Harvest for Hunger Donates 240,937 Pounds of Produce

December 15th, 2014 2:44 PM

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Maine Harvest for Hunger program had its most successful year in 2014, as more than 300 volunteers donated 240,937 pounds of fresh produce to 104 organizations from York County to Piscataquis County.

Since the program’s inception in 1999, volunteers have provided more than 1.8 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to people, food pantries and soup kitchens statewide.

According to Feeding America, a national umbrella organization for food banks, 206,000 Maine citizens — 15.5 percent of the population — experienced food insecurity in 2012, a 50 percent increase since 2004. Also according to Feeding America, 36 percent of food insecure Mainers did not qualify for government food assistance programs. Food insecurity and obesity can co-exist for individuals and families, and a goal is to replace high-calorie, nutrient-poor food donated to food pantries with fresh fruits and vegetables.

For more information on Maine Harvest for Hunger and how to participate, visit extension.umaine.edu/harvest-for-hunger or contact Barbara Murphy, 207.743.6329, barbara.murphy@maine.edu.

Sun Journal Promotes Master Gardeners Volunteer Training

December 9th, 2014 8:22 AM

The Sun Journal carried the University of Maine Cooperative Extension release about upcoming Master Gardener Volunteer programs in Androscoggin, Sagadahoc and Oxford counties.

Pesticide Training Offered for Growers

December 1st, 2014 12:29 PM

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering growers a training session for the Bureau of Pesticide Control (BPC) private pesticide applicator core exam. Training will be 3–6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15, at the UMaine Extension Oxford County office, 9 Olson Road, South Paris. Participants also have the option of taking the exam 6–7:30 p.m.

Effective April 1, 2015, a new Maine state law requires a pesticide license for fruit, vegetable and grain growers who use only general-use (over-the-counter) pesticides, and annually sell more than $1,000 of plants or plant products intended for human consumption. Each operation must have at least one licensed owner or employee on the farm. To qualify for the license, the candidate must pass the private pesticide applicator core exam.

Cost for training is $10. For more information, to register for the training or request a disability accommodation, contact Barbara Murphy, 207.743.6329, barbara.murphy@maine.edu.

Highbush Blueberry School – January 15, 2015

November 14th, 2014 8:22 AM

Blueberries on bushHighbush Blueberry School 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015
10:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Arnold/Howard Rooms, Augusta Civic Center, 76 Community Drive, Augusta, Maine 04330
Registration Fee: $15.00

Preregistration is strongly encouraged. Please preregister by January 9, 2015.

Register online or contact Pam St. Peter at pamela.stpeter@maine.edu or 207.933.2100 to preregister.

Cost for registration is $15.00 per person. Checks are to be made payable to UMaine Cooperative Extension.

Are you interested in growing highbush blueberries? Would this crop work well on your land? Would blueberries give a bump to your bottom line?

The Highbush Blueberry School is for people who are interested in growing highbush blueberries as a commercial enterprise. Which varieties to grow, care of young plants, nutrient management, pruning, pest management and marketing will be discussed with Dr. David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Participants may receive 2 Pesticide Applicator recertification credits.

The school will be held at the Augusta Civic Center during the Maine Agricultural Trades Show, which runs January 13-15, so participants will have an opportunity to come early and spend some time looking at the supplies, equipment and services on exhibit that are available to help them with blueberry growing and other agricultural enterprises. Admission to the Trades Show is free.

A registration fee of $15.00 will be charged for participation in the Highbush Blueberry School and space is limited, so preregistration is strongly advised. Please register by January 9, 2015.

Recommended text: Highbush Blueberry Production Guide, published by the Natural Resource and Agricultural Engineering Service. Cost: $42.00 at the door (cash and checks will be accepted at the registration table; checks should be made out to “UMaine Cooperative Extension”); or purchased in advance by ordering online from the Cooperative Extension Publications Catalog.

AGENDA

10:00 AM Introductions

10:15 AM The Highbush Blueberry: Morphology and History
David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist, UMaine Extension
11:00 AM Blueberry Variety Characteristics
David Handley
11:30 AM Pre-plant Considerations and Preparation
Mark Hutchinson, Extension Professor, UMaine Extension
12:00 PM LUNCH BREAK (on your own)
1:00 PM Planting and Early Care
David Handley
1:30 PM Blueberry Plant Nutrition Done Right
David Handley
2:00 PM Pruning Blueberry Bushes, Young and Old
David Handley
2:30 PM Pest Identification
David Handley
3:00 PM Bottom Line: Costs and Expectations
David Handley
3:15 PM Questions and Discussion
3:30 PM Adjourn


Any person with a disability who needs accommodations to participate in this program should contact Pam St. Peter at 207.933.2100 or TDD 1.800.287.8957. Receiving requests for accommodations at least 10 days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request, however all requests will be considered.

 

 

UMaine Extension Presents Cranberry Preservation Tips

November 10th, 2014 2:16 PM

Colorful cranberries are a sign of the holiday season and University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering preservation tips to enjoy the flavorful fruit throughout the coming months.

In a new bulletin, Kathleen Savoie, UMaine Extension associate professor, explains how to choose, prepare, store, freeze and can fresh cranberries. The bulletin also has several recipes, including for cranberry sauce and spicy cranberry salsa. Copies of bulletin 4045, “Let’s Preserve: Cranberries” may be ordered for $1 each or downloaded for free online.

For more information, contact 207.581.3792 or extension.orders@maine.edu.

Vegetable Growers Twilight Meeting – November 12, 2014

November 7th, 2014 8:24 AM

VEGETABLE GROWERS TWILIGHT MEETING AT LAUGHINGSTOCK FARM

woman transplanting seedlings into garden

Transplanting Seedlings, photo by David Handley

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
3:00 PM
Laughingstock Farm, 79 Wardtown Road, Freeport, Maine 04032
Farm Tel. 207.865.3743
Cost: Free
No registration is required.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers Association will hold an afternoon meeting at Laughingstock Farm in Freeport on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.

Our hosts, Ralph and Lisa Turner grow vegetables on about 15 acres and specialize in offseason production in their 15,000 square feet of greenhouse space. They market their produce through a large CSA and local restaurants. Lisa is the author of a cookbook emphasizing local produce, and Ralph has engineered some unique energy saving technology for the greenhouses. We’ll get a chance to see the greenhouses and learn about heating, growing schedules, irrigation and fertility for late season and winter vegetables. Hold the date!

Laughingstock Farm is located at 79 Wardtown Road (Route 125) in Freeport. The farm phone number is 207.865.3743 and the website address is http://www.laughingstockfarm.com/. Cost for the meeting is free and no registration is required. For more information, please contact Mark Hutton at 207.933.2100 or mark.hutton@maine.edu. We hope to see you there!

Upcoming Event
Also, please mark your calendars for the Maine Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers Annual Meeting on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show at the Augusta Civic Center. We’ll be sending out a full program in the coming weeks.

Directions to Laughingstock Farm
Take Exit 22 from I-295. If coming from the north, turn left off the exit. If coming from the south, turn right off the exit. Routes 126 and 136 curve to the right in about 200 yards. Follow Routes 125 and 136 for about another ½ mile. Take a right onto Route 125 (Griffin Road). Follow Route 125 for about 2.3 miles (Griffin Road turns into Wardtown Road.) You’ll see the greenhouses and sign on the left side of Route 125, just before you get to Florida Lake Conservation and Recreation Area.

Any person with a disability who needs accommodations for this program should contact Pam St. Peter at 207.933.2100 or TDD 1.800.287.8957 to discuss their needs as soon as possible.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: 10/17/2014

October 17th, 2014 11:21 AM

SPOTTED WING DROSOPHILA UPDATE: OCTOBER 17, 2014

Click on photo to enlarge.

David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist; James Dill, Pest Management Specialist; Frank Drummond, Professor of Insect Ecology/Entomology

Male and Female Spotted Wing Drosophila Flies

Male (left) and Female (right) Spotted Wing Drosophila, photo by Griffin Dill. Actual size: 2-3 mm.

We have been anticipating a rapid increase in spotted wing drosophila trap captures since late August, based on our experience over the past two seasons, and it appears that we are now seeing it in at least some locations. The highest fly counts of the season occurred this week at sites where we have been seeing numbers rising over the past several weeks, including Wells, Cape Elizabeth, Dresden and, most notably, Warren. It should be noted, however, that the trap in Warren was placed close to a waste pile of rotten fruit where flies were abundant; although, until this week, most of the fruit flies caught at that site were species other than spotted wing drosophila. Not all trap sites have been experiencing a significant rise in fly counts, and some have remained at surprisingly low and stable levels. This is probably due to a combination of localized conditions, such as availability of food and lack of moisture, which could limit their ability to reproduce. At sites where drosophila populations are high, they will probably continue to increase until we have several hard frosts, and/or available food is depleted. Most farms have called an end to their berry season and have stopped spraying. There are still a few that are taking advantage of this warm fall and continue to harvest fall raspberries and late blueberries. These crops will need to continue to be sprayed until harvest is complete to protect against drosophila infestation.

This is our last regularly scheduled update for spotted wing drosophila for the 2014 season. We will update our website with any new information on spotted wing drosophila and management as it becomes available. I’d like to thank all of the farms that helped us with trapping this year, and express my appreciation to the people who helped maintain the traps and count all those flies, including Ben Woodman, Christina Hillier, Kara Rowley, Tammy Cushman and Pat McManus. We hope to monitor spotted wing drosophila populations around the state again next year to keep growers informed about this threat and to better understand how to manage it.

Town Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 10/17/14 Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 10/10/14 Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 10/3/14 Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 9/26/14
Limington 128 127 48 6
Limerick 859 346 141 195
Wells 18,928 6,064 558 523
Cape Elizabeth 1,722 684 417 401
Bowdoinham 181 106 46 25
Dresden 6,872 3,075 739 599
Warren 50,848 620 211 128
Farmington 10 17 29 23
Livermore Falls 16 12 28 5
Mechanic Falls 70 15 33 20
Poland Spring 544 1,171 2,118 604
Monmouth 329 66 24 23
Wales 200 123 215 67
Old Town * 29 13
Levant * 43 31 30

*We’ll update the information for this site as soon as we have finished counting the trap catch.

Based on what we know so far about this pest, here again are our six rules for managing spotted wing drosophila.

  1. Monitor for the flies with traps, and for the larvae in fruit.
  2. Spray regularly and often once flies have been found in the field (1-2/week).
  3. Harvest fruit regularly and often; do not leave any ripe/rotten fruit in the field.
  4. Sort fruit at harvest; do not leave any soft fruit in the container to be sold.
  5. Chill all fruit immediately after harvest to 38ºF (or as close as you can) for at least 12 hours to slow development of any eggs or larvae.
  6. Prune the planting to open up the canopy and create dry, light conditions.

David T. Handley
Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist

Highmoor Farm                       Pest Management Office
P.O. Box 179                             491 College Avenue
Monmouth, ME 04259          Orono, ME 04473
207.933.2100                           1.800.287.0279

IPM Web Pages:
http://extension.umaine.edu/ipm/
http://www.pestwatch.psu.edu/sweet_corn.htm
http://www.umass.edu/umext/ipm/

Where brand names or company names are used it is for the reader’s information. No endorsement is implied nor is any discrimination intended against other products with similar ingredients. Always consult product labels for rates, application instructions and safety precautions. Users of these products assume all associated risks.

The University of Maine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

 

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: 10/10/2014

October 10th, 2014 1:06 PM

SPOTTED WING DROSOPHILA UPDATE: OCTOBER 10, 2014

Click on photo to enlarge.

David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist; James Dill, Pest Management Specialist; Frank Drummond, Professor of Insect Ecology/Entomology

drosophila trap

Drosophila Trap, photo by David Handley

Spotted wing drosophila trap captures have increased considerably in most locations this week, although some inland sites are not yet seeing a stable upward trend. We have been anticipating a sustained, sharp increase in fly numbers for some time, and this may be the start of it. Over the past two seasons, we have not seen drosophila numbers decline until after several hard frosts in November. As we mentioned last week, some of the trap count increases may be related to most of the fruit being gone, which makes our traps more attractive to the flies. In spite of the increased numbers of flies, however, we have not been seeing an increase in fruit infestations with larvae. In fact, it has not been easy to find infested fruit in most plantings. Growers who still have berries to harvest have been able to manage drosophila very well with a seven to ten day spray schedule, with no larvae being found in the fruit. We plan to keep monitoring spotted wing drosophila for one more week. Our final planned report will be on October 17th.

Town Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 10/10/14 Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 10/3/14 Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 9/26/14
Limington 127 48 6
Limerick 346 141 195
Wells 6064 558 523
Cape Elizabeth 684 417 401
Bowdoinham * 46 25
Dresden 3075 739 599
Warren 620 211 128
Farmington * 29 23
Livermore Falls * 28 5
Mechanic Falls 15 33 20
Poland Spring 1171 2118 604
Monmouth 66 24 23
Wales * 215 67
Old Town 29 13
Levant 43 31 30

*We’ll update the information for this site as soon as we have finished counting the trap catch.

David T. Handley
Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist

Highmoor Farm                       Pest Management Office
P.O. Box 179                             491 College Avenue
Monmouth, ME 04259          Orono, ME 04473
207.933.2100                           1.800.287.0279

IPM Web Pages:
http://extension.umaine.edu/ipm/
http://www.pestwatch.psu.edu/sweet_corn.htm
http://www.umass.edu/umext/ipm/

Where brand names or company names are used it is for the reader’s information. No endorsement is implied nor is any discrimination intended against other products with similar ingredients. Always consult product labels for rates, application instructions and safety precautions. Users of these products assume all associated risks.

The University of Maine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: 10/3/2014

October 3rd, 2014 10:26 AM

SPOTTED WING DROSOPHILA UPDATE: OCTOBER 3, 2014

Click on photos to enlarge.

David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist; James Dill, Pest Management Specialist; Frank Drummond, Professor of Insect Ecology/Entomology

Fall Raspberries

Photo by David Handley

Spotted Wing Drosophila Emerging from Fall Raspberries

Photo by James Dill

Raspberries before and after infestation, 48 hours at room temperature after picked

Spotted wing drosophila counts saw a slight upward trend again this week, but in most locations the populations appear relatively stable. This is not something we have seen in the past two seasons, when populations rose rapidly towards the end of the season, only declining after several hard frosts sometime in November. Counts have gone up markedly in a few locations; but this may be related to reduced availability of food (all the berries have been harvested), which makes our traps more attractive to the flies. More than half of the trapping sites still have very low numbers of flies compared with previous seasons. As a result, growers have been able to manage them very well with a seven to ten day spray schedule, with no larvae being found in the fruit. Growers have also been doing a very good job of keeping the plantings picked and keeping the fields free of rotting fruit, which should help slow the buildup of the flies in a field. We plan to keep monitoring spotted wing drosophila for two more weeks. Our final planned report will be on October 17th.

Town Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 10/3/14 Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 9/26/14 Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 9/19/14
Limington 48 6 10
Limerick 141 195 107
Wells 558 523 216
Cape Elizabeth 417 401 86
Bowdoinham 46 25 42
Dresden 739 599 275
Warren 211 128 231
Farmington 29 23 10
Livermore Falls 28 5 1
Mechanic Falls 33 20 46
Poland Spring 2118 604 365
Monmouth 24 23 28
Wales 215 67 28
Old Town 13
Levant 31 30 5

David T. Handley
Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist

Highmoor Farm                       Pest Management Office
P.O. Box 179                             491 College Avenue
Monmouth, ME 04259          Orono, ME 04473
207.933.2100                           1.800.287.0279

IPM Web Pages:
http://extension.umaine.edu/ipm/
http://www.pestwatch.psu.edu/sweet_corn.htm
http://www.umass.edu/umext/ipm/

Where brand names or company names are used it is for the reader’s information. No endorsement is implied nor is any discrimination intended against other products with similar ingredients. Always consult product labels for rates, application instructions and safety precautions. Users of these products assume all associated risks.

The University of Maine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: 9/26/2014

September 26th, 2014 11:27 AM

SPOTTED WING DROSOPHILA UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 26, 2014

Click on photos to enlarge.

David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist; James Dill, Pest Management Specialist; Frank Drummond, Professor of Insect Ecology/Entomology

Spotted Wing Drosophila Larva in Blackberry

SWD Larvae in Blackberry, photo by David Handley

Fly captures in our traps this week are trending upward, similar to last week, including some of the highest counts of the season. However, some sites continue to have relatively low numbers, and some have lower counts than last week. There doesn’t yet seem to be a geographical pattern to where spotted wing drosophila counts are highest, i.e. north vs. south, inland vs. coastal; which was more apparent last year, with higher numbers found in southern and coastal sites. As a reference, by this time last year we were catching over 2,000 flies per week at some coastal sites. Local drosophila populations may be effected by trap location, availability of food, moisture and pesticide use. With warmer weather expected over the next few days and plenty of food still available for the flies, we may start to see the anticipated rise in numbers soon, based on what we have experienced during the past two seasons. Growers with berries remaining to harvest should continue to spray on a 5 to 7 day schedule to prevent larvae from infesting the fruit; and alternate the insecticide chemistry used, to prevent the development of resistance. Harvest the fields regularly and keep them free of overripe and rotten fruit. This practice does seem to be effective in preventing drosophila populations from building up rapidly in a field, at least when the pest pressure is moderate.

Insects in Spotted Wing Drosophila Trap

Insects in Spotted Wing Drosophila Trap, Male SWD Circled, photo by Kaytlin Woodman

Town Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 9/26/14 Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 9/19/14
Limington 6 10
Limerick 195 107
Wells 523 216
Cape Elizabeth 401 86
Bowdoinham 25 42
Dresden 599 275
Warren 128 231
Farmington 23 10
Livermore Falls 5 1
Mechanic Falls 20 46
Poland Spring 604 365
Monmouth 23 28
Wales 67 28
Levant 30 5

David T. Handley
Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist

Highmoor Farm                       Pest Management Office
P.O. Box 179                             491 College Avenue
Monmouth, ME 04259          Orono, ME 04473
207.933.2100                           1.800.287.0279


IPM Web Pages
:
http://extension.umaine.edu/ipm/
http://www.pestwatch.psu.edu/sweet_corn.htm
http://www.umass.edu/umext/ipm/

Where brand names or company names are used it is for the reader’s information. No endorsement is implied nor is any discrimination intended against other products with similar ingredients. Always consult product labels for rates, application instructions and safety precautions. Users of these products assume all associated risks.

The University of Maine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.