October 2017
Your Monthly News & Updates
Photo: Colt Knight

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 at 5:00 pm at the Dover Foxcroft Congregational Church, Main Street, Dover-Foxcroft. 

The public is invited to this program and the annual meeting of the Piscataquis County Extension Association. Cost for the program and dinner is $8 per person.
Dr. Colt Knight, UMaine Extension Livestock Specialist will demonstrate how to get the chicken ready to smoke, including cutting up the chicken, food safety, equipment, etc. After the chicken is smoked, he will show how to prepare the chicken for serving including showing the smoke ring, etc.
After supper Dr. Knight will talk about this past summer's research project at the Witter Center where six different breeds of broilers were kept in chicken tractors. Feed and gain were recorded weekly and rate of gain for the different breeds was calculated. Which breed gained the fastest? Which gained most economically? Come and find out.
You will enjoy a supper of smoked chicken (courtesy of Dr. Knight) with roasted potatoes and root vegetables, salad and hand pies for dessert provided by Spruce Mill Farm. After supper, the UMaine Extension Executive Committee will conduct their short annual meeting.
This program is hosted by the Piscataquis County Extension Association and UMaine Cooperative Extension.
The cost is $8 per person, pre-registration and payment are required, and can be done online  or by calling 207-564-3301 or email Anette.Moulton@maine.edu.
For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 207-564-3301 or email Anette.Moulton@maine.edu.

Results of the 2016 Certified Organic Survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) show that U.S. farms produced and sold $7.6 billion in certified organic commodities in 2016, up 23 percent from 2015. During the same year, the number of certified organic farms in the country increased 11 percent to 14,217, and the number of certified acres increased 15 percent to 5.0 million.  
Farms in the six New England States produced and sold $237.1 million in certified organic agricultural commodities in 2016, up 12 percent from 2015. The number of certified organic farms in New England also increased 1 percent to 1,366, and the number of certified acres increased 4 percent to 206,580 acres.
" The survey shows the importance of organic producers in the New England States ," said Gary Keough, State Statistician.
The survey results show the following about organic agriculture in New England in 2016:
  • Vermont accounted for 54 percent of New England's certified organic sales with $127.1 million. Sales of organic milk and maple syrup accounted for most of the sales.
  • Maine accounted for 28 percent New England's certified organic sales with $65.6 million which is an increase of 37 percent from 2015 sales. This increase was due to improved sales of organic maple syrup and vegetables.
The 2016 Certified Organic Survey is a census of all known U.S. farmers and ranchers with certified organic production in 2016. To become certified as organic, producers must meet the standards set out by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service's National Organic Program and be certified compliant by an approved agent of the program.
Survey results are available at   www.nass.usda.gov/organics or the Quick Stats database at http://quickstats.nass.usda.gov
Currently the Maine Meat and Poultry Slaughter Inspection (MMPI) program exists to protect the health and welfare of consumers by ensuring livestock used in the production of meat and poultry products are humanely handled, disease-free, not adulterated, and correctly labeled and packaged. 
Depending on the market channel the meat will be sold through, the type of processing facility may be different. The MMPI site lists the State and USDA Official Inspected Establishments as well as Custom Exempt Establishments (Not for Sale) that provide harvesting, cut-wrap, smoking or other products to livestock owners. 
Poultry producers who raise and process fewer than 1,000 birds may be allowed to harvest, package whole birds and sell within the state. Details are on their website. There is an option for Grower Producer Fewer than 20,000 bird exemption that would allow for sale of whole, cut up or other types of poultry products within the state. 
The key is to contact the MMPI to discuss your needs. Their phone number is 207-287-3841. 

pricingSmall and Home Based Business Programs
Pricing Your Products and Services
October 18, 2017, 9:00 AM - 12 PM
UMaine Penobscot County Cooperative Extension
307 Maine Ave., Bangor
Pricing is the systematic determination of the "right" price for a product or service.  Setting any price is easy, but determining the price at which you can remain competitive a
nd still make a profit is considerably more difficult.  Participants will learn about the kind of information needed to make good pricing decisions and how to apply pricing principles to their own circumstance.
Registration is required for this free workshop. To register please call the office at 942.7396 or within Maine at 1.800.287.1485 or e-mail Wendy at  wendy.robertson@maine.edu.
Sta ying Safe:  Protecting Your Small Business from Cyber Threats
October 25, 2017 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
UMaine Penobscot County Cooperative Extension
307 Maine Ave., Bangor
On an almost daily basis, new cyber threats and scams continue to dominate the news.  Participants will receive a vital overview of the types of real-life risks and emerging threats to small businesses.  Learn how to protect your business and customers with easy-to-implement security recommendations.
Registration is requred for this free workshop. To register please call the office at 942.7396 or within Maine at 1.800.287.1485 or e-mail Wendy at  wendy.robertson@maine.edu.

interestItems of Interest
  • Maine Gleaning Network - links farmers with excess produce left in the field with gleaner volunteers who can come and harvest for local food pantries. 
  • Maine Hay Directory -Due to numerous attempts by fraudulent hay buyers, we have had to remove the hay directory from the University website until an acceptable solution is found.
  • Agrichemical and Fertilizer Suppliers in Maine - compiled by David E. Yarborough, Extension Blueberry Specialist.  
  • Jobs at UMaine Extension:  Ornamental Specialist, Wild Blueberry Specialist, Administrative Specialist (Orono), CEA Horticulture (Oxford), Nutrition Professional (Andro/ Sag)
  • New UMaine Extension Livestock Facebook Page - Please like, share and follow.
  • Calling all commercial farmers & ranchers: NCAT will pay you $20 to take a 20-minute survey at  www.ncat.org/cropinsurance. Help us make recommendations to the USDA on better crop insurance options for organic and specialty crop growers. For more info: cropinsurance@ncat.org. 
  • Local Farms Act introduced recently in Washington, D. C.  Among other provisions, the legislation would consolidate and streamline a number of federal local food programs; help farmers implement food safety practices; create a new food-as-medicine pilot program to support fruit and vegetable prescriptions for low-income individuals; expand the Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program to include veterans; and provide schools more resources to purchase food locally. 
  • Cover Crops Protect Susceptible Trees from the Flatheaded Appletree Borer. Cover crops, specifically a ryegrass/crimson clover mix, appear to protect susceptible deciduous trees from the flatheaded appletree borer, while also effectively managing weeds, according to results of a Tennessee State University study funded by a SSARE On-Farm Research Grant. The results could be useful for orchards, nurseries, urban landscapes and agroforestry producers in managing the significant economic pest.  They found that the winter cover crops camouflage the tree trunks from the pest, making it less likely to lay eggs. Larvae can girdle the trunks as they begin tunneling into the trees. 
  • Cost of Production Study for Vegetables developed by NOFA with USDA Speciality Crop Grant. It includes specific information for carrots, lettuce, onions, winter squash and potatoes as well as whole farm financial rations, crop profitability comparisons and tips for tracking costs of production. 
Grants & Loans
  • Northeast SARE Farmer GrantsFarmer Grants are for commercial producers who have an innovative idea they want to test using a field trial, on-farm demonstration, marketing initiative, or other technique. A technical advisor--often an extension agent, crop consultant, or other service professional--must also be involved. Projects should seek results other farmers can use, and all projects must have the potential to add to our knowledge about effective sustainable practices. Deadline: Dec. 5, 2017. 
  • REAP Grant deadline: October 31, 2017:  Applications are due for REAP Grant requests $20,000 and under. Agricultural producers and rural small businesses are eligible to apply.  Grants funds may be used to install renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.  Maximum Grant amount is $20,000. www.rd.usda.gov/me
  • Organic Farming Research Foundation grant proposals deadline is Dec. 15. Their priority issues are soil health, innovative weed control, management of emerging insect and disease issues and livestock health. 
  • Value Added Producer Grant  and matching funds can be used for planning activities or for working capital expenses related to producing and marketing a value-added agricultural product. FMI   Click Here.
  • Rural Rehabilitation Trust Fund has a loan program to help beef producers purchase breeding stock or feeder cattle.  
  • 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.
resourcesFeatured Resources

HirednAg.net The HIREDnAg team is a group of research and Extension professionals committed to understanding how health insurance decisions impact farm and ranch families. They are developing Smart Choice manual, videos and other resources to help farmers and service providers understand more about farm family health insurance. 

Health Insurance and Farm Rick Management by Bob Parsons with UVM Extension. Originally produced for their Across the Fence program. 
Documentary Highlights Challenges Facing Young Farmers
A new documentary called Farmers For America traces the extraordinary changes coming to America's food system as more and more consumers flock to farmers markets, embrace farm-to-table lifestyles, and insist on knowing where their food is coming from. This film reveals the people waiting to take the place of aging farmers, the practices they're championing, and the obstacles they must overcome. Plans are for the film to be shown in more than 200 locations nationwide over the next two years.

Brambles: Organic Production from ATTRA introduces organic practices for fertility, weed, disease, and insect management. It also provides new information on high tunnel production and season extension and addresses economics and marketing. Free download or buy a copy for $3.
Season Extension Techniques for Market Gardeners from ATTRA includes cultural practices, plastic mulches, row covers, and low tunnels that can provide growers with earlier, later, and higher-quality produce that can capture more markets and demand higher prices. This publication describes these season extension techniques and provides sources for equipment, supplies, and further information.Free download or buy a copy for $3.

Visit the UMaine Extension online Publications Catalog    for agriculture information, such as: 
  • Winter Care for Your Laying Hen #2217 Keeping laying hens productive through the winter months means keeping them well fed, well watered, healthy, and comfortable. We have a checklist of management tips to assist the farmer/grower in keeping their farm flock comfortable. 3 pages. © 2014 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free or buy a color copy $0.50.
  • Lighting for Small-scale Poultry Flocks #2227  Day length and light intensity affect growth and reproduction in poultry. Learn about different bulbs and fixtures, as well as specific lighting recommendations for chicks, pullets, laying hens, and meat birds. 6 pages. © 2009 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free or buy a color copy $0.75.
eventsUpcoming Events
  • October 15, 2017  The basics of food fermentation, from 1 to 4 pm at the East Sangerville Grange. You will get a basic introduction to fermentation, and then you will make your very own sauerkraut, ginger carrots, and root kimchi. Each attendee will take three quarts home along with instructions to care for your food as it ferments! The Grange will provide everything you need including fresh, local, organic veggies from our very own farmers, seasonings, and the jars to take home. Oh, did we mention there might be a few prepared fermented foods to taste as well? The workshop fee is only $20 (or pay as you can) and you must pre-register as spots are limited. Please email us at esangervillegrange@gmail.com to save your spot!
  • October 15, 2017 Great Maine Apple Day. MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Celebrate the history, tradition, and flavor of Maine apples with MOFGA.
  • October 16 - 20, 2017 Compost School, Highmoor Farm, Sponsored by UMaine Extension, Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection, and Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry. Cost: $525. 
  • October 18, 2017 Pricing Your Products and Services, 9 am to noon, Penobscot County Extension Office, 307 Maine Ave, Bangor. To register call 207-942-7396 or email Wendy.Robinson@maine.edu
  • October 21, 2017 Poultry Conference, 9 am to 4 pm at Student Union Room, Alfond Campus KVCC, Hinkley. Sponsored by UMaine Extension, MOFGA and Poulin Grains. Fee $35 per person ($25 MPGA members). Registration online. 
  • October 25, 2017 Staying Safe:  Protecting Your Small Business from Cyber Threats, 9 am to 11 am, Penobscot County Extension Office, 307 Maine Ave, Bangor. To register call 207-942-7396 or email Wendy.Robinson@maine.edu
  • October 28, 2017 Preconditioned Feeder Calf Sale, Richmond, ME
  • November 1, 8, 29 with optional Dec. 6, 2017 Excel(TM) Training for Farmers, 4:30 pm to 6 pm Q & A till 6:30 pm, $20 fee, at Penobscot County Extension Office, Bangor. FMI 
  • November 4 - 6, 2017 Farmer to Farmer Conference sponsored by MOFGA at Point Lookout, North Port. 
  • November 8 2017 Smoking Chicken and Pasture Broiler Research Results presented at the Piscataquis County Extension Annual Meeting.  5 pm, $8/person. Pre-registration required either online or by calling 207-564-3301 or email annete.moulton@maine.edu. 
  • 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.
  • November 11 - 12, 2017 Harvest Festival, Cross Center, Bangor. UMaine Extension will have a booth come and look for us. Last year we where in the Ballroom. 
  • 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. 
  • November 29 and December 6, 2017 Excel for Farmers, 4:30 pm to 6: 30 pm, Penobscot Extension Office, Bangor. Pre-registration information coming soon.
  • December 4, 2017  3rd Annual Farmland Access ConferenceAugusta Civic Center, 76 Community Dr., Augusta, Maine. Join co-hosts Land For Good & Maine Farmland Trust, fellow farmers and colleagues from around New England for a day of discussion and practical information on the challenges of farmland access, transfer and succession, and the ways we can address those challenges together. Registration opens October 25. FMI: contact Erica Buswell: ebuswell@mainefarmlandtrust.org
  • December 7, 2017 Kitchen Licensing Workshop. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. (Snow date December 8.) Designed for farmers and others interested in home-food processing for resale. $50 (includes lunch); $35 for MOFGA members. 
  • December 12 - 14, 2017 New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference and Trade Show at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH and will include 32 educational sessions over 3 days, covering major vegetable, berry and tree fruit crops, as well as various special topics, such as hard cider and cut flower production. Additional information on the New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference, including on-line and downloadable registration material, may be found at http://www.newenglandvfc.org/.
  • January 22 & 23, 2018   Save the Date: Flowering in the North, A Flower Grower's Conference  for sharing knowledge about Zone 5 growing, wholesaling, retailing, and designing with Farm Fresh Flowers. The conference will take place  in the East Bayside neighborhood of Portland, ME. This events is a collaboration between the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, MOFGA, and UMaine Cooperative Extension.
  • March 21 to 25, 2018 Maine Flower Show, Thompson's Point, Portland.

The Greenhouse Research & Extension Program at UConn is organizing two workshops on greenhouse vegetables. The workshop on Nov. 11 will help new farmers learn how to establish and manage a hydroponic system. The second workshop (Dec. 9) is intended for experienced growers who would like to improve their production practices in hydroponic or soilless systems.  Both workshops will take place at UConn-Storrs.  These workshops are co-sponsored by: UConn CAHNR,  The Connecticut Department of Agriculture  via the Specialty Crop Block Grant Project # AG151260,  and  The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station .
  For more information go to:  http://greenhouse.uconn.edu/workshops/

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)