Volume 8 | February 2019
Corn Use Survey
Do you feed either whole corn or cracked corn? Please help us with a  very short survey.
Thanks in advance for your help. 
Your monthly news & updates
What's New?
New eXtension Small & Backyard Poultry Website
2019 Maine Vegetable & Fruit School
2019 Crop Insurance Policies Deadlines
2019 Maine Grain Conference
Maine Migrant Education Program (MEP)
Home and Small-Scale Greenhouse Program
Pork 101: Beginners Guide to Keeping Pigs
Got Hayfields & Pastures? Workshops
Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training
Why Pesticide Safety Education is Important
Items of Interest
Featured Resources
Upcoming Events
Newsletter Subscription Information
Mission and Quick Links
Local Weather Anytime - Need Pesticide Credits?
Welcome to the world of poultry! This site is part of the online United States Cooperative Extension System, known as eXtension. Our mission is to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information and education in the area of poultry science. The information provided applies primarily to small and backyard poultry flocks.

We have started a new webinar format for 2019. Every other week there will be a 20 minute, topic specific discussed. Check out the list https://poultry.extension.org/webinars/ . We have five webinars booked so far:

There are also links to past webinars. Check it out.

The school will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26 at the Bangor Motor Inn Conference Center. Topics include:

  • Legislative Update
  • Multi-Species Cover Crops Can Benefit Your Vegetables
  • Update on “New” Insect Pests and Management Strategies
  • Maximizing Farm Operations with Value-Added Products
  • Simple Ways to Improve Your Record Keeping
  • Tarping for Soil Conditioning and Weed Management
  • IPM for High Tunnels
  • Farm Marketing: How Your Marketing Strategy Can Buffer Against Unexpected Weather-related Losses
  • Circle B Farms: Berries in Caribou
  • Optimizing Compost Applications for Plant Growth and Soil Health
  • Paper Mulch Trials at Highmoor Farm
More information is posted on our website:
https://extension.umaine.edu/highmoor/blog/2019/01/08/maine-vegetable-and-fruit-school-2019/. Registration deadline is March 13 th. The registration fee is $45 per person, $55 per person if received after March 8, and includes lunch. Participants may receive one Pesticide Applicator recertification credit, and Certified Crop Advisors may receive five recertification credits. We hope to see you there!
Photo: Edwin Remsberg
2019 Maine Crop Insurance Policies Deadline

March 15 th is the deadline to enroll, change or cancel coverage on crop insurance policies for spring-seeded crops and the Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP). The 2018 Farm Bill resulted in a price increase of Catastrophic coverage to $655 per crop per county and $325 per crop per county for NAP.  March 15, 2019 is the deadline for the following products:
  • Corn
  • Forage Seeding
  • Fresh Market Sweet Corn
  • Green Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Spring Barley
  • Spring Oats
  • Spring Wheat
  • Whole-Farm Revenue Protection
Developing a risk management plan is a critical step for any serious farmer. In the event of a natural disaster, your best protection might be enrollment in the Non-insured Assistance Program (NAP), Whole-Farm Revenue Protection or Multi-peril Crop Insurance (specific crop). 
Please contact your local crop insurance agent. Visit the USDA’s Agent Locator website at  http://www.rma.usda.gov/tools/agent.htmlto find an agent in your area. For more information, visit the Maine Risk Management and Crop Insurance Education Program website,  https://extension.umaine.edu/agriculture/crop-insurance/.  
2019 Maine Grain Conference
Friday, March 1 st , 9:00am-4:45pm
Campus Center, University of Maine Presque Isle
Topics for this year’s conference will include:
  • Upping Your Grain Game – Best practices from seed bag to grain bin and beyond. Eric Theriault, Eastern Grain Inc., Drummond, New Brunswick http://www.easterngrains.ca/en/home.php
  • Industrial Hemp – Opportunities, Production Practices, Legal Requirements, and Other Considerations for Hemp Grain and Cannibidiol. Dr. Heather Darby, University of Vermont; Dr. John Jemison, UMaine; and Gary Fish, Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
  • On-farm Experiences with Camera-Guided Precision Cultivation SystemsTom Molloy, UMaine, and Dave Ouellette, Lake Shore Farms, St David, Maine
  • Evaluating Organic Crop Options Using a New, Whole Farm Grain Budget Tool Dr. Aaron Hoshide, UMaine School of Economics
  • Grain, Pulse, and Oilseed Research Results 
More program details later. FMI ellen.mallory@maine.edu
The Maine Migrant Education Program (MEP) provides free educational assistance to families who move to work in agriculture or fishing. Children in these families often struggle to succeed academically because of frequent moves, poverty, and other barriers. The MEP provides services to help migratory children and youth (ages 0-20) succeed in school by maintaining their grade level and meeting high academic standards. Program staff also advocate for families and connect them with other necessary services.

The Maine Migrant Education Program is administered by Mano en Mano / Hand in Hand, a nonprofit with offices Downeast and in Portland. Mano en Mano staff located throughout Maine work closely with families in their region providing services such as tutoring and advocacy. 
To qualify for Migrant Education services, a family must have moved from one school district to another within the past three years to do seasonal or temporary work in agriculture or fishing. We work with families who move from one part of Maine to another, to Maine from other states, or to Maine from other countries. If you or an employee of yours has moved within the past three years to do agriculture or fishing work and are interested in receiving free educational support, you may contact:

Sean Douglas
Enrollment and Outreach Coordinator
(207) 598-8925

Sonja Birthisel & Erin Roche
“So many tools,” one farmer wrote on our feedback survey after attending the Weather Tool Show and Tell session at this year’s Maine Agricultural Trades Show. The session’s purpose was to raise awareness about tools to help growers deal with variable weather. These included physical tools like weather stations and tensiometers, as well as digital apps to help with weather record keeping and agronomic decision making. An ‘open mic’ discussion during the session allowed attendees to share their experiences with specific weather tools. 
With technology change, the number of tools and apps is proliferating rapidly. This session highlighted websites that allow a user to search for tools related to specific goals – for example, tracking growing degree days. A key take-home point, noted by most of the 13 people responding to our feedback survey, was simply how many tools are now available. It was also noted, as one farmer put it, “How practical these tools are.” 
The session was presented by the Maine Climate and Agriculture Network (MECAN) as part of a day-long series on weather-based crop management tools. You can find links to  tools and resources  for dealing with variable weather and climate change on our website:  https://umaine.edu/climate-ag/ .
March 21, 2019
10 am to noon
Piscataquis County Extension Office

UMaine Extension will be hosting a program on Home and Small-Scale Greenhouses with Dr. Matt Wallhead, UMaine Extension Ornamental Horticulture Specialist.
Greenhouses, hoop houses or high tunnels may be the best way to add at least a month on either end of the season or make winter crops possible. They can allow for greater control over the growing environment of plants when managed well.
A home greenhouse can be a simple, polyethylene-covered framework that can be put together in one afternoon for less than one hundred dollars or it can be a six-thousand dollar plus, prefabricated structure.
Come and learn the technical specification of a greenhouse and key factors which may be controlled including temperature, levels of light and shade, irrigation, fertilizer application, and atmospheric humidity as well as planting schedules and crop selection.
Course fee: $10
For more information go to our  website
March 22, 2019
11 am to 2 pm
Piscataquis County Extension Office

Dr. Colt Knight will present this program is for folks who are planning to get a couple pigs this spring to raise through the summer and harvest in the fall as well as folks who are planning to get a sow to raise their own piglets.
  • When should you get your pigs
  • Who should you buy them from
  • Where will you keep them
  • How will you house them
  • What will you feed them
  • What health care is needed
  • When will you harvest them
  • Also, if you are thinking about keeping a sow to raise baby pigs
Dr. Knight will cover information to help assure success.
A light lunch will be included. 
We will have fresh, brined, and smoked bacon to taste different preparation techniques. 
Course fee: $10
For more information go to our  website

So, you have hayfields and pastures that are in need of some attention?
Are you feeding your animals good quality forages? Do you want to learn what makes a good haycrop?

This 3 hour workshop is for you!

Join Rick Kersbergen and Gary Anderson, from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension covering topics including:
  • Improving pasture and hayfield yield and quality
  • Production basics for hay and baleage
  • Understanding forage quality and using a forage analysis

This workshop will be presented in 9 different locations across Maine, (listed below with directions). $10 per farm. 

This workshop will be presented in 9 different locations across Maine. $10 per farm.
Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training

Fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, farm food safety best practices, and co-management of natural resources and food safety. The PSA Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) that requires “At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.”

The course will provide a foundation of farm food safety best practices and co-management information, FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan. Individuals who participate in this course are expected to gain a basic understanding of:
  • Microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm
  • How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks, and how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm
  • Parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one
  • Requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and how to meet them.
After attending the entire course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have completed the training course. To receive an AFDO certificate, a participant must be present for the entire training and submit the appropriate paperwork to their trainer at the end of the course.
For more information about the training, contact Robson Machado at  robson.machado@maine.edu or 207.581.3144

Photo: Remsberg
field of mixed vegetables
Locations for Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training:

Note: Grant funded; limited to Maine residents only.
These workshops are offered in collaboration with our partners  Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and  AgMatters LLC.

Pesticides impact our lives in many ways – improving food and feed yields and quality, protecting public health, and controlling pests in our homes, turf, waterways, forests, rights-of-way, and beyond – but must be used safely. Pesticides are a critical component of many Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs, and safe use is essential.

Items of Interest
brown marmorated stink bug with labels
Featured Resources
Building a Local Food Movement Over the last 20 years, SARE grants have helped western North Carolina transform its agricultural landscape from one dependent on tobacco and outside entities to one that is self-sustaining within the community. Charlie Jackson, the executive director of the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), has been using SARE grants to better understand the demand for local food and share the importance of localizing a food system. SARE’s investment has helped this community adopt a local food movement that has provided increased opportunities for farmers and businesses connected to food and farming. Find practical resources for farmers and educators interested in building a local food movement at  https://www.sare.org/local-food .

Beginning Farmer Webinar Series from Michigan State University. 12-part series. $5 a session. $30 for all 12. Feb. 27th at 7 pm "Getting Started with Small Farm Meat Chicken Production.

Dr. Erin Silva, University of Wisconsin. For the last decade, Dr. Silva and Wisconsin farmers have been researching and refining a system of planting no-till soybeans into a mulch of rolled winter rye to provide weed suppression, erosion control, crop diversity and soil organic matter.  In this webinar, Dr. Silva will share benefits, lessons learned, and best practices for implementing cover crop-based no-till for organic soybeans. 

Selecting a Tractor for the Small Farm - Small Farm Program - Cornell


2019 - 2020 New England Greenhouse Floriculture Guide (pest management guide) includes biological, cultural and chemical information for insects, diseases, weeds, and plant growth regulation. Updated by 6 New England State Universities. $40 for 250+ page manual.
Do's and Don'ts for Barn Snow Removal - Cornell University. Reduce risk by removing snow in a systematic way from your barn roof that is covered with snow.

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

Upcoming Events
  • February 15, 2019 Pricing Your Products and Services for Profit, 9 am to noon, Free, Penobscot County Extension Office, 307 Maine Ave., Bangor. FMI and to register.
  • February 16, 27 & 28, 2019 MOFGA Winter Grower Meetings, all commercial growers invited. 10 am to 3 pm. lunch will be provided, Please RSVP 2/16 Maine Highlands at East Sangerville Grange, 2/27 Down East Maine at Ellsworth City Hall, 2/28 Aroostook County at Meduxnekeag Ramblers Snowsled Club, Littleton. FMI homand@mofga.org.
  • February 23, 2019 Linear Appraisal Seminar 11 am to 2 pm Sponsored by the Heart of Maine Dairy Goat Association at the Penobscot County Extension Office, 307 Maine Ave., Bangor. RSVP on the event page.
  • February 24-25, 2019 Advanced Business Planning with Richard Wiswall, MOFGA, Unity.
  • February 27 to 28, 2019 Harvest New England Agricultural Marketing Conference and Trade Show,Sturbridge Host Hotel, Sturbridge, Massachusetts. FMI: https://www.harvestnewengland.org/events/
  • February 28, 2019, (snow date March 4 ) UMaine Wild Blueberry Conference, Black Bear Inn, Orono, ME. Topics include: Management updates on diseases, pollinators and weeds; New ideas about precision agriculture, post-harvest quality and blueberry fertility; Valuable insight into food safety requirements. For more information and to register click here.
  • March 4, 2019 Post-Harvest Handling 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity.
  • March 5, 2019 Pack Shed Design 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity. 
  • March 5, 2019 Permaculture 101, 5:30 pm to 7 pm, Thompson Free Library, Dover-Foxcroft. Free discussion with Steve DeGoosh and Brooke Isham from LOMAH Farmstead. FMI PCSWCD or call 564-2321 ext. 3.
  • February 28, 2019 (snow date March 4), UMaine Wild Blueberry Conference, Black Bear Inn, Orono, ME. Topics include: Management updates on diseases, pollinators and weeds; New ideas about precision agriculture, post-harvest quality and blueberry fertility; Valuable insight into food safety requirements. Free, but registration required.
  • March 15th & 16th, 2019 Digging into Farm Accounting, a free two-day workshop in Caribou on Friday from 4 pm to 7:30 pm and Saturday in Presque Isle from 9 am to 5 pm. Brought to you by Maine Farmland Trust and sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank.
  • March 15, 2019 Safforn: Production Progress and Marketing Promise (pdf), Burlington, VT or live streamed on ZOOM. Sponsored by UVM.
  • March 21, 2019 Dairy Seminar, Elks Club, Waterville.
  • March 21, 2019 Home & Small-scale Greenhouse Program, 10 am to noon, Piscataquis Extension Office, Dover-Foxcroft, Matt Wallhead, speaker. $10 per person. Registration online or by calling 207-564-3301.
  • March 22 - Pork 101: Beginners Guide to Keeping Pigs 11 am to 2 pm, Piscataquis County Extension Office, Dover-Foxcroft, Colt Knight, speaker. $10 per person. Registration online or by calling 207-564-3301.
  • March 23, 2019 Grazing Conference, KVCC Hinkley. More details later.
  • March 25, 2019 Got Hayfield and Pasture Workshop, 6 pm to 9 pm at the Piscataquis Extension Office, Dover-Foxcroft, Rick Kersbergen speaker. More details later.
  • March 26, 2019 Maine Vegetable and Fruit School, 9 am to 4 pm, Bangor Motor Inn Conference Center, Hogan Road, Bangor. Preregistration required. Early bird $45 per person before March 8th, $55 if after. Lunch and materials included.
  • March 27, 2019 Got Hayfield and Pasture Workshop, 9 am to noon at the Penobscot Extension Office, Bangor, Rick Kersbergen speaker. More details later.
  • March 29, 2019 (snow date April 4) Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training, Dover Foxcroft Congregational Church, Dover-Foxcroft. Sponsored by UMaine Extension. More details later.
  • April 13, 2019 Small Ruminant: What tests can tell. Foxcroft Large Animal Veterinary Associates, Dexter Rd., Dover-Foxcroft. More details later.
Newsletter Subscription Information

The Central Maine Farming Newsletter (CMFN), now received by over 900 readers, has been offered as an educational resource by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension for over 15 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 at this website 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 or Penobscot 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. 

Edited by 
Donna Coffin, 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
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