Volume 7 | July 2018
Your monthly news & updates
What's New?
So You Want to Farm in Maine?
Farming as a Possible Work Experience
Pastured Turkey Production
VFD Survey One Month to Go
A taste of the Maine woods is brewing in Orono
Mandatory Labels Reduce GMO Fears
Research on Probiotics in Poultry - a Survey
New Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
Items of Interest
Featured Resources
Upcoming Events
Newsletter Subscription Information
Mission and Quick Links
Local Weather Anytime - Need Pesticide Credits?
Page Farm Museum UMaine
So You Want to Farm in Maine?
Plans are underway to offer the So You Want to Farm in Maine? series at multiple sites throughout Maine. We will also offer it as a live feed and archived sessions.
This is the business planning course that meets FSA Borrower Training requirements. The goal is for you to finish the course with a farm plan to help to decide where you are going with your farm and how you are going to get there.
The Bangor edition will be the first four Tuesdays in October from 1 to 4 pm at the Penobscot County Extension Office. Watch for more details.
To get ready for the course why not take the self-assessment here.
Farming as a Possible Work Experience for Youth
As a farm owner/operator, would you like the opportunity to introduce interested young people to farming?
Would you like to try out potential farm employees at no risk or cost?
If you answered YES to either of the above, we'd like you to consider completing this Farming as a Career Exploration Survey. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension through its AgrAbility Program is partnering with the Maine Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) to provide career exploration and possible work experiences for individuals with disabilities. We believe these individuals are employable.
This collaborative project will introduce Maine youth to local agricultural career opportunities.

These opportunities for hands-on activities in the agricultural community could include:
·      Introductory and informational farm tours
·      Farmworker mock interviews
·      Farm job shadowing
·      Farm work experience/summer work experience (part-time, full-time, or seasonal basis)
For more information about this opportunity, please complete the quick 5-question  Farming as a Career Survey . Based on your location and interests, we will follow up with you and explore the opportunities!
If you have questions, feel free to call Lani Carlson, Maine AgrAbility Project Coordinator
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
207-944-1533 or email leilani.carlson@maine.edu
goats eating hay in barn
pastured turkeys
Pastured Turkey Production
Thanks to consumer interest in animal welfare issues, nutrition, and taste, there has been a growing demand for turkeys that have been pastured. This new ATTRA publication,  Pastured Turkey Production, introduces the concept of raising turkeys on pasture and the many considerations related to breed selection, housing, nutrition, welfare, processing, and marketing.
In addition to addressing growing public awareness about animal welfare, environmental issues, and local food systems, pastured turkeys are excellent foragers and can help restore fertility to pastures through application of manure. This publication by NCAT agriculture specialist Kevin Ellis guides you in making turkey production profitable for you and your land.

Veterinary Feed Directive Survey
1 month to go

Michigan State University Extension has been conducting a national survey of food animal producers to learn more about the impact of the VFD rules on practices and protocols, on animal health and on antibiotic use. The survey can be accessed at https://tinyurl.com/VFDSurvey .

The survey will only be open until August 1 and they would like to hear from more producers. Please take the time to respond about the impact of the VFD rule changes. Michigan State University Extension is cooperating with Extension specialists and educators nationally. The input by food animal producers will help Extension better understand the needs and how best to respond with educational programs. Please take time to complete the survey during the month of July.
A taste of the Maine woods is brewing in Orono

The University of Maine’s forestry faculty have teamed up with Black Bear Brewing Company and Marsh Island Brewing to serve up Green Growth, a spruce tip pale ale, this July.
The idea was originally conceived by Daniel Hayes and Aaron Weiskittel of UMaine’s School of Forest Resources. They were planning to host a boreal forest research conference, and thought it would be fun to serve a beer at the event featuring spruce, which grows in boreal forests. The conference was later canceled, but the idea for the beer stuck.
“We wanted to help our local community appreciate Maine’s forests in a different way. So this sort of became a pet project, to convince a local brewery to make our idea happen,” Hayes said.
The tips were gathered from Norway spruce trees in UMaine’s Dwight B. Demeritt Forest under the guidance of forestry faculty who helped the brewers identify the correct trees and sustainably harvest the freshly sprouted tips.
The spruce pale ale will be available at Black Bear Brewing Company and Marsh Island Brewing in time for the Fourth of July holiday. Both breweries will donate $1 for every pint of Green Growth sold to support building a new sugar house in the Demeritt Forest. The brewers also froze extra spruce tips that they will use to brew a spiced holiday ale this winter.
Contact: Erin Miller, 207.581.3204
sweet corn ears
Sweet Corn Do-It-Yourself IPM
To get the most accurate information about the pest situation on your farm you should monitor the fields yourself on a regular basis. Pheromone traps and lures are available that can give you an accurate, early warning of the arrival of all of the major insect pests. Traps and lures can be purchased from pest management supply companies such as Gempler’s (1.800.382.8473) or Great Lakes IPM (517.268.5693). You may also want to download a copy of our fact sheet  Managing Insect Pests of Sweet Corn  at our website.
Mandatory Labels Reduce GMO Fears
As the U.S. Department of Agriculture prepares guidelines for labeling products that contain genetically modified ingredients, a new study from the University of Vermont reveals that a simple disclosure can improve consumer attitudes toward GMO food.
Led by Jane Kolodinsky, at UVM the  study compared levels of consumer opposition to GMO foods in Vermont – the only U.S. state to have implemented a mandatory labeling policy – with consumer attitudes in the rest of the U.S. The analysis showed opposition to GMO food fell by 19% in Vermont after the implementation of mandatory labels.
The study is the first to examine the real-world impact of consumer attitudes toward GMO foods in a state where consumers were exposed to mandatory GMO labels.
“Our findings put to bed the idea that GMO labels will be seen as a warning label,” said Kolodinsky, “What we’re seeing is that simple disclosures, like the ones implemented in Vermont, are not going to scare people away from these products.”
baby chicks
Research on Probiotics in Poultry

Researchers at UConn’s Department of Animal Science are conducting research on probiotic supplements in poultry and have developed a short survey to gauge the interest of poultry producers and processors in the Northeast on the research.

The study evaluates the effect of in-ovo and in-feed probiotic supplementation on layer health, growth and performance. Dr. Mary Anne Amalaradjou has been working on this project for the last couple of years and has some promising results. Briefly, early supplementation of probiotics to layer embryos and pullets resulted in:
- Improved embryonic growth
- Improved Hatchability (no change is time of hatch)
- Improved Feed efficiency 
- Stronger bones

However, this initial study was only done up to 6 weeks of age. As part of the next phase of the research project she is interested in looking at layer growth and performance up until 70 weeks. This would help assess the effect of probiotic supplementation on egg production as well as layer health.

Please fill out this brief, 3-minute survey with your interest in the research: http://s.uconn.edu/4b8
pink and white geraniums on trays in greenhouse
New Ornamental Horticulture Specialist

Dr. Matt Wallhead is the new UMaine Extension Ornamental Horticulture Specialist and Assistant Professor of Horticulture in the School of Food and Agriculture at the University of Maine. He conducts applied research that responds to the needs of Maine’s ornamental horticulture industry and educates growers on management practices that will enable them to increase production efficiency and profitability. Current projects include the evaluation of laser-guided air-assisted sprayers for commercial nurseries and Christmas tree farms, applications of small unmanned aerial systems for precision horticulture, and decision support system development and adaptive implementation for nurseries and greenhouses.

The Extension Ornamental Horticulture Team is seeking input from those involved in Maine's ornamental horticulture industry. Our goal is to identify and assess industry needs for planning programming. We are interested in hearing your thoughts or ideas for conducting applied research and educational efforts. Please email responses to  matthew.wallhead@maine.edu  or call 207.581.2949.
Items of Interest
  • UMaine Extension statewide newsletters on a variety of topics.
  • UMaine Pest Management Potato Hotline is up and running. 760-9ipm
  • MOFGA just hired a new Executive Director, Sarah Alexander. She will be starting in August.
  • A new law allows allows tastings as well as sale of malt liquor, wine and spirits at farmers' markets. Of course there are a lot of regulations, restrictions and approvals necessary to be able to give patrons a taste of their products made in Maine.FMI Title 28 ch 51 sec. 1366 & 1367
  • Maine Wild Blueberry Growers Association - Greg Bridges wants to establish a Maine Wild Blueberry Growers Association. If you are interested you can contact him on Facebook by typing Maine Wild Blueberry Growers Association in the search box. You may also mail him at 114 US Hwy 1 Baring, ME 04694 or call Greg at 207-214-6664.
  • Ever wonder about the impact of grain on how a calf's rumen develops? Penn State researchers have posted pictures showing the Photos of Rumen Development when fed diets of milk/milk replacer, hay and either with or without grain.
  • Generally farm tractors, hay trailers, etc. that are used to transport farm harvests from fields to the home farm do not need to be registered, but if you are doing work for hire on neighbor farms, equipment that goes over the road will need to be registered and inspected. FMI Title 29A -sec 510 & sec. 509.
  • Link to pest alert, IPM, blueberry, strawberry, sweet corn, tree fruit newsletters.
  • Greenlight Maine selects North Spore Mushroom Co., an urban mushroom farm based in Westbrook $100,000 in it's 3rd entrepreneurial pitch contest. They are starting to look for businesses to compete in the 4th season.
  • The New England Fellowship of Agricultural Adventurers presented Crane Brothers Farms, of Exeter, Maine, with the 2018 Agricultural Adventurers Award at the Annual Meeting of Eastern States Exposition (ESE), May 17, in West Springfield, Mass.
  • Emerald Ash Borer found in Madawaska! Maine Forest Service is seeking input on a proposed stop movement of ash and hardwood firewood from the towns of Frenchville and Madawaska. 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.
  • Maine Farm Labor Link Network - MDACF to link potential employers with job seekers.
  • Jobs at UMaine Extension:  
Featured Resources
"Using Facebook to Grow Your Farm Business," and find out how to best take advantage of what Facebook has to offer from ATTRA - NCAT.
Online Catalog:

Range Plants of the Temperate North America Merck Veterinary Manual - Cecil Brownie, DVM North Carolina State University compiled information about poisonous plants, their habitat & distribution, animals affected, toxic principle and treatment.

Vineyards and Winemaking in Maine - Dave Handley, UMaine Extension Specialist joins winemakers and vineyard owners on Maine Public to talk about starting a vineyard and winemaking with grapes and other fruit. Originally broadcast June 2018.

Cut the Grass by Paul Kelly - Haylage making video from Ireland.

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

  •  Black Dot of Potato #2447 Black dot is a common, but minor, disease in potatoes, often occurring in combination with other foliar or tuber diseases. Learn how this serious disease that affects cultivated potatoes, tomatoes, and a number of wild Solanum species. Discusses history, life cyle, symptom and control. 3 pages. © 2018 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free or buy a color copy $0.50.
  • Potato Wart #2445 Learn how this serious disease affects cultivated potatoes, tomatoes, and a number of wild Solanum species. Discusses history, life cycle, symptoms, and control. 3 pages. © 2018 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free or buy a color copy #0.50.
  • Reducing Forage Shrink and Improving Milk Production on Maine Dairy Farms #1070 Forage production is the biggest operating expense for most dairy farms, and quality forage production is the basis of a high producing dairy ration. Harvesting forage is expensive and farmers can experience considerable nutrient loss during the process from planting to harvest and storage and feeding. Learn more about a well-managed forage program and how to minimize losses during the chain of events from harvest to feeding. 3 pages. © 2018 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free or buy a color copy. $0.50
  • Active Listening to Improve On-Farm Communication #4806 Discusses effective listening techniques as well as words and phrases to avoid. Includes prompts and strategies. For use by service providers and anyone looking to improve communication. 3 pages. © 2018 by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Download it for free or add it to your cart to buy a color copy $0.50.
Upcoming Events
  • July 6, 2018 Micro Grids / PV Updates DDATT 6 pm to 8 pm Abbott Memorial Library, Dexter.
  • July 11 - Farm in the Woods. Gretchen Huettner will be our host in Monson. 5-7 pm.  Please call 342-5971 for directions and to RSVP
  • July 14, 2018 Foraging in the woods for edibles, DDATT 10 am to noon with Dave Fuller, UMaine Extension at Abbott Memorial Library, Dexter.
  • July 16, 2018 Organic Wild Blueberry Field Meeting, 1 pm to 3 pm, at 8 Sanborn Rd, Chesterville. Sponsored by UMaine Extension. 2 pesticide recertification credits available.
  • July 18, 2018 Wild Blueberry Annual Field Day, 9 am to 4 pm, at the Blueberry Hill Research Farm, Rt. 1, Jonesboro. Sponsored by UMaine Extension. 3 pesticide recertification credits available.
  • July 18, 2018 Organic Dairy Apprenticeship. MOFGA Farm Training Project, 5 p.m., Wolfe's Neck Center, Freeport. Potluck to follow. Schedule of workshops 
  • July 22, 2018 Open Farm Day, statewide sponsored by MDACF
  • July 25 - Wolfe's Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment, Freeport. 5-7 pm5-7 pm. Come see what is happening at Wolfe's Neck and their dairy program, the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program and the new barn under construction!
  • July 26-27 - The Maine Grain Alliance 12th annual Kneading Conference, at Kennebec Valley Community College
  • July 26, 2018 Poultry Processing Workshop, 9 am to 1 pm, MOFGA Common Kitchen at Common Ground Education Center, Unity. FMI click here.
  • July 27 - August 5, 2018 Bangor State Fair
  • July 30 - Fred Sherburne heifer grazing facility. Dexter.  3-5 pm. Call for directions and to RSVP at 342-5971
  • August 5-8 - Northern Nut Growers Association annual conference, Le Baluchon EcoResort, Saint-Paulin, Quebec, Canada. Talks on chestnut, walnut, butternut, heartnut and hazelnut. More information
  • August 8, 2018 Aroostook Field Day, at Aroostook Research Farm, 59 Houlton Road, Presque Isle. Free event open to all agriculture producers (potato gorwers, grain growers, dairy people, etc.) No pre-registration is required. Lunch will be provided. Pesticide and CCA credits available.
  • August 9 - 11, 2018 Forest Heritage Days, Greenville - Check out the Working Forest Tour, Woodsman's demonstrations, Logging Contest, craft fair, chainsaw carving and more.
  • August 22 - 23, 2018 Maine Farm Days, Misty Meadows Farm, Clinton
  • August 23 - 26, 2018 Piscataquis Valley Fair, Dover-Foxcroft
  • October 13 - 14, 2018 Maine Farriers Association Fall Clinic , UMaine Witter Center, Old Town.
  • January 28-30, 2019 - Flowering in the North, flower growers' conference, University of Southern Maine, Abromson Center, 88 Bedford St., Portland. Share knowledge about zone 5 growing, wholesaling, retailing and designing with farm-fresh flowers. Cosponsored by MOFGA, UMaine Cooperative Extension, Snell Family Farm, Broadturn Farm and the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Information. Email lynne.b.hazelton@maine.edu to be notified when registration opens.  
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)