Farm Scoop – May 2015

USDA Packages Disaster Protection with Loans to Benefit Specialty Crop and Diversified Producers

Free basic coverage and discounted premiums available for new and underserved loan applicants

(Casper, WY) – May 28, 2015 — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, Gregor Goertz, today announced that producers who apply for FSA farm loans also will be offered the opportunity to enroll in new disaster loss protections created by the 2014 Farm Bill. The new coverage, available from the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), is available to FSA loan applicants who grow non-insurable crops, so this is especially important to fruit and vegetable producers and other specialty crop growers.

The basic disaster coverage protects at 55 percent of the market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of production. Covered crops include “specialty” crops, for instance, vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, hay, forage, grazing and energy crops. FSA allows beginning, underserved or limited income producers to obtain NAP coverage up to 90 days after the normal application closing date when they also apply for FSA credit.

Growers need not apply for an FSA loan, nor be a beginning, limited resource, or underserved farmer, to be eligible for Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program assistance. To learn more, visit or, or contact your local FSA office.

Rural Congress Session Reminder

As a reminder the Rural Congress Telecommunications Forum is right around the corner! Maine Rural Partners and the Maine Public Advocates office are hosting this event to discuss telecommunications issues and rural broadband issues with community members, and how state policy makers can improve on these issues. Whether you would like to share your views or learn more about these important issues, all are welcome to this event.

The session will be held at Bangor Parks and Recreation Department (647 Main Street #1) in the Kenduskeag Room, on Wednesday, May 27 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

As always: if you are not able to make it to this event and would like to share your thoughts, or if you would like to contact us for any reason please do!  You can reach us at 207.778.3885 or email us at We hope to see you there!

Strawberry IPM Newsletter No. 1

For the 2015 season. This newsletter will also be posted as a blog with color pictures on the Highmoor Farm website, where you can subscribe to weekly updates.

Needs Assessment for Camelid Producers

Do you raise llamas or alpacas? Would you like more educational opportunities about how to best care for your animals and run your farm business? If so, please respond to our survey by May 31, 2015 to help University of Maine Cooperative Extension design the best training for you and your farm.

SBA Regulatory Fairness Roundtable

Where: Portsmouth Office Park, 170 Commerce Way, Suite 200, Portsmouth NH

When: Friday, June 5th, 2015 from 1 p.m.-3 p.m.

Register: Please register for this event online by June 3rd, or contact

Concerned about a level regulatory playing field for your small business?

More information.

FAMACHA Workshops

FAMACHA (FAffa MAlan CHArt) workshops are designed to equip sheep and goat producers with the skills and knowledge to determine the degree of infection of Haemonchus contorutus (barber pole worm). Participants will receive an information packet, record sheets, and a FAMACHA card. Details can be found online.

Saturday, May 16th, 2015
Northeast Livestock Expo, Windsor, Maine
Cost PER FARM: $25.00
Register online.

Saturday, June 6th, 2015
Fiber Frolic, Windsor Fairgrounds, Windsor, Maine
Cost PER FARM: $25.00
Register online.

Pasture and Forage Management Workshop June 10 & 17

A two-session pasture and forage management workshop will be held June 10, at Kennebec Cheesery, 795 Pond Road, Sidney and June 17, at Oaklands Farm, 114 Oaklands Farm Road, Gardiner.

The workshop sessions will be held 6-7:30 p.m. and will cover grass-based management systems, both organic and conventional; livestock types; forage identification; grazing and harvesting techniques; and diverse tools available to farmers. Hosts will give farm tours.

Staff from University of Maine Cooperative Extension, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association will lead the workshop. Cost is $15; register by June 8 online For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Diana Hartley 207.622.7546.

Small Farm Guide to Selecting and Purchasing Equipment

Tuesday, June 9, 2015
3:00 p.m. EDT

The goal of this webinar is to assist operators of small and beginning farms in selecting and acquiring safe and appropriate agricultural equipment that will increase their likelihood of successfully meeting personal and production goals. The presenter will discuss how to ask the right questions during the search phase of purchasing equipment and avenues for researching equipment in selecting what will best suit the needs of specific enterprises. The webinar will also discuss the many sources and formats for buying equipment, be it new or used, and key things to look for before buying that allow producers to make an informed decision. More information can be found online.

To participate in this free webinar, registration online by Friday, June 5. Instructions for accessing the session will be sent to registrants by Monday, June 8.

Contact AgrAbility at 800.825.4264 or email if you have questions.