Volume 7 | October 2018
Your monthly news & updates
What's New?
What's Killing My Plants?
Crop Insurance Deadlines for Various Crops
Beginning Sheep Farmer Workshops - Free - Sheep 101
2018 Maine Sheep Conference
2nd Annual Cattlemen's Conference

Items of Interest
Featured Resources
Upcoming Events
Newsletter Subscription Information
Mission and Quick Links
Local Weather Anytime - Need Pesticide Credits?

Will be the topic of a talk at the Piscataquis County Extension Association Annual Meeting on November 7th from 5 pm to 7:45 pm at the Dover Foxcroft Congregational Church, 828 W. Main St., Dover-Foxcroft. Cost is $20 and you can register online or by calling 207.564.3301 or anette.moulton@maine.edu
The association will have a short business meeting before a delicious supper prepared by DKB Catering. Farm In The Woods is supplying pork loins for the supper. A special program called “What’s Killing My Plants?” will be presented by Drs. Alicyn Smart.

The question most often asked by both farmers and gardeners is “What’s Killing My Plants?” Sometimes it is a disease, sometimes it is an insect, sometimes it is how the plant is cared for or where the plant is planted. Our special guests will talk about the types of samples that come into their office and what farmers and gardeners can do to prevent plant disease.

Dr. Alicyn Smart performs diagnostics on plants submitted to the Insect and Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab in Orono. She identifies diseases present and will provide recommendations for managing the disease. This service is available at no charge to all Maine residents. She will present the most frequent plant diseases that she encountered in her lab this past season.
Crop Insurance Deadlines for various crops.

Pasture, Rangeland and Forage (PRF) Rainfall Index Crop Insurance deadline. PRF protects grazing or haying acres against a single peril: lack of precipitation. Producers must enroll with a licensed crop insurance agent before the November 15 deadline for 2019 coverage.
Wild Blueberry Crop Insurance deadline. The 2019 price elections are $0.48 per lb. and $1.29 per lb. for conventional and organic blueberries, respectively. Producers must enroll with a licensed crop insurance agent before the November 20th deadline for 2019 coverage.
Apple Crop Insurance deadline. The 2019 price elections are $11.50 per bushel ($6.33 per bushel for CAT) for "fresh market" conventional and organic apples. Price elections also exist for different varietal groups and processing apples. Producers must enroll with a licensed crop insurance agent before the November 20th deadline for 2019 coverage.
SARE Farmer Grower Grant Deadline - Nov. 26
Northeast SARE offers grants to farmers   to conduct research addressing issues that affect farming and the food system in the Northeast. Competitive proposals offer innovation through techniques that test a new idea or apply a known idea in a new way. Reviewers look to fund projects that are well-designed and promise the greatest benefits to the farming community.
For application instructions and additional materials,  www.northeastsare.org/FarmerGrant. 

The University of Maine will be hosting Sheep 101, a new sheep farmers workshop, beginning November 5, 2018 in five counties. The workshop is designed to educate new sheep farmers or anyone wanting to learn more about sheep breed selection, husbandry, health, nutrition, reproduction, housing, and handling. Dr. Colt Knight will go over basics of sheep production, and also provide insight on the lamb market in the USA. This workshop will cover basics in lamb preparation, especially some easy Do’s and Don’t’s that make preparing delicious leg of lamb easy. The workshop will end with a freshly prepared leg of lamb lunch/dinner complete with a carving demonstration.
Space is limited so please be sure to register online or by calling 207.581.2788 or in Maine 1.800.287.7170 or melissa.libby1@maine.edu
  • Nov. 5th - 6 pm to 9 pm York Ext. Office, Springvale
  • Nov. 8th - 10 am to 1 pm Aroostook Ext Office, Presque Isle
  • Nov. 9th - 9:30 am to 12:30 pm Washington Ext Office, Machias
  • Nov. 15th - 6 pm to 9 pm Piscataquis Ext. Office, Dover-Foxcroft
  • Nov. 19th - 9:30 am to 12:30 pm Washington Ext Office, Ellsworth

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sheep Breeders Association are excited to announce the Maine Sheep Conference and annual meeting to be held in Bangor, ME on November 10, 2018. The Maine Sheep Conference is designed to bring the most up-to-date information to sheep producers on important topics impacting Maine sheep producers. The conference also serves as the annual meeting for the Maine Sheep Breeders Association(MSBA) where members can interact and discuss current events and production practices. Officers will be nominated and elected.
Bartlettyarns  will be buying wool.
For more information about the Sheep Conference , contact Melissa Babcock at 207.581.2788 or 1.800.287.7170 (in Maine).

Friday, November 30
Pre-Conference BQA Demonstration and Mixer, Maple Lane Farm, Charleston, ME & Jones Rd., Garland

Saturday, December 1, 2018
The Wells Conference Center
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine
  • Refreshments Available
  • Plated Lunch Provided
  • Silent Auction

  • Members, $25; Non-members, $35
  • Pre-Conference Mixer/Barbeque (Smoked Brisket), $20

The Maine Cattlemen’s College will provide up-to-date information to Maine beef cattle producers and allow Maine beef cattle producers an opportunity to meet leaders in the industry and fellow producers to share ideas and innovations. All proceeds to benefit Maine Beef Producers Association Scholarship Fund. Who should attend: Beef cattle producers and farmers interested in keeping beef animals.
small farm barn with fall colors

From 2001 to 2010 roughly 35 percent of the region’s farmland was devoted to non-food crops or was fallow. Roughly 65 percent contributed directly to the food supply, and more than half of that land (56 percent) was devoted to growing feed and forages for livestock. Only about 8 percent of the region’s food-producing farmland was occupied by human food crops like fruits and vegetables, food grains, oils and nuts.

As a result, the region was far more self-reliant in the production of animal-based foods than it was for plant-based foods. For example, the region produced 76 percent of the amount of fluid milk, and 71 percent of the amount of eggs consumed in the region. On the other hand, it produced only 18 percent of the amount of fruit and 26 percent of the amount of vegetables consumed.

The study also found that the concept of regional compared to local food systems is ambiguous and amorphous to most consumers but ,even so, there are opportunities to grow support for regional food system expansion.

Items of Interest
  • University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) are continuing to provide free consults to Maine farmers through January 2019 on production and financial record-keeping. Consults will be done by phone, email and video chat unless in-person assistance is needed. Consults are free, confidential, and require only a participant’s time. For more information, to set up a consultation or request a reasonable accommodation, contact Calvert Schaefer at 443.340.4324, calvert.schaefer@maine.edu.
  • Boron Deficiencies noted on rutabagas grown on sandy soils with low organic matter. Boron can leach out of soils very easily. UMass has a nice factsheet on Boron Deficiency. It can be corrected with Borax, boric acid or Solubor, but be careful since too much can cause problems too so consider testing your soils.
  • 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:  a number of food and nutrition aides throughout the state.
Featured Resources
Dairy Revenue Protection , a new program of the USDA Risk Management Agency, October 30, 12 noon-1 p.m. pre-register here.

Online Class:
Getting Started with Pastured Pigs - by Cornell University Small Farms Program - Cost $195 to $295 depending on income. Nov. 7 to Dec. 19 6:30 to 8 pm online course. Sessions are recorded.

Assistive Technology Videos - on the West Virginia Extension Website includes a video clip of a lift creeper for folks with leg impairments to work on things close to the ground/floor.

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

Upcoming Events

  • October 24 - 25, 2018 Maple Grading School, Keene, NH Stonewall Farms, IMSI, UMaine, UVM and UNH are co-sponsoring this event
  • October 26 - 29, 2018 North American Maple Syrup Council and International Maple Syrup Institutes Annual Conference , Concord, NH
  • October 30, 2018 Webinar on Dairy Revenue Protection, a new program of the USDA Risk Management Agency,12 noon-1 p.m.
  • October 30, 2018 Dairy Sanitation Class at State of Maine Cheese, 9 am to 5 pm. Bring your own lunch. For more information or registration assistance, please contact Melissa Libby at 207.581.2788 or melissa.libby1@maine.edu
  • November 3- 5, 2018 Farmer to Farmer Conference, MOFGA, Northport
  • November 5,8,13, & 15, 2018 So You Want to Farm in Maine - 1 pm to 4 pm Washington County, Machias.
  • November 5, 8, 9, 15, 19 Sheep 101 with Dr. Colt Knight at various locations throughout Maine.FMI please contact Melissa Libby at 207.581.2788 or melissa.libby1@maine.edu
  • November 6,13,20, & 27, 2018 So You Want to Farm in Maine 1 pm to 4 pm Aroostook County, Presque Isle.
  • November 6, 2018 Basic Excel for Farmers starting at 1 pm at the Penobscot County Extension Office, 307 Maine Ave., Bangor. Sponsored by UMaine Extension. Please bring your laptop or tablet. Free Open to all people interested in sheep. FMI please contact Wendy Robertson at 207.942.7396 or wendy.robertson@maine.edu
  • November 9, 2018 Climate Change: Forest & Ecosystem Impact, 6 pm to 8 pm, Center for Moosehead History, Greenville. Free - pre-register with the Piscataquis SWCD tel. 564-2321 ext. 3.
  • November 10, 2018 Maine Sheep Conference and MSBA Annual Meeting, Penobscot County Extension Office, 307 Maine Ave., Bangor. Sponsored by UMaine Extension and the Maine Sheep Breeders Association. Open to all people interested in sheep. FMI please contact Melissa Libby at 207.581.2788 or melissa.libby1@maine.edu
  • November 13, 2018 Pricing Your Products and Services, 6 pm to 8 pm. with Dr. Jim McConnon. This is a free class. Penobscot County Extension Office, 307 Maine Ave., Bangor.
  • November 15, 2018 Sheep 101 - Beginning Sheep Workshop, 6 pm to 9 pm, Piscataquis County Extension Office, 165 East Main St., Dover-Foxcroft. Free. Smoked lamb tasting at end of class.
  • November 15, 2018 Taking the First Steps: Beginning to Plan for the Future of Your Land, 6 pm to 8 pm, Monson Arts Center, Monson, $5, pre-register with Piscataquis SWCD tel. 564-2321 ext. 3.
  • November 15 - 18, 2018 Low Impact Forestry Workshops, MOFGA, Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Including sessions on logging with draft animals, logging with hand tools & small machinery, and chainsaw safety.
  • November 17 - 18, 2018 Maine Harvest Festival, 10 am to 4 pm Cross Insurance Center, Bangor. UMaine Extension is at booth A67 - stop by to say hi!
  • November 19, 2018 Sheep 101 - Beginning Sheep Workshop, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, Hancock County Extension Office, Ellsworth. Free. Smoked lamb tasting at end of class.
  • November 27, 2018 Northeast SARE Farmer Grant Deadline. Farmer 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.
  • November 30, 2018 Cattlemen's College -Pre-session on Beef Quality Assurance Training, 2 pm to 4 pm Maple Lane Farm, Charleston. Sponsored by UMaine Extension & Maine Beef Producers Association. Low stress stockman ship demonstration. Followed by a Brisket Barbecue/ social mixer for beef producers and speakers to interact. Members $25, Non-members $35. Pre-registration online.
  • December 1, 2018 Cattlemen's College 9 am to 2:30 pm Wells Conference Center, University of Maine, Orono. Keynote speaker - Dr. Dean Fish, Low Stress Cattle Handling. For more information, contact Melissa Babcock at melissa.libby1@maine.edu or 207.581.2788.
  • December 4, 2018 Pricing Your Products and Services, 6 pm to 8 pm. with Dr. Jim McConnon. This is a free class. Hancock County Extension Office, Ellsworth.
  • December 4, 2018 Deadline for USDA's 2019 Farm to School Grant Program, which helps farmers and healthy food advocates increase the availability of local foods in schools by supporting trainings, research, equipment, operations support and development of partnerships.
  • December 6, 2018 Pricing Your Products and Services, 6 pm to 8 pm. with Dr. Jim McConnon. This is a free class. Washington County Extension Office, Machias.
  • December 6, 2018 Kitchen Licensing Workshop. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity, Maine. Fee: $50; $35 for MOFGA members. Designed for farmers and others interested in home-food processing for resale. Dr. Beth Calder, UMaine Extension & Lindsay Werner, MDACF are speakers.
  • January 8, 2019 Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training, Penobscot County Extension Office, 307 Maine Ave., Bangor, 9 am to 6 pm. $20. Grant funded - limited to Maine residents only. Register online or by contacting theresa.tiliton@maine.edu or call 207-942-7396.
  • January 15 to 17, 2019 Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Augusta.
  • 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.  
  • March 21, 2019 Dairy Seminar
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)