Volume 6 | June 2018
Your monthly news & updates
What's New?
We are trying a new template for the newsletter that will be easier to read on mobil devices.
UMaine Dean of Cooperative Extension Position
Helping Farmers Cope with Stress
Equine Herpesvirus (EHV1) in Maine
Pinto Gold New Gourmet Potato from UMaine
Plant Something!
Feeding Raw Eggs to Pigs - Use Caution
How to Use Social Media for Your Farm Business
Prices for Fruit & Vegetables
Items of Interest
Featured Resources
Upcoming Events
Newsletter Subscription Information
Mission and Quick Links
Local Weather Anytime - Need Pesticide Credits?
The position announcement for the UMaine Dean of Cooperative Extension position has been posted. The Dean is the chief executive officer of Cooperative Extension (UMaine Extension.) UMaine Extension is the largest extension program in New England and is comprised of 240 full-time and temporary staff, which includes campus-based specialists/educators/professionals, and faculty and staff at 16 county-based offices, three residential 4-H Camp and Learning Centers, and two research farms of the Maine Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. As a trusted resource for over 100 years, UMaine Extension has supported UMaine's land and sea grant mission by conducting community-driven, research-based programs in every Maine county. For more information click here.
Farming can be stressful in the best of times. Financial worries, unpredictable weather, plant pests, livestock diseases, and isolation all contribute to farmers’ anxiety. Severe depression and suicidal thoughts can be common in our day and age. If you are concerned about yourself or about somebody else, help is available. Visit UMaine Extension's Helping Farmers Cope with Stress website.
Equine Herpesvirus (EHV1) in Maine
We have a warning from the Maine state vet about an equine disease that is now present in Maine, though (hopefully) contained. It is EHV1, an equine herpesvirus that is capable of causing neurologic disease and death of horses.  

If your horse develops a fever, you should talk to your vet and consider testing for the virus. Good biosecurity practices are helpful, especially avoiding travel to equine events when horses are ill and may be shedding virus. As well, sick horses should be quarantined until determined to be well.  

Please read the attached information (pdf), and if you have horses and especially if you travel with your horses, consider contacting your equine vet practice to find out if your horses are current on their vaccinations. While vaccines may not completely prevent this or other diseases, they can help limit the extent of the disease.

Anne Lichtenwalner DVM PhD

The potato was tested with the research identification number AF4659-12 and has been available in seed catalogs under that name since 2015.

The potato is a high-yielding, yellow-fleshed specialty variety with excellent roasting and eating quality, according to Gregory Porter, who leads UMaine’s potato breeding program.

The oblong tubers have a red and yellow “pinto type” skin pattern, which makes them appealing to smaller specialty markets. The Pinto Gold variety name highlights the unique skin color pattern and the tubers’ yellow flesh. The potatoes, which can be described as creamy or waxy, are excellent roasted, but can also be used for boiling, pan frying, baking and in salads, says Porter, a professor of plant, soil, and environmental sciences, as well as agronomy.

Pinto Gold is the fourth potato variety released by UMaine since 2014. The university, in partnership with the Maine Potato Board, previously released Easton, Sebec and Caribou Russet.

Photo: Gregory Porter
susan garland

Plant Something  is a grassroots, nationally established campaign designed to increase the public’s support of local growers, nurseries, garden centers, and landscapers through awareness of the benefits of planting specialty crops for the landscape and garden.
The Plant Something Maine campaign emphasizes planting for better health, economic value, and the environment. In the first year of its campaign, 15 statewide garden centers saw a 22.3% increase in sales and a job growth rate of 13.1%. According to the Maine Landscape and Nursery Association (MELNA) the horticulture industry will hit double-digit growth in 2018. Horticulture operation sales continue to rise, and Maine’s market potential is growing, with more than 1,000 statewide firms collectively employing 12,000 people; 40% of which are on a full-time basis.
Plant Something Maine is a program of  The Maine Landscape & Nursery Association  (MELNA), a non-profit, professional trade association with members in all aspects of the green industry, including landscape designers and contractors, nurseries, garden centers, maintenance experts, turf growers, educators, researchers, and other horticultural industry professionals. MELNA is committed to promoting, educating and representing its members and informing and educating the people of Maine.

Photo: Kate Garland
Feeding Raw Eggs to Pigs - Use Caution

Raw eggs in the shell are best utilized by growing-finishing pigs and are not recommended for young weanling pigs or sows. Raw egg white contains a protein (avidin) which binds the vitamin biotin, making it unavailable.

Biotin deficiency has been observed in weanling pigs and sows but is seldom seen in growing-finishing pigs. Nevertheless, pigs fed raw eggs should be observed for signs of biotin deficiency, including cracked hoof pads and poor growth.
farmstead with barns and silo
How to Use Social Media for Your Farm Business

If you are trying to sell your agriculture product directly to consumers, you may have realized that utilizing "social media" would help to extend your customer base, retain current customers & keep customers updated on what is currently available on your farm.

The University of Arkansas has developed an interactive social media workbook with the small farmer in mind. The workbook focuses on creating and using the dominant social media platforms; such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Social media is used to boost businesses and allow for authentic views into smaller-scale farming.

Utilizing social media is sometimes a daunting task, requiring the use of technology, time, and creativity. The workbook is designed for all skill levels to help make the most of social media marketing without making the task too difficult and offers farms benefits through sales, interest, new and repeat customers. Check out the  Social Media Toolbox  and get your free download of this interactive workbook to enhance your business using social media.
Photo: Remsberg
Prices for Fruits & Vegetables
The National Agricultural Statistics Service collects prices that farmers charge for their fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as number of acres grown and yield per acre by state. Here are some of the prices that Maine farmers were charging in 2017.
MOFGA also has a site where they post organic vegetable prices during the growing season by direct sales, natural food stores and supermarket.
Items of Interest
UMaine Process and Product Review offers food testing services and specializes in working with small and start-up food businesses. They typically conduct reviews on shelf-stable, canned foods, fermented foods and water-activity controlled dessert sauces. They do not conduct process reviews on perishable (frozen or refrigerated foods) or meat and poultry products. Food samples that do not typically require a review in Maine are baked goods (without dairy-based fillings/frostings), candy/confections, plain, berry-based jams/jellies and dry mixes.
Kerr Center Cannon Horticulture Project just released a new publication: Farming with Walk-Behind Tractors The report serves as a backgrounder for people trying to decide whether two-wheel tractors are a fit for their own operations. It also works as a basic how-to manual, offering tips on the use of several implements: rototillers, crimper/rollers, hay rakes, and three types each of plows and mowers. The report is extensively illustrated, with diagrams showing plowing patterns and suggested approaches to hitching and unhitching different implements. Cost $5 for pdf and $13 for print version.
Ohio Street Farmers' Market in Bangor is looking for vendors. Contact Rolf Staples at ohiostreetfm@gmail.com or 632-4682.
Wild Blueberry Milk a new flavor introduced by Oakhurst Dairy will be using Maine wild blueberries in the new whole milk product.
Another revenue source for farms could be renting out camp sites on your property through Hipcamp.com. It's like AirBNB for tenting and RVing. Hipcamp links property owners with people who are looking for unique experiences on farms, ranches, nature preserves, vineyards and public campgrounds across the US.
Firewood Scout - Maine is part of this site developed by the USDA Forest Service Wood Education & Resource Center to help residents and visitors to buy and use firewood locally, in an effort to slow the spread of invasive forest pests. You too can get your firewood business listed.
Maine Grass Farmers Network has equipment (manure spreader and no-till drill) that members are able to use. 
Maine Hay Directory  - is available 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.  
Shared Use Farm Equipment - Maine Farmland Trust list.
Featured Resources
Farm Marketing From the Heart: 3 Steps That Will Make Your Farm Profitable  Friday, June 1 at 10 AM PT | 1 PM ET. If you can’t watch live, sign up and receive the replay.
Poultry Behavior and how to ‘read’ a flock June 5 at 3 pm. A discussion will be held on how poultry behave the way they do. From very young to older birds, there are traits that can, at times, work against you. Tips on resolving some issues you can spot in a flock will be discussed. Dr. Gregory Martin, a poultry extension educator from the Pennsylvania State University will be presenting. eXtension.org
Weed Management: An Ecological Approach June 13 at 2 pm. This webinar will focus on integrated organic weed management tools and practices that give crops the edge over weeds, build soil health, and reduce the need for soil disturbance. eXtension.org
Facebook Promotions. June 27 at noon. Not everyone who likes your Facebook page sees your posts on their newsfeeds. Typically only 3-5% of your page fans see your content. That's right! Facebook changed the algorithms. Now, the only way to assure maximum visibility is to promote your page, post or events. The good news...for very little money, you can really pack a punch. We'll review strategic ways of promoting your content including some free techniques! eXtension.org & Mid-Atlantic Women in Agriculture.

The Our Farms, Our Future podcast series brings together the sustainable agriculture community for thought-provoking conversations about the state of agriculture, how we got here, and where we're headed. Sponsored by SARE.

Robots in the Field - Online videos illustrate automation from seedling production through harvesting. Compiled by Rick Vanvranken, Rutgers University. Maine's Eliot Coleman is mentioned in the Quick Cut Greens Harvester video.

MyFence provides a fast and easy method for sizing and pricing fencing for farms, homes and businesses. Simply enter a few measurements and get an estimate using default values or customize using your own. Only on Itunes

Visit UMaine Extension online Publications Catalog for agricultural publications such as:

Upcoming Events
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.
Local 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  http://www.weather.gov/car/.

Need Pesticide Credits

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.
Penobscot County Office
Piscataquis County Office
Waldo County Office
Penobscot County 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 County 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 County Office - website
Open Monday - Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm
992 Waterville Rd, Waldo, ME 04915-3117 207.342.5971 or 800.287.1426 (in Maine)