for Central Maine by Ed Hummel, local meteorologist, at the Abbot Memorial Library in Dexter 10am to noon.  Ed has over 45 years forecasting experience as a navy meteorologist and for a private company as well as his current home based local forecasting operation.  He has also taught science in the Dexter school system and has been active in the Dexter Dover Area Towns in Transition (DDATT) for the last 9 years of its existence.  
  • March 17, 2018 Mid-Maine Greenhouse Growers 2018 Annual Spring Meeting, 9:30 a.m. until done at Hutchings' Greenhouse, Eddington FYI  
  • March 19 & 22, 2018 AgrAbility National Training Workshop, the premier training event addressing issues of disability in agriculture. Professionals and consumers from all over the country will participate in four days of plenary sessions, breakouts, tours, networking, and special events. This year's conference headquarters is the  Westin Portland Harborview Hotel  in Downtown Portland.
  • March 20, 2018 Landscape Design Workshop: The Planning Process with Claire Ackroyd at the UMaine Extension Penobscot Office, 307 Maine Ave. (by the airport) Bangor. $30 per person. 
  • March 21 to 25, 2018 Maine Flower Show, Thompson's Point, Portland.
  • March 25, 2018 Maine Maple Sunday
  • March 26, 2018 Is Farming for ME? - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Piscataquis County Extension Office in Dover Foxcroft.$10 Signup through PVAEC      
  • March 27, 2018 Landscape Design Workshop: Principles of Design & Plant Selection with Claire Ackroyd at the UMaine Extension Penobscot Office, 307 Maine Ave. (by the airport) Bangor. $30 per person. 
  • March 27, 2018 Produce Safety Alliance FSMA Grower Training (snow date Mar 29) 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM at the Portland Water District Nixon Development Center, 225 Douglass Street, Portland. To register contact: or 207.892.4700
  • March 29, 2018 Beginning Poultry, 6 pm, MOFGA's Education Center, Unity
  • April 3, 2018 Is Farming for ME? - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the United Technology Center, Bangor. $20 
  • April 5, 2018 Wild Blueberry Spring Meetings, 6 pm to 9 pm Hancock Ext Office, Ellsworth. Also, April 3 at Waldoboro and April 7 at Machias. 
  • April 5, 2018 Kitchen Licensing, 10 am to 4 pm MOFGA, Unity
  • April 12, 2018 Smoking Chicken & Pasture Poultry Research; Howland Farmer' & Artisans' Market Info   with Dr. Colt Knight from 6 pm to 9 pm at the Passadumkeag Town Hall. $10 includes meal. 
  • April 12, 2018 Maine Swine Seminar, 9 am to 3 pm, Viles Arboretum, 153 Hospital St., Augusta. $25/person. To register call 215-4968 or
  • April 14, 2018 Annual Equine Continuing Education. Dover-Foxcroft. Sponsored by Foxcroft Veterinary Services. 
  • April 14, 2018 Keeping Small Ruminants Healthy for sheep, goat & camelid keepers, Dover-Foxcroft. Sponsored by UMaine Extension Piscataquis.
  • April 25, 2018 R espirator Training and Fit Test Clinic hosted by  UMaine Extension, The Maine Board of Pesticide Control, and the Maine Labor Group on Health in Bangor.  Contact Lynne Hazelton  - (207) 781-6099 for more details.
  • May 9, 2018 Organic Farming Principles and Practices, 9:30 am to 4 pm, MOFGA, Unity
  • May 12, 2018 Northern Maine Sheep Producers  Annual Sheep & Goat Health Seminar,  9:00am - 3:30pm,  Presque Isle Extension office -  57 Houlton Road FMI
  • May 16, 2018 Livestock 101: Animal Handling, MOFGA at Misty Brook Farm, Albion.
  • May 17-20, 2018 Northeast Livestock Expo Windsor Fair Grounds, Windsor
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 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)