Drummond Quoted in CBC News Article on Farmers Looking Beyond Bees for Pollination

October 6th, 2014 3:02 PM

Frank Drummond, an entomology specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and a UMaine professor of insect ecology, was quoted in a CBC News article about a workshop sponsored by Dalhousie University and held in Montague, Prince Edward Island that focused on pollinating crops during a global decline in bee populations. Drummond, who attended the workshop, was one of several researchers that presented ideas for growing the population and attracting more wild pollinating bees. Drummond spoke about the importance of trying to get municipalities involved by mowing fields, and private companies, such as landfills, involved by using pollinator plantings. “It’s a whole sort of village approach — not to put all of the responsibility on individual farmers,” he said.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: 10/3/2014

October 3rd, 2014 12:26 PM
Male Spotted Wing Drosophila

Male Spotted Wing Drosophila, photo by Griffin Dill

“Spotted wing drosophila counts saw a slight upward trend again this week, but in most locations the populations appear relatively stable.”

Please visit the Highmoor Farm website for the Spotted Wing Drosophila Update for October 3, 2014, where you can subscribe to blog updates.

Kennebec Journal Quotes Dill On Question 2

October 2nd, 2014 1:48 PM

James Dill, a pest management specialist at University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in a Kennebec Journal story about Question 2 on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Question 2 asks voters: “Do you favor an $8 million bond to support Maine agriculture, facilitate economic growth in natural resource based industries, and monitor human health threats related to ticks, mosquitoes, and bedbugs through the creation of an Animal and Plant Disease and Insect Control laboratory administered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension?”

Cooperative Extension’s current laboratory is not biosecure and Dill said having a biosecure laboratory would allow Cooperative Extension to test for communicable diseases, including Lyme. Farmers, veterinarians and sportsmen said that new animal, plant and insect laboratory would facilitate Cooperative Extension working more closely to promote productive, safe food and livestock as well as the health of pets and game species.

UMaine Extension Offers School Gardening Class

October 2nd, 2014 1:16 PM

University of Maine Cooperative Extension will offer a course designed for educators and others interested in creating and maintaining school gardens. The class meets 4:30–7 p.m. Oct. 21, Oct. 28, Nov. 4, Nov. 18, Nov. 25 and Dec. 2, at South Berwick Central School, 197 Main St., South Berwick.

Each class will focus on a garden subject, including planning, soils, seedlings, composting, pest management and season extension. Participants will build an understanding of basic gardening principles, as well as connect the principles to school activities and curricula, and support the creation or enhancement of school gardens with ideas and planning time.

Course fee is $60; CEU credits are available. To maximize benefits and experience, educators, cooks, parents and librarians from the same school communities are encouraged to enroll. Register online by Oct. 17. For more information, contact Becky Gowdy, 207.324.2814, 800.287.1535 (in Maine); rebecca.gowdy@maine.edu. To request a disability accommodation, call Frank Wertheim, 207.324.2814 or 800.287.1535 (in Maine).

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: 9/26/2014

September 26th, 2014 12:40 PM
Male Spotted Wing Drosophila

Male Spotted Wing Drosophila, photo by Griffin Dill

“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.”

Please visit the Highmoor Farm website for the Spotted Wing Drosophila Update for September 26, 2014, where you can subscribe to blog updates.

UMaine Extension Offers Beekeeping Schools

September 24th, 2014 1:16 PM

University of Maine Cooperative Extension announces two beginner beekeeping schools and one intermediate beekeeping school at the UMaine Extension Cumberland County office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.

Master Beekeepers Jack Hildreth, Peter Richardson and Chris Rogers will be instructors for both beginner schools. One will be held 6:30–8:30 p.m. on five consecutive Thursdays from Oct. 16 through Nov. 13. The second will be held at the same time on five consecutive Thursdays from Feb. 5 through March 5. The $100 fee for each beginner school includes a textbook and reference notebook. The beginner school is suitable for beekeepers with one to two years of experience.

Hildreth and Richardson will be instructors for the intermediate beekeeping school, offered 6:30–8:30 p.m. on six consecutive Tuesdays, from Jan. 6 to Feb. 10. The $140 fee includes a textbook and reference notebook. The intermediate school is designed for beekeepers with two or more years of experience. Topics include how to keep bee colonies healthy and thriving in Maine, as well as swarm prevention, honey production and colony maximization.

For more information or to request disability accommodations, call 207.781.6099 or 800.287.1471 (in Maine). To register, visit the Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County’s website.

BDN Interviews Cooperative Extension Staff About Bond Proposal for Pest Lab

September 19th, 2014 3:12 PM

The Bangor Daily News spoke with several University of Maine Cooperative Extension staff members 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 plague domestic and wild plants and animals in Maine, the article states. Anne Lichtenwalner, director of UMaine’s Animal Health Laboratory; John Rebar, executive director of UMaine Extension; and Jim Dill, a pest management specialist, spoke about the proposed lab’s benefits, such as early Lyme disease detection.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: 9/19/2014

September 19th, 2014 12:36 PM
Male Spotted Wing Drosophila

Male Spotted Wing Drosophila, photo by Griffin Dill

“Spotted wing drosophila fly numbers are generally trending upward this week, although a few sites caught fewer flies than last week.”

Please visit the Highmoor Farm website for the Spotted Wing Drosophila Update for September 19, 2014, where you can subscribe to blog updates.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: 9/15/2014

September 17th, 2014 12:30 PM
Male Spotted Wing Drosophila

Male Spotted Wing Drosophila, photo by Griffin Dill

“We now have found spotted wing drosophila flies in all of the locations we are monitoring, and numbers have been rising in most of those sites over the past week.”

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

AP Advances Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainability Conference

September 16th, 2014 12:08 PM

The Associated Press previewed the Oct. 23 Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainability Conference that will be hosted by the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute (CCI). The conference, which is aimed at preparing for extreme weather events, is for business people, farmers, community planners and other interested residents and will cover subjects such as the spread of ticks and rising sea levels, the AP reported. During the conference, Sean Birkel, a research assistant professor at CCI, will demonstrate online tools such as the Climate Reanalyzer, 10Green and CLAS Layers that he and other CCI researchers developed to assist community planners prepare for climate changes. The Portland Press Herald, WABI (Channel 5), SFGate and The Washington Times carried the AP report.