September 2017
Your Monthly News & Updates
Farm Family Survey Request
Extension and Volunteers of America Northern New England are embarking on an exciting program for 2018 to offer coaching for farm families on a variety of topics: communication, decision making, goal setting, farm transfer, and more. Please help them focus on the areas of interest to you by completing this survey by September 29th.   
weedsWeed Identification Walk & Pesticide Recertification
Fourteen farmers and others benefited from the weed identification walk by learning common weeds that invade their vegetable, fruit and other cultivated crops. They also received two hours of pesticide recertification credits. 
Donna Coffin, Extension Educator led the walk and had a number of references available for farmers to learn how to identify weeds and how to manage them in their crops. 
Marilyn Tourtelotte, District 4 Pesticide Inspector with the Maine Board of Pesticide Control gave a short talk on inspection issues, respirator use and Worker Protection Standards.  Here is a link to several Respirator Use and Worker Protection Standard factsheets that she distributed. 

The weed identification and control references that were available for folks to review included the following. 
The following apps and websites were shared with those who attended. 
sheepaiArtificial Insemination of Sheep
Day-long short courses in non-surgical artificial insemination of sheep with chilled semen on September 30 at UMaine Witter Center, Orono. 
This course is targeted toward experienced sheep breeders (ie. familiar with good flock management practices/completing one or more breeding/lambing seasons.)
A comprehensive overview of a simple method of non-surgical vaginal artificial insemination (VAI) used in Iceland will be given along with reproductive evaluation of breeding rams and synchronization of estrus. 
Morning will be devoted to lecture and afternoon will be hands-on labs on reproductive management of sheep. 
Lunch will be provided. 
For more information contact Dr. Jim Weber, at To register for either session contact Salley Farrell at or 207-324-2814. 
irrigationFree Irrigation Workshops
Session 1: Introduction to Irrigation Systems and the Importance of Understanding Soils
Monday, September 18: USDA Service Center 254 Goddard Road Lewiston, ME 04240. 
From  9:00am- noon
Session 2: Irrigation Methods- The Tools for Understanding How Much Water & When to Apply 
Monday, September 25: New Roots Farm 954 College Street Lewiston, ME 04240 
From  9:00am-noon 
Presenters will include: 
  • Candi Gilpartric- Agricultural Engineer for NRCS 
  • Dave Rocque- Maine State Soil Scientist for Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry 
  • Manuel Diaz- Agricultural Engineer for NRCS 
These workshops will be offered simultaneously in English and in Maay Maay 
Please call  207-241-5374 or email to register. 
disposalFree Disposal of Unusable Pesticides Available in October
This October, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry's (DACF) Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) will team up with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to help Mainers dispose of unusable and waste pesticides. The Obsolete Pesticides Collection Program, jointly sponsored by the BPC and DEP, and funded through pesticide product registration fees, has kept more than 99 tons of pesticides out of the waste stream since its start in 1982.
This free annual program is open to homeowners, family-owned farms and greenhouses. Collections will occur at four sites: Presque Isle, Bangor, Augusta, and Portland.  Participants must pre-register by September 29, 2017. Drop-ins are not permitted. The collected chemicals will be taken to out-of-state disposal facilities licensed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency where they are incinerated or reprocessed.
Pesticides may become unusable due to age, freezing or evaporation, or because their legal registration changes.  It is important to remember that the term "pesticides" includes not only insecticides, but also herbicides, fungicides and rodenticides. Past participants in the program have reported finding obsolete pesticides in barns of inherited properties, garages of newly purchased homes and other unexpected places.
To register, get details, and learn important information about the temporary storage and transportation of obsolete pesticides, go to the BPC Web site at  thinkfirstspraylast.or , or call  207-287-2731.

Photo: Colt Knight
smokedSmoked Chicken Seminar
September 27, 2017
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Location: J. Franklin Witter Teaching and Research Center
160 University Farm Road, Old Town, ME
Cost: $10 to cover the cost of lunch
In this seminar Dr. Knight will demonstrate how to prepare whole chickens to make delicious smoked barbecue chicken using a charcoal smoker. This technique can also be performed on kettle grills, propane grills, and other styles of smokers. We will prepare whole chickens and chicken quarters from poultry raised at the University of Maine's J. Franklin Witter Teaching and Research Center, and discuss how to prepare, quarter, rub, smoke, and serve mouthwatering barbecue chicken. Also, Dr. Machado will discuss safety and hygiene related to handling raw and cooked chicken, Kate Yerxa, a registered dietician, will discuss the cost savings of buying whole chickens and quartering them yourself, as well as, diet concerns relating to chicken.
interestItems of Interest
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.
  • 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.  
  • Small Grains Summary and Grain Stocks Surveys are being conducted in September by National Ag Statistics Service. Results will be available by the end of the year at this page. 
  • UMaine Soil Specialist, Lakesh Sharma is planning to organize an agriculture technology school to help growers to understand and learn agriculture technology tools such as GPS mounted tractor, variable planting/input application, yield monitor, and its use to reduce input cost and improve crop quality/yield, soil maps, use of drone and its practical applications. Please help plan this program by completing this two question survey.  
  • More fuel for the food/feed debate: new study indicates livestock production is a much smaller challenge to global food security than often reported, Mottet et al. (with the FAO) have undertaken a quantitative assessment of the role of livestock in current and future food security. Turns out livestock agriculture's ecological footprint is significantly smaller than previously estimated.
resourcesFeatured Resources

Food System Learn and Share sponsored by the Maine Food Strategy on Sept. 28th 1 pm to 2 pm. Registration required for this free webinar. 

Online Courses:
2017-2018 Cornell Small Farms Program On-line Course Calendar.  The fall session includes: Starting At Square One, Farm Woodlot Management and QuickBooks for Farmers. Mushroom Cultivation will be offered at the start of next year.

Small Entity Compliance Guides (SECGs) are designed to help small businesses meet federal standards. They are among the resources that the FDA is providing to support compliance with the new FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) standards.

Visit the UMaine Extension online Publications Catalog    for agriculture information, such as: 
eventsUpcoming Events
  • September 27, 2017 Smoking Chicken Seminar, 11 am to 1 pm at the Franklin J. Witter Center, Old Town. $10 includes lunch. Registration online. 
  • September 28, 2017 Look & See: Portrait of a farmer & writer Wendell Berry, 7 pm - 8:20 pm, sponsored by DDATT at the Center Theatre, Dover-Foxcroft. 
  • September 29, 2017 Deadline to pre-register for obsolete pesticide collection.
  • September 30, 2017 Artificial Insemination of Sheep with Chilled Semen, Franklin J. Witter Center, Old Town. For more information contact Dr. Jim Weber, at To register contact Salley Farrell at or 207-324-2814. 
  • September 30, 2017 Venison 101, at the Franklin J. Witter Center, Old Town, 8:45 am to 4 pm, $50 for first person and $25 for second person from same family. Intensive hands-on program designed for hunters who have an interest in expanding their knowledge of deer diseases, processing, and preparing venison for friends and family. It provides information on deer hunting in Maine, how to identify deer diseases, and how to control risks when field dressing a deer. This class is ideal for both new and experienced hunters. We will have live demonstrations of proper field dressing and processing by Bob Humphrey and short talks on deer diseases, food safety, and meat preservation. There will be plenty of opportunities to taste venison products and interact with speakers. Registration online. 
  • October 5, 2017 Pasture Walk showing how MGFN no-till drill was used to improve pasture plants, 4 - 6 pm at Apple Creek Farm, 538 Millay Rd, Bowdoinham. (park at the top of the drive.)
  • October 7 - 9, 2017 Nose to Tail Pork Processing, $350 ($300 MOFGA members) at MOFGA Common Ground Education Center, Unity. 
  • 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. 
  • 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 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 28, 2017 Preconditioned Feeder Calf Sale, Richmond, ME
  • November 4 - 6, 2017 Farmer to Farmer Conference sponsored by MOFGA at Point Lookout, North Port. 
  • November 8 2017 (save the date) Smoking Chicken and Pasture Broiler Research Results presented at the Piscataquis County Extension Annual Meeting. More details later. 
  • 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. 
  • 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
  • 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.
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)