The Working Waterfront spoke with John Rebar, executive director of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and Anne Lichtenwalner, director of UMaine’s Animal Health Laboratory, about Question 2 on the November ballot that will ask Maine voters to approve an $8 million bond for animal and plant diagnostic services. The bond would allow UMaine Extension to build a new facility on campus to house labs for the monitoring and testing of insects and pests that affect domestic and wild plants and animals in Maine. “As a state with a large international border, thousands of miles of coastlines, and people and goods coming to Maine ports every day, the threat of disease and invasive species is increasing annually. This threat can destroy crops, kill or injure livestock and pose a threat to public health,” Rebar said, adding staff is “very limited” in what they can do in the current lab.
The Bangor Daily News published the editorial, “Yes on Question 2: Why it’s worth it to have a lab that tests ticks, moose and more,” about a bond that asks voters to support giving $8 million to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to build a new animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory. “This $8 million bond is an investment in needed infrastructure at the University of Maine to better protect human health through insect-borne disease detection and food safety testing,” the article states.
“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.”
Please visit the Highmoor Farm website for the Spotted Wing Drosophila Update for October 17, 2014, where you can subscribe to blog updates.
Clay Kirby, an entomologist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for the article, “October means season for invasion of the ladybugs.” Kirby said ladybugs, which have a tendency to come inside, are benign and helpful in controlling other insects that are harmful to plants, such as aphids. If a house is overrun with the beetles, he suggests vacuuming or sweeping them up and tossing them outside. For those who don’t want to harm the insect, he suggests storing the bugs in a shoebox in a garage or shed until spring.
Jim Dill, a pest management specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with the Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News for articles about the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirming the state’s first human case of neuroinvasive Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). Dill spoke about Question 2 on the November ballot, saying it would improve Maine’s surveillance for EEE. The bond would give $8 million to UMaine Extension to build a new animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory. Dill said having the lab would allow the state to improve its mosquito testing in addition to the other services.
The St. John Valley Times reported John Rebar, executive director of the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension, will present an informational session on Question 2 of the November ballot as part of the University of Maine at Fort Kent Board of Visitors’ Business Breakfast Series on Oct. 15. The bond would give $8 million to UMaine Extension to build a new animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory. WVII (Channel 7) also carried a report on the bond question and interviewed Jim Dill, a pest management specialist with UMaine Extension. Dill said the facility would be a resource that a large percentage of Mainers would use for services such as tick-borne disease monitoring
“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.”
Please visit the Highmoor Farm website for the Spotted Wing Drosophila Update for October 10, 2014, where you can subscribe to blog updates.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering its annual sheep and goat seminar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, at Kennebec Valley Community College, 92 Western Ave., Fairfield.
The seminar will focus on animal health and strive to equip producers with skills and knowledge to keep their animals healthy and productive. Topics will include prevention and detection of common diseases, health-related tools and a program used to eradicate Scrapie, a degenerative disease that attacks the central nervous system of sheep and goats. Scheduled instructors are Richard Brzozowski, Anne Lichtenwalner and James Weber.
The fee of $35 per person includes lunch and materials. More information and registration are online. To request a disability accommodation, call 207.781.6099, 800.287.1471 (in Maine).
For more information, visit the UMaine Extension Tick ID Lab.
John Rebar, executive director of the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension, was quoted in reports by the Maine Public Broadcasting Network and WVII (Channel 7) about representatives from the state’s agriculture, dairy and veterinary industries urging Maine voters to support Question 2 on the November ballot. The bond would give $8 million to UMaine Extension to build a new animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory. Rebar said the lab currently is spread across two locations that were built in the 1940s and 1970s. The lab is not bio-secure, meaning it can’t be used to test pests that may have infectious diseases. Rebar also spoke of the economic impacts a new lab would have on the state, such as being able to improve the health of Maine’s moose population.