Livestock Farm with green barn
   Piscataquis & Penobscot Farming Newsletter
UMaine Cooperative Extension Logo
Putting knowledge to work
for the people of Maine
Volume 11 Number 8

 August 2013  

The goal of the Piscataquis & Penobscot Farming Newsletter is to provide timely information on the production and marketing of crops and livestock grown in central Maine.  Upcoming events and programs of interest will also be included.
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.
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 Weather
Quick Links
Find Piscataquis County on Facebook
Find us on Facebook 
Find Penobscot County on Facebook
Find us on Facebook 


Need Hay? Got Hay or silage to sell? Maine Hay Directory 


Please note that underlined words and phrases link to webpages with more information.  If you are unable to access these pages contact your local Extension Office for assistance.
Lois Berg Stack Piscataquis County Extension Association Annual Meeting - Come Over to Our Barn

UMaine Extension - Piscataquis County Annual Supper and Meeting will be Saturday, September 7, 2013 at the Valley Grange Hall, 172 Guilford Center Road, Guilford. Supper from 5:00 to 7:00 PM is sponsored by Penquis to benefit Piscataquis Santa. The Annual Meeting and Reports start at 7:00 PM. Plan to attend either or both!

The meal will feature stuffed chicken, Angus beef tips, mashed potatoes with gravy, mac/cheese, glazed carrots and string beans, dinner roll, fruit pie and vanilla ice cream, coffee, tea and lemonade. Suggested donation is $8 for adults, $4 for children 3 to 12 years and under 3 free. All proceeds benefit the Piscataquis Santa Fund.

During the supper UMaine Extension staff will have displays, exhibits and demonstrations about farming, gardening (including information about the fall Master Gardener Volunteer training), nutrition and 4-H Youth program. Everyone can make and take a "bee hummer."

The program starting at 7 pm will feature Dr. Lois Stack, UMaine Extension Ornamental Horticulture Specialist who will talk about "Using Native Plants in the Home Landscape."

The supper and meeting are open to all. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.564.3301 or in Maine 1.800.287.1491.

GAPs Manual
Good Agricultural Practices for Small Diversified Farms

Tips and Strategies to Reduce Risk and Pass an Audit

Developed by:
North Carolina State University and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

Many small-farm operators identify the food safety certification process as a roadblock to getting their fresh produce into food service, institutional, and retail markets. Through a partnership with the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, North Carolina State University/North Carolina Cooperative Extension faculty conducted research in 2011 and 2012 to evaluate and quantify the barriers that small-farm operators face in attaining food safety certification.

The aim of this project was to document real-world examples of how small, diversified farms could cost-effectively manage food safety risk, and meet the standards set in the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification program. The goal was to see whether it was possible for these types of farms to actually pass a GAP audit, without breaking the bank and without requiring them to change their crop production practices. The intent of this manual is to share tips and strategies learned from this research that other small, diversified produce farms can employ to meet GAP certification requirements imposed by potential buyers.

This manual and research are intended to help you level the playing field when working with a GAP auditor, and to give you the tools you need to show an auditor that you have an effective food safety program.

Photo: Edwin Remsburg New Corinth Farmers' Market
Tom Thompson is trying to establish a new farmer's market in Corinth and is looking for farmers who are interested in participating either this year or next year. He has established a Facebook page. You can contact him at or
New Pesticide Labels Will Better Protect Bees and Other Pollinators

In an ongoing effort to protect bees and other pollinators, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed new pesticide labels that prohibit use of some neonicotinoid pesticide products where bees are present.

The new labels will have a bee advisory box and icon with information on routes of exposure and spray drift precautions. Today's announcement affects products containing the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin and thiamethoxam.


In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and EPA released a comprehensive scientific report on honey bee health, showing scientific consensus that there are a complex set of stressors associated with honey bee declines, including loss of habitat, parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition and pesticide exposure.
The agency continues to work with beekeepers, growers, pesticide applicators, pesticide and seed companies, and federal and state agencies to reduce pesticide drift dust and advance best management practices. The EPA recently released new enforcement guidance to federal, state and tribal enforcement officials to enhance investigations of beekill incidents.
More on the EPA's label changes and pollinator protection efforts:

Grain-Based Business Owners

Request for Proposals: Technical Assistance Grant Program

The Maine Grain Alliance seeks applications to award mini-grants of $200 - $1,000 to fund need-based technical assistance (TA) that will help grain-based business owners secure economic opportunities in Maine.  A total of $2500 will be awarded in this round of grants.

 Examples of technical assistance might include, but are not limited to:  hiring someone to help with business planning, hiring a consultant, advisor or expert, marketing/logo/brand development, website creation, attending a course or mentoring opportunity, hiring an architect, engineer, mechanical specialist, or getting legal support.  Please specify one area of technical assistance for which you are seeking grant support. 

For more information about the Maine Grain Alliance and its other programs, please visit www.mainegrainalliance.comFor more information about the Request for Proposals 

email Application Deadline: August 30th 5:00 pm

Awards Announcement: September 20th.

Items of Interest

  • Maine Grass Farmers Network (MGFN) Mailings - you can sign up for these mailings now at along with the Maine Dairy and Maine Organic Dairy lists. MGFN mailings are sent out as needed.  
  • Maine Grains and Oilseeds Website
    has copies of the newsletter, factsheets, videos and links to additional information.
  • Animal Welfare Approved Good Husbandry Grants Animal Welfare Approved is making available grants of up to $5,000 to improve animal welfare for Animal Welfare Approved farms, farms that have completed an application to join the program, or slaughter plants that are working with an AWA farm. Funding priorities include improved genetics, increased outdoor access, welfare improvements in the slaughter process, and non-lethal predator control. 

    The deadline for applications is October 1, 2013.

  • Cornell Campus to Farm Guide In an effort to create quick and easy access to faculty research projects, the Cornell Small Farms Program released the new "Campus to Farm Guide: A Directory of Cornell University Research and Extension Projects Supporting Small Farms."  The Guide brings ongoing research in horticulture, small dairy, livestock, field crops and forages, agroforestry, farm energy and more, together into one easily navigable booklet.  Each project listing includes a short, descriptive summary and points you quickly to top impacts of the project, relevance to small farms, and contact information.  The Guide also directs you toward resources such as the Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship or the NYS Integrated Pest Management Program.The "Campus to Farm Guide" can be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF from the Cornell Small Farms Program website: 
  •  New Lamb Video Series The American Lamb Board has a new series of videos that showcase the American Lamb story, from the industry's history and heritage to the important relationships between shepherds and chefs to a behind-the-scenes look at the Lamb Jam Tour. The videos help tell the pasture-to-plate story and demonstrate the great care that goes into producing American Lamb. The videos are available at (click here to view the video library)   

  • Phosphorous acid has proven effective in reducing tuber-to-tuber spread of pathogens responsible for potato late blight and pink rot during mechanical harvesting and tuber transfer in a situation where the diseases are present at harvest. While Phosphorous acid is an effective post-harvest treatment to control these two pathogens, the application system can be a weak link. To address these concerns, there is a new publication entitled Application Equipment for Potato Post-Harvest Disease Control (

  • Obsolete Pesticide Pickup Maine Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) will sponsor a free collection of unusable pesticides during the week of October 21 through 25, 2013. There will be four drop off points in Presque Isle, Bangor, Augusta and Portland. Only farmers (including greenhouse operators) and homeowners may legally participate in the program. If you would like to participate in the 2013 collection, you must complete an inventory form and submit it to the BPC by September 27. The form and supporting information may be found at this link,  
     or you may call the BPC main office 207-287-2731 to request a paper copy of the form. Approximately two weeks before the collection, registered participants will receive a letter with directions to the drop off point, and the time of the collection. Keep in mind that the BPC only accepts pesticides through this program.
  • Obsolete Medications/vaccines Check with your local police or sheriff's department about their drug drop off programs. Many will accept animal drugs that are no longer needed or past expiration.   
  • Veterinarians for Livestock Farms A list of large animal vets is available on UMaine Extension website. You may have a need for the Maine State Veterinarian, Dr. Michele Walsh in Augusta. Her phone numbers are 207.287.7615 and 207.215.6727. Her e-mail address is In addition, Dr. Anne Lichtenwalner is UMaine Extension's Veterinarian. She directs the Animal Health & Diagnostic Lab in Orono. Dr. Lictenwalner's phone number is 207.581.2789. Her e-mail address is 
  • iCook Recruiting Now! Recruitment for iCook participants in the Dover-Foxcroft, Orono, and Ellsworth area is under way for children 9 and 10 and the adult responsible for preparing the majority of the children's meals. Each pair will be compensated $80 over the study period. Participants need to be free from food allergies, be willing to eat from all food groups, and have computer and Internet access at home. To learn more or to enroll in the study, call 207-581-3315 or visit at the  

Featured UMaine Extension Publications/Store  

The following agriculture related Extension publications are available or can be ordered at the Extension Office nearest you.  You will notice that some publications are free and some have a cost recovery charge.  Many other publications are available for free online or may be purchased at our secure  publications web site.       

  • Rabbit Housing - Planning, Building and Equipping Facilities for Humanely Raising Healthy Rabbits #1041 Written by By Bob Bennett, this easy to read book provides clear, step-by-step instructions for building all-wire hutches and surrounding shelters and fencing. Includes building plans for both small- and large-scale facilities proper ventilation and protection from predators, this reference covers everything you need to know to create a healthy, productive rabbit-raising operation. 135 pages, color diagrams and photos. 2012. $19.95
  • Adding a High Tunnel to Your Maine Farm: Observations from a Statewide Study #1026 In 2011, University of Maine Cooperative Extension staff visited 31 Maine farmers to talk about their high tunnel production practices, benefits, and challenges. This four-page publication is based on some of the results and observations that can help farmers effectively plan for and use high tunnels to increase profitability. 4 pages. 2013.  Download it for free, or  buy a printout $1.00.

Upcoming Events        

  • August 31, 2013 Wool Pool 10 am to 2 pm at the Piscataquis Valley Fairgrounds in Dover-Foxcroft. The Central Maine Sheep Breeders Association is sponsoring this wool pool. There will be a short business meeting at noon to elect officers and discuss any concerns. FYI
  • September 5, 2013 Farmer Veterans Coalition Maine Chapter, 3 pm to 5 pm, Augusta area (TBA) FMI Facebook Maine Farmer Veterans Coalition   
  • September 7th, 2013 Come Over to Our Barn - Piscataquis County Extension Association Annual Meeting featuring a talk by Dr. Lois Stack on Native Plants in the Landscape. Come early to support the Piscataquis Santa Project Supper and view the Extension Exhibits and Demonstrations from 5 pm to 7 pm. The Annual Meeting starts at 7 pm. The supper and meeting are open to all. For more information or to ask for a disability accommodation call 207-564-3301 or in Maine 1-800-287-1491 or email 
  • September 10th Piscataquis and Aroostook Counties Master Gardener Program starting. 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm for 14 weeks at Dover-Foxcroft and Fort Kent. FMI and to register go to 
  • September 14, 2013 Pasture Walk at 1pm Norwest Angus (Pat Bates), 311 Fern St, Turner, ME

  • September 20 - 22, 2013 Common Ground Fair - Unity 
  • September 27th, 2013 Deadline for Obsolete Pesticide Pickup Paperwork to the Board of Pesticide Control.  
  • September 28th, 2013 Deadline to complete vaccinations for the Preconditioned Feeder Calf Sale by the Maine Beef Producers Association on Nov. 2nd. FMI 
  • September 30, October 1 & 2, 2013 Buying Local Meats part of UMaine Extension and Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative programs. To be held 6 pm to 8 pm in Milo, Guilford and Dover-Foxcroft. Sign up through PVAEC.  
  • September 30th Maine Equine Welfare Alliance Annual Meeting at 6:30 pm, in Topsham at the Fairground Cafe in their banquet room.  We will be voting in new Board of Directors members and the Executive committee for the upcoming year. The meeting agenda will be posted on our website by September 25th.   All are invited to attend.  FMI or

  • October 10, 2013 Maine Highlands Farmers at 7 pm at the Piscataquis County Extension Office, Dover-Foxcroft. 
  • October 11-13, 2014, New England 4-H Horse Judge's School, University of Connecticut. Attendance at the school enables you to judge 4-H horse shows in all 6 New England states. FYI Sherri Thornton at  
  • October 21, 22, 23, 2013 Hops Growing in the Backyard part of UMaine Extension and Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative programs. To be held 6 pm to 8 pm in Milo, Guilford and Dover-Foxcroft. Sign up through PVAEC.
  • October 24-27, 2013 Highlands on the Fly: Fiber Retreat in the Mountains of Northern Maine. the New England Outdoor Center, featuring mini workshops on spinning, knitting, and dyeing, an exclusive vendor marketplace, etc. Cost includes room at Twin Pine Camps with 3 breakfasts, 3 dinners, and 2 lunches and snacks.  Registration deadline is September 24.  For specifics about costs, schedule, and how to register, visit or e-mail Sarah at
  • November 2,2013 Pre-conditioned Feeder Calf Sale at Dick Brown's Facility in Richmond. 
  • November 13 - 15, 2013 Soil Quality Conference with Dr. Arden Andersen, Bangor Motor Inn, Bangor. For more information. 
  • November 14th, 2013 Maine Highlands Farmers at 7 pm at the Piscataquis County Extension Office, Dover-Foxcroft. 
  • November 16 & 17, 2013 Maine Harvest Festival, Bangor Civic Center, Bangor 
  • December 7, 2013 Maine Beef Conference, Hilton Garden Inn, Bangor
  • December 12, 2013 Maine Highlands Farmers at 7 pm at the Piscataquis County Extension Office, Dover-Foxcroft. 

Need Pesticide credits? Check out the Maine Board of Pesticide credit calendar, many approved pesticide applicator re-certification programs are listed.  You can view the calendar on their web site at: Pesticide Re-certification Credit Calendar  


Contact Info
Donna Coffin, Extension Educator
207-564-3301 or in Maine 1-800-287-1491
In complying with the letter and spirit of applicable laws and pursuing its own goals of diversity, the University System shall not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, including transgender status or gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, or veteran's status in employment, education, and all other areas of the University System. The University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request.
A member of the University of Maine System
Information in this newsletter is provided purely for educational purposes. No responsibility is assumed for any problems associated with the use of products or services mentioned in this newsletter. No endorsement of products or companies is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products or companies implied. 



Piscataquis County Office 207-564-3301 or 800-287-1491

165 East Main Street Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426


Penobscot County Office 207-942-7396 or 800-287-1485

307 Maine Avenue Bangor, ME 04401