April 2018
Your Monthly News & Updates
Researchers in the Departments of Entomology at Purdue University and Penn State received a USDA-funded grant to study the influence of vegetable crop diversity in space and time on insect-pest populations. As part of this effort, we would like to gather some feedback from commercial vegetable growers to understand the reasoning behind current practices. Specifically, we want to know what factors commercial vegetable growers consider when organizing or laying out crop species across a farm within a year (i.e., diversity in space) or in a rotation across years (i.e., diversity in time).
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.
blueberryNew Blueberry Specialist
Lily Calderwood is the the new University of Maine Cooperative Extension wild blueberry specialist and assistant professor of horticulture.
Calderwood most recently worked with Cornell Cooperative Extension as a commercial horticulture educator. Her research interests include sustainable agriculture, soil health and integrated pest management, and farmer-to-farmer learning.
In her first year with UMaine Extension, Calderwood will collaborate with David Yarborough, the current wild blueberry specialist, as he transitions to retirement in early 2019. Like Yarborough, she holds a joint appointment with UMaine Extension and the UMaine School of Food and Agriculture. "I appreciate this unique opportunity to learn from my predecessor for a year, and look forward to identifying the needs of growers in our changing environment and economy," Calderwood says.
Calderwood grew up in Harvard, Massachusetts. She received a doctorate in plant and soil science from the University of Vermont, where she researched hops, grains and oilseeds.
More information about the UMaine Extension wild blueberry program is available online( extension.umaine.edu/blueberries) or by calling 207.581.3188. Lily's email address is 
Tractor with tine cultivator
tractor2018 Farm Tractor Safety Courses
Participants will learn how to handle tractors and equipment safely, how to identify hazards, and how to minimize the chances of accidents. The course is open to all adults and youth interested, but priority will be given to youth ages 14 to 16. This course is required for 14 and 15 year olds who plan to operate farm equipment for hire on farms other than their own. A Federal Certificate of Training will be issued at the completion of the course after successful completion of the written test and driving course and with attendance requirements met.

Cumberland County: Tuesdays, starting early May, 2018, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Maine . Registration coming soon, visit the UMaine Extension Cumberland County events and workshops page for updates.

Kennebec County:  Mondays, starting April 2, 2018, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM at Kramer Tractor in Sidney.  For more information, visit the   UMaine Extension Kennebec County tractor safety web page.
Knox and Lincoln Counties: Wednesdays, starting April 4, 2018, 6:00PM - 8:00PM, Union Farm Equipment, Route 17, Union Maine. For more information, contact Pamela Doherty at 207.832.0343, 800.244.2104 (in Maine), or pamela.doherty@maine.edu.  For more information about agricultural educational programs and the Farm Tractor Safety course, visit our  website.
Penobscot CountyMonday's, starting April 16, 2018, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Rogers Farm, 914 Bennoch Road, Old Town. For more information and to register, visit the UMaine Extension Penobscot County tractor safety web page.

Waldo County: Tuesdays, starting April 10, 2018, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM at Ingraham's Equipment in Knox. For more information, visit the UMaine Extension Waldo County tractor safety web page.

geneticsGetting your Genetics Right: Converting Performance Records into Relevant Decision-Making Tools
May 4, 2018 J.F.Witter Farm & Research Center, Old Town , Maine
sheep on lush pasture
Workshop Topics
  • Defining and ranking of traits
  • How genetic information, estimated breeding values (EBV), can assist in improving performance traits
  • Selection for parasite resistance in pasture raised sheep and goats
  • Development of breeding objectives and approaches to selection of breeding animals
  • Fecal egg count and live ultrasound demo
  • What is an EBV worth?
  • Enrolling and using the NSIP System
More information and additional locations to follow.
Contact Info:  Jim Weber, PhD, DVM  (207) 581-2774  jaweber@maine.edu  or  Colt W. Knight, Ph.D.
Tel:  207-581-2953  800# in-state  800-287-0274    Email:  colt.knight@maine.edu  
boar goats
Northern Maine Sheep Producers  
Annual Sheep & Goat Health Seminar
Saturday May 12, 2018  9:00am - 3:30pm
Presque Isle Extension office -  57 Houlton Road

Reproduction Basics - Assessing Breeding Soundness, Preparation, Flushing, Culling
Farm Record-keeping
FAMACHA - Assessment & Evaluation
Direct Marketing your Farm Commodities

Contact:  Linda Trickey at  207.561.8123 or in Maine  linda.trickey@maine.edu
sheepFAMACHA Certification and Parasite Workshop    
May 26th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
University of Maine,  J. Franklin Witter Teaching & Research Center  ( Witter Farm), 160 University Farm Rd., Old Town, ME 04468
The workshop will include information on parasites and management practices, along with fecal egg analysis using microscopes. Registration fee for Maine Sheep Breeders Association (MSBA) Members $20 per farm includes one FAMACHA card; additional card $12. Non-members $40 per farm, includes MSBA membership.  Bring your own bag lunch. 

  To register  or for more information please contact,  Sally Farrell,  sarah.s.farrell@maine.edu  or call 207-324-2814.
interestItems of Interest
  • Open Farm Day (July 22) - Registration is open for 2018. The Agriculture Resource Development (ARD) and get real. get Maine! team at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is in the midst of planning promotions, registration information, and online participant tool-kits to help farms plan for Open Farm Day, an annual statewide agritourism event that welcomes the public to learn about the value Maine farms have in their communities. 
  • As Maine Agriculture Evolves, Farm Financers Aim to Keep Up, April 4, 2018 article in MaineBiz. 
  • Rural Tax Education - Farmers, ranchers, other agricultural producers and Extension educators will find on this website a source for agriculturally related income and self-employment tax information that is both current and easy to understand.
  • IRS Farmers' Tax Guide #225 
  • Maine Grass Farmers Network also has equipment that members are able to use. 
  • Maine Hay Directory - has been put up again to help farmers with hay to sell and farmers looking for hay to buy. Be cautious of hay scams. 
  • Agrichemical and Fertilizer Suppliers in Maine - compiled by David E. Yarborough, Extension Blueberry Specialist.  
  • Jobs at UMaine Extension:  Administrative Specialist (Oxford, York & Diagnostic Lab), CEA (Lewiston), Food Systems Professional Oxford, Pesticide Safety Professional, Molecular Diagnostic Professional. 
  • Other agriculture related jobs: Education Programs Manager at Wolfe's Neck for Agriculture & Environment, Freeport. 
    Grants & Loans
  • The Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) offers grant funds with a 25% match to support the development and expansion of local and regional food business enterprises to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets.  Application deadline, May 7th.  
resourcesFeatured Resources

Feeds and Feeding of the Backyard Flock - eXtension.org 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: 

Checklist of Steps for a Potential High Tunnel Grower #1055   The purpose of this checklist is to provide you with likely steps as a prospective grower in helping you to make wise decisions regarding high tunnel construction and production. This checklist is designed to answer the key question: Would such a production method fit me and my situation in the near future? 4 pages. © 2018 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download for free  or buy a color copy $0.50.
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  
  • April 7, 2018 24th Rural Living Day, Thorndike. Sponsored by Waldo County Extension Association. 
  • April 7, 2018 Wild Blueberry Spring Meetings, 6 pm to 9 pm at Machias. 
  • April 10, 2018 Tractor Safety Course, Waldo County
  • 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 cindy.kilgore@maine.gov
  • 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. Registration closed. 
  • April 16, 2018 Tractor Safety Course, Penobscot County.
  • 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  lynne.b.hazelton@maine.edu  - (207) 781-6099 for more details.
  • April 27, 2018 Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training, 9 am to 6 pm, Knox & Lincoln County Extension Office, Waldoboro. Registration required. Other trainings listed.  
  • May 6, 2018 Spring Fling Horse Show registration 7:30 am to 9 am show starts at 9:30 am at the J.F.Witter Farm & Research Center, UMaine, Orono. Hosted by the Maine Animal Club and sponsored by Forest Ridge Campground. Please email hadley.moore@maine.edu with any questions.
  • 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 linda.trickey@maine.edu
  • May 16, 2018 Livestock 101: Animal Handling, MOFGA at Misty Brook Farm, Albion.
  • May 17-20, 2018 Northeast Livestock Expo Windsor Fair Grounds, Windsor
  • June 3, 2018, 2018 Sheep Shearing Competition!  Hosted by Maine Fiber Frolic at Windsor Fairgrounds  at 1:00pm.  Come compete, volunteer, or cheer on your favorite shearer at the  ONLY SHEEP SHEARING COMPETITION IN MAINE!  To sign up for this event or to become a sponsor, contact event coordinator: Edie Kershner at ediekershner@yahoo.com or call (207)322­4601
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)