Farm Scoop — April 2013

Farm Scoop is produced by Richard Brzozowski, Extension Educator, Cumberland County; Tori Jackson, Extension Educator, Androscoggin & Sagadahoc Counties; and Frank Wertheim, Extension Educator, York County

Farm Business Book

Extension Small Business Specialist, Jim McConnon recommends a 2009 publication from Chelsea Press titled The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook by Richard Wiswall of Vermont. A complete guide to managing finances, crops, and staff, and making a profit, it is suitable for either organic or conventional farmers. Although written for vegetable growers, the principles could be used for any type of farming operation. It comes with a companion CD with spreadsheets.

Spotted Wing Drosophila

The Spotted Wing Drosophila is a relatively new pest to Maine, which could potentially affect several fruit and vegetable crops. Learn more about Spotted Wing Drosophila.

Tractor Safety DVDs

Safety is a topic that we need to be reminded of every once in a while. We get into a routine of work and sometime can develop unsafe habits. The UMaine  Extension Cumberland County Office has a selection of farm tractor safety and farm safety DVDs available for loan. Call 1.800.287.1471 (in Maine) or 207.781.6099 to request a video for you, your family or farm employees for viewing.

Learn More About Fencing & Grazing

A few years ago, UMaine Extension adapted a grazing course that was originally developed by the University of Minnesota. The course is free and presented in 7 lessons with the following titles: planning a grazing system; plant species selection; fencing systems; weed management; grazier’s arithmetic; managing for a year-long forage supply, and; water systems. UMaine Extension modified portions of the course and converted it to an online offering. One of the benefits of using an online course is that you can move through the material at your own pace. You can also print out a copy of the course materials for your own use. Feel free to use the lesson materials as a reference. Lessons are available at the Maine Pasture Management Course.

Pest Management Resources for Farmers & Growers

With the growing season just around the corner, pests will likely have an influence on your farming efforts. Be prepared for pests by staying connected to UMaine Extension’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program. To learn more about the program, from diagnosis to IPM to pesticide use, visit our IPM website.

Online Videos Related to Fruits & Vegetables

You can view “how to” videos related to tree fruit, small fruit, and vegetables online for free. Topics range from pruning raspberries to trellising techniques for tomatoes. These short clips were produced by UMaine Extension and are posted on the Highmoor Farm website.

A Primer for Selecting New Enterprises for Your Farm

The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service has a well-written publication on selecting enterprises for your farm. Visit the University of Kentucky’s publications website and search for “ID207”. If you don’t have access to the Internet and would like a hard copy, contact the UMaine Extension Cumberland County office at 1.800.287.1471 (in Maine).

Farm Tractor Safety Course — Gray, Maine

This 5-session course is scheduled to take place in Gray on consecutive Tuesday evenings starting April 30, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. The course is designed for new drivers (youth and adults). The course fee is $20 for the manual. Scholarships are available. For more information, call 1.800.287.1471 (in Maine) or visit Farm Tractor Safety Course.

Farming with a Disability

Have you ever heard of assistive technology and how it is applied specifically with farmers? You are invited to attend a special workshop designed for agricultural service providers, health care workers, and farmers to learn practical ways to address physical limitations due to disabilities. Maine AgrAbility is scheduled to host Dr. Therese Willkomm for an Assistive Technology and Farming with a Disability workshop on Friday, April 19, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Augusta. Dr. Willkomm is considered a “MacGyver,” creating assistive technology solutions that can be made in minutes using everyday tools and materials found around the farm or in rural communities. For more information, visit Maine AgrAbility.

Northeast Livestock Exposition (NELE)

This three-day event is scheduled for May 17-19 at the Windsor Fairgounds. The purpose of the Northeast Livestock Exposition (NELE) is to provide marketing, selling, and educational opportunities to local livestock producers and educate the public on the connection between local farms and their products. For more information, visit the Northeast Livestock Expo website.

Woodside Cargo Bike

Woodside Cargo Bike

Recently Dick Brzozowski visited Crystal Spring Farm, and saw the Woodside Cargo Bike. The farm trike (pictured) was custom made by John Blood in Brunswick, and designed for use on farms. This type of bike can be pedaled forward or in reverse, and could be an efficient piece of equipment on many Maine farms. See Woodside Cargo Bike or call 207.725.1274 for more information.

Transferring the Farm

Transferring the Farm is a day-long workshop offered in Farmington, Maine on April 18. We have offered this program across New England over the past several years. The workshop will help farmers and farm families make informed decisions about transferring the farm to the next generation. Each workshop will address details on retirement and estate planning, legal approaches to protect assets from taxes, tools you can use to transfer farm assets, and determining your goals to address transfer planning. For more information, visit York County Farmers’ Network calendar or contact Gary Anderson, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, 800.287.7170 (in Maine) or direct line 207.581.3240 or 2788.