Farm Scoop – June 2015

FSA County Committees

Are you a beginning or small-scale farmer? Are you producing for organic or local markets? Do you work for an organization that represents any of these producer types? Please join a call on Monday, June 29th at 3:oo p.m. Eastern to learn about the process, timeline and criteria for nomination to the Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Committees. The call will also include a panel of current FSA committee members who will share their experience and answer questions.

Panel Speakers:

  1. FSA State Committee Iowa – Specialty Crop  – Mr. Matt Russell
  2. FSA County Committee Maine – Dairy – Ms. Amy Rowbottom
  3. FSA County Committee Texas – Beef Cattle –  Mrs. Cather Woods

The call will be on Monday, June 29th at 3:oo p.m. The conference call number is: 888.844.9904. Participant Code is: 4804675

Nationwide, there are approximately 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees, and your participation is a great way to get connected to the agricultural community and help make important decisions. The nomination form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available on the FSA elections website. Questions? Please contact Matt Pavone.

FSA County Committee Nomination Period in Androscoggin/Sagadahoc and Oxford Counties Now Open

(LEWISTON/OXFORD/Maine), June 24, 2015 –Androscoggin/Sagadahoc and Oxford County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Executive Director (CED) Marcia Hall, announced that the nomination period for local FSA county committees began on June 15, 2015. Nomination forms must be postmarked or received in the Androscoggin/Sagadahoc and Oxford County FSA Office by close of business on Aug. 3, 2015. More information can be found at COC Nominations News Release (PDF).

Please join us for two Elderberry Field Tours!

Monday, June 22, 2015

1:00 p.m — The Bailey Farm, 17 Bailey Farm Road, Freeport

3:00 p.m. — Scarecrow Farm, 276 Ridge Road,  Monmouth

Register by emailing KymNoelle Sposato or by calling 207.353.5550, by June 19, 2015.

Tour Leaders

  • Abbie Sewall, Bailey Farm
  • Ethan Foyt, Scarecrow Farm
  • Tori Lee Jackson, Extension Educator & Associate Professor of Agriculture and Natural Resources

We will tour two elderberry operations to look at production systems and ask questions. Tori will provide an update on the Tomato Ringspot Virus (ToRSV) research project.

We will meet first at Bailey Farm in Freeport at 1:00 p.m. and then head north to Scarecrow Farm in Monmouth for a 3:00 p.m. tour. There will be adequate time to drive from Freeport to Monmouth. Carpooling is encouraged.

Questions? Contact Tori Jackson. More information can be found at the Elderberry Tour Flyer (Word).

Update on Avian Influenza in the United States: June 1, 2015

by Anne Lichtenwalner DVM PhD, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Since late last year, a real problem for poultry producers has arisen in the United States: highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).  In late 2014, following a cluster of cases in southwestern Canada, HPAI (contagious bird flu) was isolated from birds in backyard poultry flocks in Oregon and Washington.  Since then, the disease rapidly spread from the northwest to other western, southwestern and Midwestern states.  No HPAI has been found in the Eastern US so far, however.

#2109, Avian Influenza and Backyard Poultry 2015
This two-page publication has just been updated and discusses avian influenza, biosecurity and what the backyard poultry owner can do to protect their birds from AI disease.

#12 Safe Disposal of Backyard Poultry Mortalities
Even with the best of care, mortalities can occur in backyard poultry flocks. Proper disposal of carcasses will minimize risks to you and your family, the remaining flock, and the environment. Learn how proper composting can offer a solution.

What You Need to Know About NRCS & EQUIP Programs — Webinar

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. EDT

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between USDA, FSA, and NRCS? Are you confused about how to become involved with NRCS programs? Do you think you’re too small or new as a farmer to be eligible for USDA programs? if so, please join us to learn about the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) and the financial and technical assistance programs including the Environmental Quality Incentive Program(EQIP). Topics to be addressed include the basics of eligibility requirements, the application process, and opportunities for veteran farmers and ranchers.

This webinar will be hosted by NRCS District Conservationist Cori Calvert. Cori was raised on a small citrus farm and horse ranch in Southern California. She attended California State University, Fresno where she earned a BS degree in agriculture with an emphasis in plant science. Cori began her career with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1999. Currently, Cori is the District Conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation (NRCS) field office located in San Diego County. As District Conservationist, she provides technical and financial assistance to the 6,565 farmers in San Diego County, which are mainly comprised of nurseries, cut flowers, avocados, citrus, cattle, equestrian facilities, and many varieties of specialty crop.

This is a free event, but you must register online. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please contact or call 530.756.1395

Growers Twilight Meeting on June 11, 2015

Where: the Snell Family Farm in Buxton. The announcement is also posted as a blog on the Highmoor Farm website.

Hosts John and Ramona Snell will give a tour of their farmstand, greenhouses and vegetable fields and describe their growing and marketing practices. There will be a discussion of the upcoming season for vegetable and berry growers, and pest management strategies for the season ahead with Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist, David Handley and Vegetable Specialist, Mark Hutton. We anticipate that one pesticide applicator recertification credit will be awarded for attending the meeting.

Snell Family Farm is located on Route 112 in Bar Mills (officially 1000 River Road, Buxton, ME 04093). Their phone numbers are 207.929.6166 and 207.523.9488. Their email address is Directions to the farm. Cost for the meeting is free and no registration is required. For more information, please contact David Handley at 207.933.2100. We hope to see you there!

Small Ruminant Parasite Workshop — June 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

A workshop for sheep and goat producers is planned for Monday evening, June 15, 2015 at the Maine Forest Service located at 356 Shaker Road (Route 26) in Gray, Maine. Dr. James Miller, a parasitologist from Louisiana State University, will be presenting a talk titled “What sheep & goat producers ought to know about internal parasites”. This workshop is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Maine Sheep Breeders Association. Feel free to arrive at 6:00pm for a time to ask specific questions or request advice on addressing parasite problems.  More information can be found at Maine Wool Pool (PDF).

Farm Service Agency County Committee Nomination Period Begins June 15

WASHINGTON, June 8, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that the nomination period for local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees begins on Monday, June 15, 2015.

To be eligible to serve on a FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in an agency administered program, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area where they are nominated.

Farmers and ranchers may nominate themselves or others. Organizations representing minorities and women also may nominate candidates. To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at Nomination forms for the 2015 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 3, 2015.

More information can be found at COC Nomination News Release (Word).

Aroostook Grains Twilight Meeting

5:00 – 7:00 p.m., Thursday, June 25 (registration starts at 4:30 p.m.)

UMaine Cooperative Extension Office
57 Houlton Road, Presque Isle

Malt barley and field peas will be our focus.  Presenters will include North Dakota State University researchers Dr. Richard Horsley, barley breeder and coordinator of the NDSU malting barley improvement program, and Dr. Paul Schwartz, cereal chemist.  They will talk about the NDSU breeding and evaluation program, new malt barley varieties, and producing and protecting malt barley quality.  We’ll tour the malt barley variety trial at UMaine Aroostook Farm, which is part of a multi-state evaluation coordinated by NDSU.  We’ll also hear about field pea production and tour our field pea variety trial.

Variety Selection and Seed Production Workshop

1:00–3:30 p.m., Thursday, July 16

UMaine Rogers Research Farm
Bennoch Road, Old Town

Join Cornell researchers Lisa Kissing Kucek, participatory breeding coordinator, and Phil Atkins, manager of the NY Foundation and Certified Seed Programs, for an afternoon workshop on small grain on-farm breeding, selection, and seed production.  Sean O’Donnell, Rusted Rooster Farm, will talk about his experience with developing a spring wheat variety for his farm; and we’ll hear from Ann Gibbs, ME DACF, about Maine’s Small Grain Seed Certification program.

This event is FREE but pre-registration is required.

TO REGISTER: Call Meghan Dill at 207.581.3878.

2015 UMaine Sustainable Agriculture Twilight Meeting

5:00–7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 16 (registration starts at 4:30 p.m.)

UMaine Rogers Research Farm
Bennoch Road, Old Town

No-till corn, malt barley, winter rye, and field pea varieties, pea/oat intercropping, nitrogen management for winter grains, alternative weed management for vegetables, and more.