Archive for the ‘News’ Category

2014 Maine Pollination Workshops

Friday, April 11th, 2014

2014 Maine Pollination Workshops

During the spring and summer of 2014, researchers from the University of Maine are hosting a series of free pollination workshops for fruit and vegetable growers. These workshops are supported by a grant from the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. The workshops will provide instruction on assessing bees’ impact on fruit set and identifying wild bees. They will also include information on strategies to improve habitat for wild bees. For more information, contact Kourtney Collum at kourtney.collum@maine.edu. In case of inclement weather, visit the following website for more information:  http://mainepollinationworkshops.weebly.com/. No preregistration is required for these workshops.

 

Pollination Workshop for Apple Growers

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Rain date:  Thursday, May 22, 2014 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Highmoor Farm, UMaine Experiment Station, 52 U.S. Route 202, Monmouth, Maine 04259

This workshop is designed specifically for apple growers.

 

Pollination Workshop for Lowbush Blueberry Growers

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Rain date:  Tuesday, June 3, 2014 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Seven Tree Farm, Route 235, 2740 Western Road, Warren, Maine 04864

This workshop is designed specifically for lowbush blueberry growers.

 

Pollination Workshop II for Lowbush Blueberry Growers

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Rain date:  Wednesday, June 4, 2014 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Blueberry Hill Farm, UMaine Experiment Station, 1643 Route 1, Jonesboro, Maine 04648

This workshop is designed specifically for lowbush blueberry growers.

 

Pollination Workshop for Squash and Pumpkin Growers

Monday, July 14, 2014 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Rain date:  Thursday, July 17, 2014 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Highmoor Farm, UMaine Experiment Station, 52 U.S. Route 202, Monmouth, Maine 04259

This workshop is designed specifically for squash and pumpkin growers.

Media Report on UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Tick ID Lab

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

WABI (Channel 5), WLBZ (Channel 2), Portland Press Herald, Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension has taken over state tick identification from the Maine Medical Center Research Institute, which had operated the program for 25 years. UMaine Extension’s Insect and Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab, which identifies 3,000 plant, pest and insect species each year, will expand its services with the Tick ID Lab. The lab is expected to receive up to 1,300 additional tick specimens this year. Jim Dill, pest management specialist with UMaine Extension, said the lab is excited for the opportunity and is ready for the increased workload.

UMaine Cooperative Extension Cited in Press Herald Report on Bond Endorsement

Monday, March 31st, 2014

The Portland Press Herald reported Maine lawmakers are taking up a proposal for a $73 million bond package that would target investment in the state’s biotechnology and marine sectors and help the growth of small businesses. The package, called the “small business and innovations jobs bond,” includes a proposal of $8 million to renovate and improve a University of Maine Cooperative Extension lab that assists farmers and foresters and identifies pests, as well as plant and animal diseases.

Raising Tick Awareness

Monday, March 31st, 2014

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is the new home of the state’s tick identification program. Portland’s Maine Medical Center, which handled the program for 25 years, eliminated the service last December due to funding deficits.

UMaine Extension’s Insect and Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab, which identifies 3,000 plant, pest and insect species each year, will expand its services to compensate for Maine Medical Center’s cut by creating the Tick ID Lab. The lab is expected to receive up to 1,300 additional tick specimens this year.

“It’s going to give the people a much better awareness of ticks and how to avoid ticks in the first place. That’s the big thing this portion of our lab will do,” says Jim Dill, pest management specialist at Cooperative Extension.

Last year, Maine had 1,349 confirmed cases of Lyme disease — a statistic that Dill says is increasing every year. By opening the Tick ID Lab to citizens as well as the usual doctors and veterinarians, Dill believes the lab can help provide peace of mind to Maine citizens.

The Tick ID Lab can help clients determine if they need to seek help from doctors. There are 14 tick species in Maine, not all of which carry disease. Dill adds the Tick ID Lab can help determine if the submitted tick is one of the disease-free species helping “ease your mind or the mind of your doctor.”

Tick identifications cost $10 — to cover supply costs — and can be submitted in person, by mail or through photos on the lab’s new website. The site also provides information on preventative protection from ticks, tick biology, tick removal and more.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747.

BDN Interviews Cooperative Extension Tick Expert

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

University of Maine Cooperative Extension insect diagnostician Clay Kirby told the Bangor Daily News that the long, cold winter may not have made a dent in the local tick population.

“I hope I’m wrong,” he said. “But I can’t foresee much of a decrease [in the tick population] just because we’ve had so much snow cover, which acts as insulation. Some years, we’ve had ticks brought into the lab as early as the last two weeks of March.”

Kirby also saw one during a hike in December 2013 in the Orono area. “It was 43 degrees when I stepped out of the woods, and I did an instinctive tick check and I was wearing khakis and found a deer tick crawling up my leg.”

For more information on ticks, visit the UMaine Cooperative Extension Tick ID Lab’s website.

BDN Advances Cooperative Extension Blueberry Growers Meetings

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Spring meetings and training offered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension were mentioned in the Bangor Daily News article “Maine wild blueberry industry may benefit from farm bill pilot program.” Blueberry growers will gather in March, 2014 for meetings planned by the UMaine Cooperative Extension in Waldoboro, Ellsworth and Machias. The meetings will include briefings on pollination, weeds, fertilizers, regulations, diseases and pests. The article also stated the Cooperative Extension and Maine Board of Pesticides Control will conduct training in Machias to prepare growers for the private pesticide applicator core exam and the blueberry commodity exam. Both exams will be administered after the training sessions.

Tree Fruit Preseason Meeting – March 5, 2014

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

apples

Tree Fruit Preseason Meeting

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
USM Lewiston-Auburn College, Room 170
51 Westminster Street, Lewiston, Maine 04240
Registration fee:  $20 per person, or $25 per person on the day of the meeting.

This meeting will provide pest and horticultural management updates for commercial, hobbyist, large and small-scale orchardists. The agenda and registration information are posted on UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Tree Fruit website.

Pesticide Applicator Exam Training Available for Farmers

Monday, January 27th, 2014

The Maine Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) and University of Maine Cooperative Extension will sponsor a basic pesticide applicator license training for farmers March 3, 3-6 p.m. at the Penobscot County UMaine Extension office, 307 Maine Ave., Bangor. The exam also can be taken from 6:30-8:30 the same evening.

Pre-registration is required by Feb. 28. The $5 registration fee covers the training and exam administration.
 
To register or to request a disability accommodation, contact Theresa Tilton, 207.942.7396 or 800.287.1485 in Maine; Theresa.tilton@maine.edu. Please let her know if you plan to take the exam at the end of the training.

Growers who use only general-use (over-the-counter) pesticides and annually sell more than $1,000 of plant or plant products intended for human consumption are now required to be licensed by the Maine BPC. A three-year license costs $15 and requires one hour of continuing education annually.

By definition, a pesticide is any naturally or synthetically derived substance used to kill, control or repel undesired insects, weeds, fungi, bacteria, mammals, birds, rodents or other organisms. Organic products are also pesticides if they are used as described above.

In addition to this training, Maine BPC and UMaine Extension will be offering additional sessions to help prepare growers for the Private Pesticide Applicator core exam before the requirement becomes fully enforceable April 1, 2015. Exam candidates should review the Pesticide Education (Core) Manual, available from UMaine Extension, prior to taking the exam. The exam can be taken at the BPC office in Augusta or at county Extension office. Call BPC, 207.287.2731, to schedule a time or have the exam mailed to your local Extension office.

Maine Vegetable and Fruit School – March 10 and 11, 2014

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Maine Vegetable and Fruit School 2014

Highmoor Farm

Monday, March 10, 2014
8:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Seasons
Conference Center, Portland, Maine

OR

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
8:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Bangor
Motor Inn Conference Center, Bangor, Maine

Registration Fee:  $35.00, includes lunch

PREREGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Please preregister by February 21, 2014.

This day-long school is offered for Maine farmers on two dates at two locations: March 10 in Portland or March 11 in Bangor. The agenda and registration form are posted on UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Highmoor Farm website.

UMaine Cooperative Extension High Tunnel Workshop – January 9, 2014

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

High Tunnel Workshop 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014
9:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Arnold/Howard Rooms, Augusta Civic Center, Augusta, Maine
Registration Fee:  $20.00, includes book

PREREGISTRATION IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED. Please preregister by January 3, 2014.

This workshop is designed to help people who are interested in using high tunnels for vegetable and fruit production as part of a commercial enterprise.

Please visit UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Highmoor Farm website to register online and for more information.