Volume 7 | December 2018
Your monthly news & updates
What's New?
Maine Agricultural Trades Show (MATS)- January 15 - 17, 2019
Improve On-farm Communication
Maine Agriculture Needs Sessions - Calling All Farmers
Farm Labor Sessions at MATS
Respirator Fit Testing at MATS
Pesticide Recertification Training at MATS
Flowering the North Conference
Strawberry School at MATS
Items of Interest
Featured Resources
Upcoming Events
Newsletter Subscription Information
Mission and Quick Links
Local Weather Anytime - Need Pesticide Credits?
Maine Agricultural Trades Show
January 15 - 17, 2019
Augusta Civic Center

The State of Maine Agricultural Trades Show takes place every January and serves as a source for agricultural resources and products. Producers and consumers alike visit this three day show to take stock of current programs, new technologies and to gather information on the agriculture industry. The event is sponsored by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The Ag Trade Show provides promotional opportunities for businesses and organizations on the trade show floor, but also houses various lectures, certification courses and annual meetings throughout its duration. The event has activities geared towards promoting industry collaboration and progress.  
While the 2018 program wasn't available at press time here are some sessions that have been publicized. The whole program is available on the  GetRealMaine.com  website.   
Some meetings planned for the Maine Agricultural Trades Show include: 

Tuesday: MOFGA, MESAS, Maine Cheese Guild, BFRN, SCORE Workshops, FSMA & GAP, Hemp Roundtable, Maine Vegetable and Small Fruit Assoc., Greater Portland Council of Governments, Maine Christmas Tree Association, Maine Milk Commission, Pesticide Training, Nutrient Management Training, Maine Farm Labor Link. 

Wednesday: BFRN, Pesticide Training, Maine Grass Farmers Network, Maine Maple Syrup Assoc., Maine Beef Producers Association, Maine Sheep Producers Assoc., Nutrient Management Training, Maine Vegetable and Small Fruit Assoc., Maine Pomological Society, Maine Woodlot Owners, Maine Florist Assoc., Maine Winery Guild. 

Thursday: Maine Pork Producers, Pesticide Training, BFRN, WIC Farmer Training, GPCOG, FSMA & GAP, Strawberry School, Ag Leadership Training, Maine Sustainable Ag Society, Climate & Agriculture, MFFM, SCORE workshops, Farm to School, USDA loans & grants. 
white barn with red doors

On-farm communication is critical for farm viability, and is one of the most common sources of conflict and frustration for farmers, family members, employees, and customers.

Your participation in   Improving Communication  will give you tools to adapt to different communication styles, structure dialogue between generations, identify obstacles to shifting management roles, and improve internal and external communication.

Jan. 8, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., at University of Maine Cooperative Extension Hancock County office, 63 Boggy Brook Road, Ellsworth
Feb. 5, 9 a.m.–noon,  online only

COST:  $15/person or $25/couple, and includes workbook and refreshments for Fairfield and Ellsworth trainings; $10/person for online session. Register  online  . 

For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Angela Martin, 207.581.3739;  angela.martin@maine.edu  . More information also is  online.  sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture Northeast Extension Risk Management Education.
logo for Maine agriculture needs

We need your knowledge and ideas to shape the future of agriculture in Maine! Attend an upcoming work session to share your thoughts about what you need to strengthen your farm business and grow Maine agriculture.

When & Where
At the following Cooperative Extension offices:
·    Presque Isle, Jan. 8, 10am-12pm (snow date Jan. 15, 10am-12pm), 57 Houlton Rd.
·    Waldoboro, Jan. 10, 10am-12pm (snow date Jan. 30, 10am-12pm), 377 Manktown Rd.
o  Locally-sourced refreshments provided.
o  RSVPs are appreciated!

·    Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Jan. 16, 5-6pm and Jan. 17, 10-11:30am, 76 Community Dr., Augusta

Remote Option:
·    Webinar, Nov. 27, 7-8pm must RSVP for link to join.
Can’t attend a session? Visit https://sites.google.com/view/maineagneeds for more information about a webinar and online survey.
Farm Labor Sessions at Maine's Agricultural Trades Show
Have you experienced challenges finding good labor on your farm? If this is the case, you are not alone. Join the Farm Labor Link Network, MOFGA, University of Cooperative Extension, the Maine Department of Labor, legal experts, and fellow farmers on Tuesday (January, 15th) at the Agricultural Trades Show.
Session I: 9-10am:  How to stay staffed throughout the summer
In a tight labor market what are your strategies to keep your farming operations rolling this coming season?
Session II: 10-11am: Farm Labor Roundtable
The Farm Labor Link Network along with other service providers including MOFGA, University of Cooperative Extension, and Maine Department of Labor is coordinating an open discussion about agricultural labor needs and brainstorming solutions.
For more information contact: Yvette Meunier at (207) 592-0640 or  Yvette.meunier@maine.gov .
Photo: Remsberg
Respirator Fit Testing at the State of Maine 
Agricultural Trades Show
Get your Respirator Fit Test done at the State of Maine Agricultural Trades Show at the Augusta Civic Center on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 15th and 16th. Under the revised  Worker Protection Standards , anyone applying pesticides that require the use of a respirator, must complete (and maintain a record of) a respirator fit test. Respirator fit tests must be completed with the same make, model, size, and style of respirator that will be used in the field. Prior to respirator fit testing, each applicator must pass (and maintain a record of) a medical evaluation demonstrating they are physically fit enough to wear a respirator.
Pre-registration is required.  Registration costs $15. For more information on testing requirements and to register, contact Lynne Hazelton at the UMaine Cumberland County Cooperative Extension Office at 207.781.6099.
This event is coordinated by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County, the Maine Board of Pesticide Control and the Maine Labor Group on Health.
Pesticide Recertification Training and Initial Training at Maine Ag Trades Show
This three day event offers many opportunities to earn pesticide recertification credits.
  • Calibration
  • Pollinators
  • Plant diseases
  • Emerging invasive insects
  • And so much more!
There will also be a Core Training for Private and Agricultural Basic pesticide licenses on January 15, 2019. Pre-registration is required, and space is limited. When spots are filled individuals will be added to a wait list.  Details and sign-up

Pre-Conference, January 28, 2019
Main Conference, January 29 & 30, 2019
Abromson Center of the University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME

A winter meeting to share knowledge about Zone 5 growing, marketing, and designing with farm fresh flowers.

Pre-Conference: Looking to grow your wedding and event design game? Come join us for a hands-on day-long workshop with a talented team of expert designers. We will cover all aspects of running a design business starting with marketing your work and the initial conversation with a client, to landing the job, pricing your work and getting the contract signed. We'll discuss the work schedule leading up to the wedding, selecting and sourcing local blooms, and how floral design fits into a farm operation. You'll get to dive in with a hands-on design session to create gorgeous design work that you'll be excited to share with your future customers. Let us help you take your floral design business to the next level. Stacy Brenner from Broadturn Farm, Carolyn Snell of Carolyn Snell Designs, Anna Jane Kocon of Little State Flower Farm and author and designer Jill Rizzo of Studio Choo East will team up to teach for the day.

Main Conference Topics Include: 
  • Organic Certification for Flowers
  • On-Farm Communication and Strategies
  • Harvest and Post Harvest Efficiency
  • Planning Your Planting Season
  • Nutrient and Water Management Strategies
  • Costs and Value: Pricing and Marketing Flowers
  • Field Spring Crops
  • Hoophouse Crops
  • Dahlias
  • Woody Crops
  • and more!
Thursday, January 17, 2019  
10:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Augusta Civic Center
Are you interested in growing strawberries as a commercial crop? Would this crop work well on your land? Would strawberries give a bump to your bottom line?
This school is designed to help people who are interested in strawberry production as a commercial enterprise. Interest in commercial strawberry production in Maine is expanding due to the high crop value and increased consumer demand. Basic site requirements, site preparation, plant selection, care of young plants, nutrient management, pest management and business management will be discussed with Dr. David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
The school will be held in the Fort Western Room at the Augusta Civic Center during the 2019 Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Admission to the Trades Show is free.
A registration fee of $25 will be charged for participation in the Strawberry School and space is limited, so preregistration is strongly advised. Please register by January 11, 2019. Participants will also have the opportunity to purchase the Strawberry Production Guide for the Northeast, Midwest and Eastern Canada at the school for an excellent reference companion to the workshop. Cost for the book is $45. Cash and checks will be accepted at the registration table; checks should be made out to “University of Maine Cooperative Extension”.
Two Pesticide Applicator recertification credit hours will be available for participants who attend the entire school.
Register online at  Click here for more information. or contact Pam St. Peter at  pamela.stpeter@maine.edu  or 207.933.2100 to preregister before January 11, 2019.
Items of Interest
  • USDA Releases 2017 Annual Pesticide Data Program Summary, U.S. Food Supply is Among the Safest in the World
  • NRCS Pollinator Conservation Program(pdf). Signup deadline is January 18, 2019 to apply for funding to cover pollinator habitat enhancement practices at your county NRCS office.
  • Christmas Tree Promotion Board - is a national promotion and research organization funded by North American Christmas Tree growers, whose mission is to share the benefits of fresh Christmas trees with consumers through promotion and public relations, while engaging in research to better serve our customers and growers.
  • Maple Hall of Fame - University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator Kathryn Hopkins will be inducted into the Maple Hall of Fame at the International Maple Museum Centre in Croghan, New York. She will join 91 other inductees who are industry leaders and have “inestimably contributed their time, talent and leadership to the North American maple syrup industry.”
  • 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.
  • 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.  
  • Maine Farm Labor Link Network - MDACF to link potential employers with job seekers.
  • Jobs at UMaine Extension:  a number positions throughout the state.
Featured Resources
Can Homesteading Provide Sustenance and Surplus in an Age of Scarcity? Dr. Steve Conghlan, UMaine Freshwater Fisheries Ecology. Human population growth is on a collision course with biophysical limits of Planet Earth and economic limits of modern industrial-financial capitalism, but current political institutions seem incapable of identifying and responding to these existential crises. This has motivated some people to plan for a future of resource scarcity, climate catastrophe, and economic collapse by investing in homesteading to provide sustenance, generate surplus, and increase resiliency. Coghlan has built energy-flow models with data from a rural Maine homestead to quantify natural, human labor, and economic inputs and estimate Energy Return on Investment (EROI) as a metric of profitability for producing fuel, food,
and value-added commodities. 

Small Farm Webinar Series : U. of Illinois. Free sessions starting Jan. 24. Topics include: Understanding Financial Statements, Growing and Processing Industrial Hemp, Digital Marketing in Local Food Systems, Healthy Soil - Healthy Vegetables, etc.

Ultra-Niche Crops - Cut Flowers - Rutgers NJAES two videos - Cut Flowers Virtual Field Trip & Cut Flowers Farmer Panel Discussion. The site also has a number of resources for those considering the cut flower enterprise.

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

Upcoming Events
  • January 5 & 12, February 2 (Snow date Feb. 9), 2019 The Business of Farming for Wholesale 101 Bangor Public Library, sponsored by Maine Farmland Trust.
  • January 8, 2019 Tri-State Greenhouse IPM, Longfellows Greenhouses, Manchester, ME These workshops are for growers with greenhouses or high tunnels, extension specialists and professional pest managers. Click here for more information (pdf)
  • 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 16, 2019 Maine Beef Producers Annual Meeting, 1 pm - Oxford Rm at the Ag Trades Show.  Meet your Board of Directors and other producers. There will be educational presentations and a farm profile by Steve Sinisi of Old Crow Farm in Durham.
  • January 23 & 24, 2019 Maine Potato Conference at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center in Caribou, Maine. The Central Aroostook Young Farmers (CAYF) Trade Show will also be at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center with informational booths. For more information and to register online click here.
  • 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.  
  • January 29 to 31, 2019 Women in Agriculture Virtual Conference. noon to 4 pm each day. Sponsored by eXtension.org.
  • February 28, 2019, 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 21, 2019 Dairy Seminar, Elks Club, Waterville.
  • March 25, 2019 Hay / Pasture Seminar, 6 pm to 9 pm at the Piscataquis Extension Office, Dover-Foxcroft, Rick Kersbergen speaker. More details later.
  • March 27, 2019 Hay / Pasture Seminar, 9 am to noon at the Penobscot Extension Office, Bangor, Rick Kersbergen speaker. 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