Maine Vegetable and Fruit School 2016

January 7th, 2016 11:23 AM

University of Maine Cooperative Extension Highmoor FarmMaine Vegetable and Fruit School 2016

The day-long school is offered for Maine farmers on two dates at two locations: March 15 in Portland or March 16 in Bangor. Preregistration is required.

Cost for registration is $45.00 per person and includes lunch.
Please preregister by March 4, 2016.

Register online or click on the link below for our registration form to mail in your form with payment.

Print a registration form (PDF)

Maine Vegetable and Fruit School is hosted by

  • University of Maine Cooperative Extension
  • Maine Vegetable & Small Fruit Growers Association

Tuesday, March 15, 2016
SEASONS EVENT AND CONFERENCE CENTER
155 Riverside Street, Portland, Maine 04103
Tel. 207.775.6536

Wednesday, March 16, 2016
BANGOR MOTOR INN CONFERENCE CENTER

701 Hogan Road, Bangor, Maine 04401
Tel. 207.947.0355 or 1.800.244.0355

AGENDA – March 15 and March 16, 2015 – will be posted soon.

Topics:

Compost Rates in the Field
Cover Crops and Strip Tillage
Tomatoes: Balancing Fertilizer Needs
High Tunnel Pest Management
Worker Safety Training: Grower Responsibility
Legislative Update
Garlic: Growing Tips and Disease Issues
Opportunities in Stone Fruit
Melon Production Basics
Grapes – New Varieties and Potential for Maine
Crop Insurance: Updates and New Options for Diversified Growers

Speakers

State Senator James Dill – Maine State Senate District 5, and Pest Management Specialist, UMaine Cooperative Extension
Gary Fish – Manager of Pesticides Programs, Maine Board of Pesticides Control
David Fuller – Agriculture and Non-Timber Forest Products Professional, UMaine Cooperative Extension
Dr. David Handley – Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist, UMaine Cooperative Extension
Dr. Mark Hutton – Vegetable Specialist, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Jason Lilley – Research Associate in Vegetable Production, UMaine Cooperative Extension
Dr. Renae Moran – Tree Fruit Specialist, UMaine Cooperative Extension
Erin Roche – Maine Crop Insurance Education Program Manager, UMaine Cooperative Extension
Nicholas Rowley – Graduate Student, University of Maine

Thank you to our sponsor, Nourse Farms.


Participants may receive 2.0 Pesticide Applicator recertification credits for attending, pending approval.
Certified Crop Advisors may earn 5 recertification credits for participation, pending approval.


For more information about this or other workshops, please contact:

David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Highmoor Farm
P.O. Box 179
Monmouth, Maine 04259-0179
Tel. 207.933.2100.
david.handley@maine.edu


Any person with a disability who needs accommodations for this program should contact Pam St. Peter at 207.933.2100, or 1.800.287.8957 (TDD) to discuss any needed arrangements. 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.

 

 

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: October 23, 2015

October 27th, 2015 9:48 AM

SPOTTED WING DROSOPHILA UPDATE: OCTOBER 23, 2015

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

Spotted wing drosophila populations have not shown any dramatic shifts in the past two weeks. Numbers at all sites remain at levels high enough to justify control, if any fields are still being harvested. Although there have been increases in fly populations in some sites and decreases in others, this variation is relatively small compared to populations we have seen over the past four years; and is probably not significant. What is more notable this year is the lack of a sharp increase in fly populations at the end of the season. Numbers this year are not only lower than in the past, but have remained relatively stable as the season progressed. Over the past few years we have noted a sharp increase in populations a few weeks after we start catching a significant number of flies. Whether the lack of an increase this year is due to a lower overwintering population, fewer flies coming up from the south on storm fronts, more predators and parasites, or some combination of these factors is not yet known. Hopefully, further monitoring and research will provide some answers.

Several growers have asked if they should apply a “clean-up” spray after they have finished harvesting to reduce overwintering populations of spotted wing drosophila. The short answer is “don’t bother”. Such sprays are very unlikely to have an impact on populations next year as most of the flies that come into a field very likely overwinter in another location. What may be more effective is to do a good job of pruning your plants this winter to allow more light and air movement in the planting. This will create a drier environment to discourage the flies, and improve spray penetration to make your insecticide applications more effective.

Town Spotted wing
drosophila weekly
trap catch 10/9/15
Spotted wing
drosophila weekly
trap catch 10/16/15
Spotted wing
drosophila weekly
trap catch 10/23/15
Limington 202 438 179
Limerick 840 363 165
Wells 1392 405 1196
Cape Elizabeth 233 1157 193
Bowdoinham 78 129 135
Dresden* 1743 1715 1499
Freeport 28 2
Buxton 244 262 243
Livermore Falls 57 288
Mechanic Falls 122 100 59
Poland Spring 51 39 29
Monmouth* 99 117 457
Wales 17 247 42

*Not sprayed

Spotted Wing Drosophila Trap with One Male SWD Circled

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

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

For more information on identifying spotted wing drosophila (SWD) and updates on populations around the state, visit our SWD blog.

Other IPM Web Pages
Michigan State University
Pennsylvania State University
University of New Hampshire

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: October 13, 2015

October 14th, 2015 11:27 AM

SPOTTED WING DROSOPHILA UPDATE: OCTOBER 13, 2015

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 Trap Catch

Spotted Wing Drosophila Trap Catch, photo by Christina Hillier

Spotted wing drosophila populations are building up in some southern and coastal locations. Numbers at all sites remain at high enough levels to be of concern in any fields still picking fruit. The most significant increases this week occurred in Limerick, Wells, and Dresden. Other sites remained relatively stable or had slight decreases in numbers. There may still be a late season spike in fly counts if we get more moisture and weather coming up from the south, although very cold weather anticipated later this week may put an end to the harvest season for most fields. All fields could still experience significant infestations in ripening fruit, so management of spotted wing drosophila should continue until harvest is finished. A seven-day spray schedule of an appropriate insecticide should provide adequate control of the flies at this time. (See the New England Small Fruit Management Guide for more information and details.) Clean up any waste fruit, and keep the fields on a frequent harvest schedule to further reduce drosophila populations in a field.

Town Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 9/22/15 Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 10/2/15 Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 10/8/15
Limington 65 354 202
Limerick 160 254 840
Wells 63 71 1392
Cape Elizabeth 175 233
Bowdoinham 151 129 78
Dresden* 306 945 1743
Freeport 359 28
Buxton 36 462 244
Livermore Falls 77 16 57
Mechanic Falls 13 140 122
Poland Spring 62 51
Monmouth* 338 403 99
Wales 266 143 17

*Not sprayed

Spotted Wing Drosophila Larvain in Raspberry

SWD Larvae in Raspberry, photo by David Handley

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

For more information on identifying spotted wing drosophila (SWD) and updates on populations around the state, visit our SWD blog.

Other IPM Web Pages
Michigan State University
Pennsylvania State University
University of New Hampshire

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: October 5, 2015

October 5th, 2015 11:00 AM

SPOTTED WING DROSOPHILA UPDATE: OCTOBER 5, 2015

Click on photos to enlarge.

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

Female Spotted Wing Drosophila

Female Spotted Wing Drosophila, photo by Christina Hillier

Spotted wing drosophila populations continue to hold at high enough levels to be of concern in any fields still harvesting fruit. While some sites have seen an increase in numbers, we have not yet seen a significant late season spike in fly counts that we have experienced in previous years with this new pest. This could still happen as we get more moisture and weather coming up from the south. Counts in all fields are high enough to cause significant infestations in ripening fruit, so management of spotted wing drosophila should continue in all fields still being harvested. A five to seven day spray schedule of an appropriate insecticide should provide adequate control of the flies, until and unless we see populations rise. (See the New England Small Fruit Management Guide for more information and details.) We have been finding larvae in waste fruit on the ground at some sites. Cleaning up any waste fruit can help reduce populations in a field, and regular harvesting of all ripe fruit can also help slow the build up of this pest.

Town Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 9/11/15 Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 9/22/15 Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 10/2/15
Limington 89 65 354
Limerick 217 160 254
Wells 69 63 71
Cape Elizabeth 1042  175
Bowdoinham 131 151 129
Dresden* 96 306 945
Freeport  359
Buxton 728 36 462
Livermore Falls 51 77 16
Mechanic Falls 55 13 140
Poland Spring 580 62
Monmouth* 1217 338 403
Wales 221 266 143

*Not sprayed

SWD Maggot in Raspberry

SWD Maggot in Raspberry, photo by David Handley

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

For more information on identifying spotted wing drosophila (SWD) and updates on populations around the state, visit our SWD blog.

Other IPM Web Pages
Michigan State University
Pennsylvania State University
University of New Hampshire

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.

 

 

 

Learn about on-farm composting to manage animal disease

September 30th, 2015 2:56 PM

University of Maine Cooperative Extension and University of Maine Animal and Veterinary Sciences will offer a free program about on-farm composting to manage animal disease and mortalities 3:45–7 p.m. Oct. 7, at Highmoor Farm, 52 U.S. Route 202, Monmouth.

UMaine Extension professor Mark Hutchinson, associate professor Robert Causey and graduate student Alexandria Poulin will discuss effects of composting on equine pathogens and antibodies. A mortality composting demonstration will be included and there will be AVS student poster presentations about animal disease and parasite control.

To register, for more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Melissa Libby at 581.3188, 800.287.0247 (in Maine) or melissa.libby1@maine.edu.

Researchers receive $1 million to boost organic grain production in Maine

September 28th, 2015 1:26 PM

Researchers at the University of Maine have received a $1 million federal grant from the U.S Department of Agriculture to continue their efforts in boosting organic grain production in northern New England.

“We are very excited by this new USDA award in that it recognizes the impact of the work we’ve done with farmers, millers and bakers with our prior grant to build a local, organic bread wheat economy in our region,” Ellen Mallory, University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialist and associate professor of sustainable agriculture at UMaine, says.

The grant — which will be shared with researchers at the University of Vermont — will provide the needed support to expand the local organic grain sector to include other grains including oats, barley, rye and spelt.

The project is aimed to help farmers combat critical constraints in organic grain production by designing robust weed and disease management strategies, establishing efficient legume green manure systems and expanding social networks within their communities.

The researchers will work to develop and evaluate sowing and hoeing equipment and rotation budgeting tools to help farmers reduce production risks.

This is one of many collaborative projects Mallory and her UMaine colleagues have conducted with the University of Vermont to advance local grain production, processing and use in the region.

“By working together, we are able to test varieties and production methods over more sites, or in some cases divide up research questions that need addressing. The results are relevant to everyone in the region. As well, we hope to connect the farmers and grain-based business across states,” says Mallory.

For the current project, UMaine will receive 60 percent of funds as the lead institution.

Though New England has excelled in developing organic dairy and vegetable sectors, it lags behind other regions for organic grain production, says Mallory. However, she notes that the recent increase in organic wheat production in Maine and Vermont — from 125 hectares in 2008 to 700 hectares in 2013 — demonstrates New England’s potential for growth.

Mallory’s research will focus on optimizing green manure systems for organic grain production by evaluating different legume species and legume/grass mixtures for their ability to produce nitrogen to support the growth of grain crops. She will then compare different green manure termination methods to see how the timing of nitrogen release matches up with crops needs.

The project also will address weed management, with weeds being a critical production challenge for organic grain farmers who are not allowed to use synthetic herbicides.

Insufficient weed control not only reduces grain crop yields directly, it also discourages farmers from growing certain crops that can provide much needed rotational diversity, including soybean, field peas and canola.

Eric Gallandt, professor of weed ecology and management at UMaine, will lead the project efforts to evaluate different planting and cultivation methods from northern Europe that may provide more reliable weed control. He will work with an agricultural engineer from UVM to create designs for how farmers can adapt their existing equipment to utilize these methods.

Another important constraint the researchers will address is leaf- and seed-borne diseases, which is a serious threat to long-term organic grain production. Heather Darby, the project leader from UVM, will oversee a region-wide survey to identify the most prevalent disease pressures on organic farms. She will test organically approved treatments for head blight, Fusarium, a disease that causes problems in New England.

To create a regional organic grain economy, the team will work to strengthen knowledge, skills and networks among farmers, processors, end-users and educators. Winter workshops, field days and farm tours will provide learning and networking opportunities within each state.

The grant also will support farmer exchanges and video conferencing between Maine and Vermont, as well as with counterparts in neighboring Canadian provinces.

The project, titled “Innovative Sowing, Cultivation, and Rotation Strategies to Address Weed, Fertility, and Disease Challenges in Organic Food and Feed Grains,” involves nine researchers from UMaine and UVM and will span four years.

Contact: Amanda Clark, 207.581.3721

UMaine Extension offers beekeeping courses

September 25th, 2015 2:34 PM

University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County will hold two beginner beekeeping courses and one intermediate course at its office at 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.

Master Beekeepers Jack Hildreth, Chris Rogers and Peter Richardson, president of the Cumberland County chapter of the Maine State Beekeepers Association, will teach the courses.

The intermediate course slated for 6:30–8:30 p.m. Tuesdays from Oct. 6 to Nov. 10 will focus on managing a healthy Maine apiary. The fee of $140 per person includes a textbook and reference notebook. One beginner course will be offered 6:30–8:30 p.m. Tuesdays from Jan. 5 to Feb. 2, and another will be held at the same time from Feb. 23 to March 22. They are geared for beekeepers with less than a year’s experience and those going into their first winter. The fee is $100 per person and includes a textbook and reference notebook.

For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 781.6099, 800.287.1471 (in Maine). Registration for all beekeeping courses is online.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: September 22, 2015

September 22nd, 2015 11:05 AM

SPOTTED WING DROSOPHILA UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 22, 2015

Click on photos 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.

There has not been a significant increase in spotted wing drosophila populations at most trapping sites this week, and in some locations captures were lower than last week. Hot, dry weather tends to reduce drosophila activity, as they prefer cooler, more humid conditions. However, populations in all sites are still high enough to cause significant infestations in ripening fruit, so management of spotted wing drosophila should remain a high priority for growers who are still harvesting. At this point, a five to seven day spray schedule of an appropriate insecticide should provide adequate control of the flies. (See the New England Small Fruit Management Guide for more information and details.) As the temperatures cool down and more rain moves into the state, it is likely that populations will increase. This will put increased pressure on the ripe fruit remaining, and more frequent sprays may become necessary to prevent infestations.

Town Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 9/4/15 Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 9/11/15 Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 9/22/15
Limington 228 89 65
Limerick 23 217 160
Wells 35 69 63
Cape Elizabeth 399 1042
Bowdoinham 90 131 151
Dresden* 58 96 306
Nobleboro 111 53
Buxton 127 728 36
Livermore Falls 10 51 77
Mechanic Falls 11 55 13
Poland Spring 54 580
Monmouth* 1200 1217 338
Wales 108 221 266
Caribou 45

*Not sprayed

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

Spotted Wing Drosophila Larvae in Raspberry

Spotted Wing Drosophila Larvae in Raspberry, photo by David Handley

For more information on identifying spotted wing drosophila (SWD) and updates on populations around the state, visit our SWD blog.

Other SWD websites:
Michigan State University
Pennsylvania State University
University of New Hampshire

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.

Crop insurance webinar for veterans taking up farming

September 21st, 2015 12:00 PM

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Crop Insurance and Risk Management program announces a new webinar, “Crop Insurance 101 for Beginning Farmers who are Military Veterans.”

The webinar introduces crop insurance as a risk management tool, how to navigate options, and new incentives for beginning farmers. The program aims to educate farmers about crop protection options and provide risk assessment and business management skills to help improve farm profitability and reduce risk.

The webinar is available online. For more information, call Erin Roche, UMaine Extension program manager, at 949.2490.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: September 11, 2015

September 14th, 2015 2:32 PM

SPOTTED WING DROSOPHILA UPDATE:  September 11, 2015

Click on photos to enlarge.

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

Male Spotted Wing Drosophila

Male Spotted Wing Drosophila, photo by Griffin Dill. Actual size: 2-3 mm.

Spotted wing drosophila trap captures have been increasing in most locations over the past two weeks. We have been anticipating a substantial increase in fly numbers for some time, and this may be the start of it. Some of the trap count increases may be related to there being less fruit available as the season winds down, which makes our traps more attractive to the flies. However, we have been getting calls from growers that are now finding infested fruit, suggesting that the pressure on any fruit remaining is high. Growers who still have berries to harvest should be able to manage drosophila with a five to seven day spray schedule of an appropriate insecticide. (See the New England Small Fruit Management Guide for more information and details.) Over the past two seasons, we have not seen drosophila numbers decline until after several hard frosts in November. However, growers should stop spraying once harvest is complete. Continuing to spray after harvest will not have a significant impact on next year’s drosophila populations.

Town Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 9/4/15 Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 9/11/15
Limington 228 89
Limerick 23 217
Wells 35 69
Cape Elizabeth 399 1042
Bowdoinham 90 **
Dresden 58 96
Nobleboro 111 **
Buxton 127 728
Livermore Falls 10 51
Mechanic Falls 11 55
Poland Spring 54 580
Monmouth 1200* 1217
Wales 108 221
Springvale 372 1217
Fayette 102 163

*Not sprayed
**Traps not collected yet

Spotted Wing Drosophila Larva in Blackberry

SWD Larvae in Blackberry, photo by David Handley

For more information on identifying spotted wing drosophila (SWD) and updates on populations around the state, visit our SWD blog.

Other SWD sites include:
Michigan State University’s website,
Pennsylvania State University’s SWD website, and
University of New Hampshire’s SWD web page.

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

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.