Farm Scoop – June 2016

Maine Migrant Education Program

The Maine Migrant Education Program (MEP) is a federally-funded program under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (Title I, Part C) that provides supplemental educational services to the children of seasonal agricultural and fishing workers that move to new school districts in order to obtain work in industries such as blueberries, broccoli, apples, dairy, eggs tree tipping, fish processing and countless more. The Maine MEP is operated from the Maine Department of Education, but we work with community agencies all over the state to identify potential students and to make sure we pursue all potential leads. The UMaine Cooperative Extension has been exceptionally helpful in the past, due to the widespread nature of the program and many avenues of communication it has. Download the entire article (Word).

Acreage Report Deadline Approaching for Spring-Seeded Crops

Farmers with crop insurance on a spring-seeded crop (i.e. potatoes, small grains, corn etc.) must submit acreage reports to their crop insurance agent by July 15, 2016.

The acreage report is the basis for determining the amount of insurance provided and the premium charged.

The acreage report includes the:

  • crops you have planted,
  • acreage prevented from planting,
  • what share you have in those crops,
  • where the crops are located,
  • how many acres you planted,
  • the dates you planted them,
  • what insurance unit they are located on,
  • and the cultural practice followed (i.e., irrigated, double cropped, etc.).

Be sure reports are accurate and submitted on time! By reporting too much acreage, you may pay too much premium. If you report too little acreage, you may recover less when you file a claim. Crop insurance agents often say that mistakes in acreage reporting are the easiest way for producers to have an unsatisfactory experience with crop insurance.

For more information, please visit the UMaine Risk Management and Crop Insurance website or contact Crop Insurance Education Program Manager Erin Roche or 207.949.2490. A list of agents serving Maine can be found online using the Agent Locator tool.

Androscoggin/Sagadahoc/Oxford County FSA Acreage Reporting Dates for 2016

Androscoggin/Sagadahoc/Oxford County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Executive Director (CED) Marcia Hall announced that producers who file accurate and timely reports for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage can prevent the potential loss of FSA program benefits. Please pay close attention to the acreage reporting dates below for 2016.

The following acreage reporting dates are applicable for Androscoggin/Sagadahoc/Oxford Counties:

July 15, 2016: Spring Seeded Crops — such as cucumbers, green peas, peppers, potatoes, herbs

September 30, 2016: Value Lost Crops — such as ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf, grass, sod, Christmas trees, potted floriculture

The following exceptions apply to the above acreage reporting dates:

  • If the crop has not been planted by the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed.
  • If a producer acquires additional acreage after the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 30 calendars days after purchase or acquiring the lease. Appropriate documentation must be provided to the county office.
  • If a perennial forage crop is reported with the intended use of “cover only,” “green manure,” “left standing,” or “seed” then the acreage must be reported by July 15th.

According to CED Hall, Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy holders should note that the acreage reporting date for NAP covered crops is the earlier of the dates listed above or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting of the crop begins.

For questions regarding crop certification and crop loss reports, please contact the Androscoggin/Sagadahoc County FSA office at 207.753.9400, Ext 2 and the Oxford County FSA office at 207.743.5789, Ext 2.

Farm Service Agency County Committee Nomination Period Begins June 15

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that the nomination period for farmers and ranchers to serve on local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees begins today, Wednesday, June 15, 2016.

To be eligible to serve on a FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in an FSA 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 FSA USDA website. 2016 nomination forms must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 1, 2016.

FSA will mail election ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 7, 2016. Ballots must be returned to the local county office via mail or in person by Dec. 5, 2016. Newly-elected committee members and alternates will take office on Jan. 1, 2017.

Nationwide, there are approximately 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees. These individuals make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs, and other agricultural issues. Committees consist of three to 11 members that are elected by eligible producers, and members serve three-year terms.

To learn more about county committees, contact your local FSA county office or visit to find a county office near you.

FREE Cover Crop Management Walk

Sunday, June 12, 4:30 p.m.

Cover crop management practices will be discussed and demonstrated. The benefits and drawbacks of planting single species cover crops or cover crop mixes will be highlighted.  Cover crop termination methods including the use of a roller crimper and strip tillage implements will be demonstrated.

This field day will highlight factors to consider before planting your first cover crop, as well as considerations for adjusting existing cover crop management systems for increased return on your investment. Come and learn how improved cover cropping strategies can maximize the benefits to your farm.

For more information and directions, contact Jason Lilley at 207.781.6099 or

Space is limited, please email to RSVP.

Conservation Farm Tour

June 29th, 5:00 p.m.

New Leaf Farm, 496 Davis Road, Durham, Maine

Dave Colson, MOFGA’s agricultural services director, will lead a tour of a cover crop demonstration planted at New Leaf Farm. This is a great opportunity to learn about types of cover crops and the pros and cons of using each. Additionally, there will be information on programs available to help with crop rotation on your farm. Hosted by the Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District in cooperation with Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

MOFGA’s Conservation Farm Tours take place throughout the growing season. They are co-sponsored with local soil and water conservation district partners to highlight conservation strategies used on farms and woodlots throughout the state. Each tour focuses on a specific conservation theme and is a great way to see how farmers manage their land to support soil health, wildlife, and the natural environment. In 2016 and 2017 the tours are supported by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under number 69-3A75-16-012. All parties involved are equal opportunity employers and program providers.

For more information and to register for the event, contact Jocelyn Lahey at 207.753.9400 x 404 or

Sustainable Agriculture Field Day Tour at Rogers Farm

Thursday, June 30th, 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. Registration starts at 4:00 p.m.

University of Maine’s Rogers Farm, 914 Bennoch Road, Old Town.

The field day will focus on research results and sustainable farming practices of small grains, potatoes, vegetable weed control, and risk management for small production farmers. Speakers include research staff and graduate students from UMaine College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture and UMaine Extension specialists.

The event is free; 2.5 Certified Crop Adviser credits and one Pesticide credit will be offered. Refreshments will be provided.

More about the event is online. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact John Jemison, 207.581.3241. More information about sustainable agriculture research at Rogers Farm is on the farm’s website.

USDA Androscoggin/Sagadahoc County Farm Service Agency’s 2016 County Committee Elections

The election of responsible agricultural producers to FSA county committees is important to ALL farmers and ranchers with large or small operations. It is crucial that every eligible producer take part in this election because county committees are a direct link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Committee members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA. They help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level. Farmers who serve on committees help decide the kind of programs their counties will offer. They work to make FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers.

More information and nomination forms can be found online.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County is pleased to announce two listserv groups available to Southern Maine crop and livestock producers.

The purpose of these listservs is to help growers help one another to be successful in their enterprises. These lists are intended to connect growers to buy and sell items from each other, to connect for buying in bulk, and to find equipment, supplies, and land that can be shared and loaned. Sharing of experiences with products, production and management knowledge, and navigating topics such as insurance, labor, and financing are encouraged. Extension Educators and other service providers are also encouraged to join and contribute to the discussion.

Please refrain from sending any: political messages, surveys, meeting announcements or spam of any kind. Sending non-practical messages will dilute the purpose of the listserv and reduce participation. Members that do not honor the purpose of the listserv will be removed.

To request to subscribe to either of the groups, email a request to: