Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: 10/10/2014

October 10th, 2014 2:04 PM
Male Spotted Wing Drosophila

Male Spotted Wing Drosophila, photo by Griffin Dill

“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.

UMaine Extension Hosts Sheep, Goat Seminar

October 10th, 2014 1:23 PM

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).

How Do I Avoid Ticks?

October 9th, 2014 10:37 AM

For more information, visit the UMaine Extension Tick ID Lab.

Rebar Quoted in MPBN, WVII Reports on Bond for Disease, Insect Lab

October 7th, 2014 2:42 PM

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.

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.