May 2016
Your Monthly News & Updates

2015 University of Maine Cooperative Extension Annual Report

Putting university research to work in homes, businesses, farms and communities for over 100 years.
Features highlights of recent accomplishments and the difference we make in the lives of Maine citizens and their communities.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension's ongoing focus
areas continue to be the Maine Food System through research and outreach related to agriculture, aquaculture, food processing, distribution, business education, food safety, and human nutrition; and Youth Development through 4-H programs with a focus on the STEM disciplines. These programs are well supported in a variety of ways by a planned program focused in  Sustainable Community and Economic Development.

(pdf) for crops produced in 2015. USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Northeast Regional Field Office collects, analyzes, and estimates fruit and vegetable prices and yields at the request of USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). Funding was provided by the State Departments of Agriculture in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. This data series provides a valuable tool for growers to use in making production and marketing decisions. Here is a sampling of some of the information this report contains. Click on the above title to download the whole 16 page report.
Crop  No. Farms
in Maine
Av. Yield
Av. Price
(per pound)
Tame Blueberries  241 
Raspberries  229 
Strawberries  221  6,000  $2.65 
Asparagus  136  2,200  $5.80 
Garlic  40   1,200  $9.00
 Snap Beans   574  3,100  $1.15
 Fresh Peas   119  2,600  $2.50
 Tomatoes  625  9,000  $2.15
 Sweet Corn   418  714 dz/A   $3.83/ dz 
hungerCan't Harvest All Your Crop? Consider Gleaning

Begun in 2000, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension's Maine Harvest for Hunger program is a grassroots effort to encourage gardeners, farmers, businesses, schools, civic groups and others to donate high quality fruits and vegetables to citizens in need.
Through county-based networks, donated produce is delivered to food pantries, soup kitchens, community meals, and individuals across the state.
Farmers with crops that they aren't going to be able to harvest that are left in the field, harvested or left over at the end of a Farmers' Market day, can contact their local Harvest for Hunger Coordinator.
Some farmers may be concerned about liability issues with folks coming on their farm to harvest. The Maine Bureau of Insurance has a booklet "Insuring Your Farm... The Basics of Property & Liability Coverage." (pdf) Also, there is a Maine statue that deals with Limited Liability for Recreational or Harvesting Activities.

plantlistMaine Native Plant Vendor List Being Updated
Extension Bulletin 2502 , which lists Maine businesses that sell native plants, is being updated, says Dr. Lois Berg Stack of UMaine Cooperative Extension. This list has been used by thousands of gardeners, to identify businesses that sell native trees, shrubs, perennials, ferns, vines and groundcovers. To be listed in the new online bulletin, please visit by the end of May and answer the questions that will help Extension accurately list your business. It will take less than 5 minutes. The new Bulletin 2502 will be posted on June 1. One question on the website asks if you sell native plants. For your reference, you can see a list of commonly sold native plants here. 
UMaine Dairy Cow Sets State Record for Butterfat Production
Holstein Association USA, the world's largest dairy cattle breed organization, has verified the recent production record of UM Eden Padme as a new Maine state record for butterfat production in her age group.
Padme is a member of the dairy herd at the University of Maine's J.F. Witter Teaching and Research Center in Orono.
At 2 years and 8 months of age, Padme produced 34,280 pounds of milk, with 1,649 pounds of butterfat and 973 pounds of protein in a 350-day lactation. Which means she averaged more than 11 gallons of milk containing 4.7 pounds of butter daily for a year.
High milk production results from proper management and genetics, according to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
For more information, contact David Marcinkowski, a UMaine Extension dairy specialist and associate professor of animal and veterinary science, at 581.2740 or 
interestItems of Interest
  • Maine Hay Directory - You can list hay that you have for sale or you can look for hay to buy. Listings are free.
  • Strawberry IPM Newsletter - first issue of the year that covers major strawberry pests - Clipper, Tarnished Plant Bug, Mites, Weevils, Grubs, Gray Mold, Red Stele, Mildew, and Leaf Spot.  
  •  Portable Storage and Handling Loans U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide a new financing option to help farmers purchase portable storage and handling equipment. Producers can invest in equipment like conveyers, scales or refrigeration units and trucks that can store commodities before delivering them to markets. Producers do not need to demonstrate the lack of commercial credit availability to apply.
  • USDA Survey on Honey Bee Colonies (pdf)- found that colonies are down 8 percent for operations with five or more colonies from last year at this time. Varroa Mites were the top colony stressor with 43% of colonies affected in April to June 2015. About a quarter of the loss in this past quarter was attributed to colony collapse disorder.
  •  New England Made Giftware & Specialty Foods Show - is accepting applications for Sept. 11 to 12 fall show in Sturbridge, MA. This is a juried, wholesale show featuring unique, quality New England Made products such as home decor, pottery, apparel, jewelry, accessories, toys & games, candles, books, cards & prints, glassware, personal care products, candy, nuts, spices, sauces, gourmet mixes, and other specialty food items.
  • 1st Annual Penobscot Big Tree Contest - The Penobscot County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Maine Forest Service are sponsoring this contest. Nominations will be accepted until Sept. 15th. Nominators will get a T-shirt and landowners will receive a certificate. FMI 207-947-6622 ext 3
  • Value Added Producer Grant Assistance - The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has a new blog to help farmers navigate the USDA Value Added Producer Grant Application Process.
  • Multivariate Modeling of Ticks, Climate, and Disease in Maine Research report in the new issue of Maine Climate News by Susan Elias, UMaine PhD student. Should money be allocated to tick vaccines, removal of invasive plants, deer management, or something else? Elias' models will help answer these questions and inform adaptation strategies in both private and public sectors for dealing with a more tick-ridden world.
  • Wild Blueberry Newsletter features articles on Mummy Berry and Blossom Blight Scouting as well as Wild Blueberry Pollination information. Commercial wild blueberry growers should sign up for this important newsletter from  
    or call 207-581-2892.
resourcesFeatured Resources

Growing Maine
- Stoneheart Farm, South Paris.  University of Maine Cooperative Extension has released the second installment of "Growing Maine," a series of short documentaries highlighting Maine food producers and farm families.
Five Steps to Safer Digging - The Pipeline Ag Safety Alliance reminds farmers and others who plan to dig on their land to call 811 to be sure there are no pipelines or underground utilities in the area you plant to dig.  
Webinars: 2016 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Spotted Wing Drosophila free webinar, June 3rd at 2 pm EDT. Sponsored by
Overview of Poultry Related Equipment May 4 at 11:30 am by Dr. Jacquie Jacob from the University of Kentucky will discuss the different equipment needs for backyard flocks and small scale poultry operations.

Visit the UMaine Cooperative Extension online Publications Catalog
eventsUpcoming Events
  • May 26, 2016 Design Open House; Maine Sustainable Year Round Agriculture (SYRA) Cluster Initiative 12-5PM.Noon- 3:00PM 215 Bailey Hall USM, Gorham Campus (Part 1)
    3:30 - 5:00PM Little River Flower Farm, 160 Turkey Ln. Buxton, ME (Part 2)
    OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - Suggested Dontation, $10 (goes to future outreach events)
    The Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society is hosting a Design Open House for farmers, and business innovators in agriculture, renewable energy, cleantech, composites and other related fields. Part 1 will include a year-round agriculture round table, as well as presentations from the SYRA Cluster Initiative. Part 2 will include a site tour of Little River Flower Farm's newly constructed 140' x 45' integrated photo-voltaic greenhouse.
    For more info and pre-registration please contact: William Giordano, SYRA Education and Outreach Coordinator,, (207)570-8760
  • June 3, 2016  DDATT First Friday topic is Raising Rabbits for Meat, starting a t 7 PM at the Abbott Memorial Library basement meeting room in Dexter.  A few short videos and then discussion led by Len Young, a small livestock expert. Rabbits are an increasingly popular source of healthy protein, so come share what you know or learn what others know about humanely raising these animals. If you have some homemade light refreshments you'd like to share with the group, feel free.  DDATT is a volunteer-run organization, and gladly accepts donations.  FMI 277-4221
  • June 8, 2016 Signs of Spring 4:30 pm to 7 pm at the Hancock County Extension Office, Ellsworth. For those interested in identifying and recording seasonal change in their community in support of understanding Maine's changing climate. Training is free, but registration is required. Register online. 
  • June 9, 2016 Strawberry Twilight Meeting at MacDougal Orchards in Springvale. This meeting will focus on irrigation and will feature Trevor Hardy from Brookdale Farms to discuss irrigation options for fruit and vegetable growers. George Hamilton of the University of New Hampshire will also be on hand to discuss calibration of sprayers. We'll have a tour of some of the fruit plantings on the farm and see the new deer exclusion project being set up around the orchard. We'll also discuss the pest situation around the state, and the current crop outlook. The meeting will run from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • June 11, 2016 Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Learn skills for resilient living through face-to-face, hands-on activities. Nearly all workshops are participatory. Free! Information.
  • June 22, 2016 Forestry Conservation from 1 to 3PM at Brochu Homestead, Dover-Foxcroft. Tour the Brochu's homestead in DoverFoxroft to learn about forestry planning and programs to benefit your farm. Cosponsored by MOFGA, the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. To register and FMI: Katy Green, , 568-6021.
  • June 23, 2016 What sheep, goat and cattle producers ought to know about dewormers by Dr. Jim Miller, veterinarian with the Louisiana State University vet school, f rom 7-8:30 pm at the Pineland Conference Center Room A on the Pineland campus in New Gloucester. FMI Gary Anderson, UMaine Extension Specialist 207-581-3240.
  • June 25-26, 2016 Off-Grid Solar PV Installation Workshop 10 am to 4 pm at in Cambridge.Cost: $50 per day for full 'hands-on' participation, $25 per day for 'limited' participation. $10 'non-refundable' deposit. contact John Burke 207-546-1639 or Carol Gardener 207-277-3191. Sponsored by Maine Solar Energy Association.
  • July 6, 2016 Farming with Horses at Sandy Meadow Farm in Unity. 5 pm with pot luck to follow.
  • July 7, 2016 Poultry Processing Workshop at MOFGA Kitchen, Unity. 9 am to noon. 
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 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.
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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

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)