Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Sweet Corn IPM Newsletter No. 10 – August 29, 2014

Friday, August 29th, 2014

sweet corn

Please visit the Highmoor Farm website for the University of Maine Sweet Corn Integrated Pest Management Newsletter No. 10, August 29, 2014, “Pest Pressure Moderate in Most Locations.”

Catch the Buzz About Beekeeping

Monday, August 25th, 2014

University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine State Beekeepers Association (MSBA) will offer Beginner Bee School, 6–8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Oct. 1-29, at Anderson Learning Center, 21 Bradeen St., Springvale.

Instructor Larry Peiffer, master beekeeper and former MSBA vice president, will discuss honeybee colonies, hive construction, pests and diseases and honey production. During the five-week course, participants will also observe area hives and gain hands-on experience during a field lab. Cost is $90 per person/$130 for two people who share the text and materials. A one-year membership in the York County Beekeepers Association is included with the fee. Sept. 19 is the deadline to register.

More information, including registration, is available online or by contacting the UMaine Extension York County office at 800.287.1535 (in state), 207.324.2814 or rebecca.gowdy@maine.edu. To request a disability accommodation, call Frank Wertheim, 800.287.1535 (in state) or 207.324.2814

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: 8/22/2014

Monday, August 25th, 2014
Male Spotted Wing Drosophila

Male Spotted Wing Drosophila, photo by Griffin Dill

Spotted wing drosophila captures increased significantly in most of our trapping locations this week, although two locations (Warren and Mechanic Falls) caught no flies.

Please visit the Highmoor Farm website for the Spotted Wing Drosophila Update for August 22, 2014, where you can subscribe to blog updates.

Sweet Corn IPM Newsletter No. 9 – August 22, 2104

Monday, August 25th, 2014

sweet corn

Please visit the Highmoor Farm website for the University of Maine Sweet Corn Integrated Pest Management Newsletter No. 9, August 22, 2014, “Corn Earworm Numbers Increasing.”

UMaine Mentioned in Press Herald, BDN Articles on Tick Increase

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

The University of Maine was mentioned in articles by the Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News on climate change and the increase of ticks and Lyme disease. Both reports referenced a question on the November ballot that will ask voters to approve an $8 million bond that would support a laboratory administered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension for monitoring Lyme disease and other health threats related to mosquitoes, bed bugs and ticks. Research from UMaine’s Climate Change Institute also was referenced in the BDN article. A clinical research associate at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute, which tracks tick populations in the state, said CCI research shows the state will grow significantly warmer by 2050.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: 8/15/2014

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
Male Spotted Wing Drosophila

Male Spotted Wing Drosophila, photo by Griffin Dill

Although spotted wing drosophila captures remain relatively low through most of the state, we are finding the flies in more locations this week.

Please visit the Highmoor Farm website for the August 15, 2014 Spotted Wing Drosophila Update, where you can subscribe to blog updates.

Sweet Corn IPM Newsletter No. 8 – August 15, 2014

Monday, August 18th, 2014

sweet corn

Please visit the Highmoor Farm website for the University of Maine Sweet Corn Integrated Pest Management Newsletter No. 8, August 15, 2014, “Pest Numbers Increase in Most Fields.”

Mainers Urged to Sign Up for Free Disposal of Banned, Unusable Pesticides

Friday, August 15th, 2014

AUGUSTA—This October, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s (DACF) Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) will team up with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to help Mainers dispose of banned or unusable pesticides.

This free disposal program is open to homeowners, family-owned farms and greenhouses. Collection will occur at sites located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Augusta and Portland. To qualify, people must register by September 26, 2014.

Governor Paul R. LePage is urging Mainers to take advantage of this opportunity to protect the environment and save money through this once a year collection event that highlights cooperation between government agencies. “This is an opportunity for Mainers to dispose of unusable pesticides properly and at no expense,” said Governor LePage. “By consolidating collections into four central locations and using in-house resources and expertise, we can reduce disposal costs to about $2 per pound. That’s a great value for Maine taxpayers.”

It’s not unusual for homes and farms to have unintentional hazardous waste—banned pesticides or pesticides that have become caked, frozen, or otherwise rendered unusable—sitting around in basements, garages, or barns. These chemicals can be difficult and expensive to dispose of; DACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb stressed the importance of proper disposal of banned or unwanted pesticides.

“It’s important for the protection of public, wildlife, and environmental health that these products are dealt with properly and not thrown in the trash or down the drain, where they can contaminate land and water resources, including drinking water,” said Commissioner Whitcomb. “People holding these chemicals should contact the BPC as soon as possible to register for the October collection.”

“Providing an easy and no cost solution for Mainers to properly dispose of pesticides is a win for the environment and public health,” said Maine DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho. “The collection events cover the State and are held in Presque Isle, Bangor, Augusta and Portland providing accessible methods of collection and future disposal.”

The collected chemicals go to out-of-state disposal facilities licensed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency where they are incinerated or reprocessed.

Registration by September 26, 2014, is mandatory—drop-ins are not permitted. To register, get details, and learn important information about the temporary storage and transportation of obsolete pesticides, go to the BPC Web site at thinkfirstspraylast.org, or call 207-287-2731.

The Maine Obsolete Pesticides Collection Program, jointly sponsored by the BPC and DEP, and paid for entirely through pesticide product registration fees, has kept more than 90 tons of pesticides out of the waste stream since its start in 1982.

  • For more information on the Maine Board of Pesticides Control, go to: thinkfirstspraylast.org.
  • For more information on the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, go to: maine.gov/dep.

Dill Quoted in Press Herald Article About Increase in Tick-Borne Illnesses

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

James Dill, a pest management specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald article about Maine seeing an increase in tick-bite illnesses other than Lyme disease. Cases of anaplasmosis and babesiosis, which can seriously affect health if undetected, are at or nearing record levels in the state, according to the article. Dill said the good thing about illnesses from ticks is they can be treated with antibiotics. “That’s why, when we have a tick bite, we always tell the individual to contact their physician, especially if people find a tick that is attached and it has started to feed,” he said. He also stressed the importance of having a dedicated tick laboratory at UMaine, which would be funded if voters support Question 2 on the November ballot.

Dill Quoted in AP Article on Berry Growers’ Fruit Fly Battles

Monday, August 11th, 2014

James Dill, a pest management specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in an Associated Press article about Northeast berry growers learning how to combat an invasive fruit fly — the tiny spotted-wing drosophila — that wiped out 80 percent of some farms’ late-season fruit two years ago. Growers in Maine, the country’s largest producer of wild blueberries, are spraying and harvesting sooner and planting earlier varieties, the article states. “You take a loss, but the loss is on green berries rather than having to put more pesticides out there,” Dill said. The Portland Press Herald, Yahoo! News and Fox Business carried the AP report.