Farm Scoop – February 2017
Survey: Farmers and “Intermediated Markets”
A new study, funded by USDA, and led by Syracuse University, New York University, the Pennsylvania State University, and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) seeks to examine local and regional agricultural production and intermediated markets.
The study will examine the opportunities and risks of four main marketing opportunities for farmers—direct-to-consumer, direct-to-institution, direct-to-retail, and selling to intermediaries (such as distributors or food hubs), who in turn sell the products as local food. We are interested in all farmers’ perceptions of these markets, whether currently selling to these markets or not.
The survey has several intended benefits for farmers, including the identification of technical assistance and information needs to help scale up farms for marketing to intermediaries. A national outreach and technical assistance program, conducted by NCAT’s ATTRA Program (National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service) will be developed based on the results of this research.
The survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. It includes questions to gather basic information about your farm, production, and marketing practices, and your technical assistance and training needs.
This survey is voluntary, but your input is critical. Your participation in this research is confidential; your responses will not be linked to your contact information in any way.
If you would prefer to complete a paper version of the survey, you can request a copy by contacting Lydia Oberholtzer, Penn State, at 301.891.0470.
Pesticide Recertification Credit Opportunities
Take a moment to check out all the upcoming Pesticide Re-certification Credit Opportunities by visiting the Board of Pesticides Control Credit Calendar
Some of the exciting topics offering credit opportunities include:
- Maine Invasive Pests– Madawaska, ME- Feb 14- 2 credits
- Maine Soil and Agronomy Workshop– Presque Isle, ME-Feb 22– 3 credits
- Soil Health in Potato Cropping Systems– Houlton, ME- Mar 9– 1 credit
Many more courses available visit our Credit Calendar and register today!
March 15 is the Deadline for 2017 Crop Insurance Coverage on Spring-Seeded Crops
March 15, 2017, is the final date to purchase crop insurance for most spring-seeded crops, the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) policy, and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for spring-seeded non-insurable crops.
Crop Insurance and Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Crop insurance provides protection against crop yield or revenue losses from natural perils, such as drought, hail, wind, and excessive moisture, etc. Over $600,000 in crop insurance indemnity payments were issued to Maine farmers because of the 2016 drought.
Crops with a March 15 sales closing date include small grains (spring barley, spring wheat, and oats), corn (grain, silage, and fresh market sweet), forage seeding, green peas, and potatoes. Beginning farmers (those who have not had insurable interest in a crop or livestock for more than 5 years) may be eligible for free catastrophic coverage and reduced premiums on buy-up levels of coverage.
The Whole-Farm Revenue Protection policy protects against the loss of revenue from multiple crops, animal, nursery, and resale products due to natural perils. Farmers will need 5 years of Schedule F forms and supporting sales records to be eligible for this policy.
Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of agents serving Maine can be found online using the Agent Locator tool. Farmers should contact a crop insurance agent for premium quotes and policy details.
SAVE THE DATE! — 2017 Maine Grain Conference
Monday, March 13!
Little School and Agriculture Museum, Littleton (just north of Houlton)
This year’s conference will focus on alternative crops and precision, guided cultivation systems. Guest speakers will include among others:
Willie Hughes of Janesville, Wisconsin. Willie will talk about his family’s split conventional/organic, 5000-acre operation. Hughes Farms grow grains (wheat, rye, soybean, corn) and processing vegetables (sweet corn, peas, and snap beans).
Jeremiah Evans of Merced, Manitoba. Jeremiah has used Robocrop, a video-guided hoe to cultivate between crop rows. He grows 450 acres of organic spelt, winter wheat, red spring wheat, field peas, and condiment mustard, as well as red clover and biannual sweet clover for plow-down.
Peter Scott, Crop Development Specialist, New Brunswick Department of Agriculture. Peter will give an overview of results from his cereal and oilseed research program.
Mark Monday, March 13 on your calendar, and look for upcoming info on the full agenda and registration details!
Resources to Navigate Drought Successfully
By Cathryn Kloetzli, Extension Professional, and Erin Roche, Crop Insurance Education Program Manager, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
As a farmer, gardener or landowner, there are steps and management practices you can implement to reduce or eliminate threats caused by water shortages and damaging weather events. This collection of resources has been gathered for you to successfully navigate the impacts caused by drought.
Maine Maple Sunday — March 26, 2017
Maine Maple Sunday® is just around the corner! Maine Maple Sunday® will take place on Sunday, March 26, 2017, and several of Maine’s maple producers will open their doors for this annual event to showcase their productions through education demonstrations, tours or sampling. In order to help the public locate participants in Maine Maple Sunday®, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry will be promoting this event on the Get Real website with an electronic listing.
Nationwide Study of Intermediated Marketing Channels for Regional Food Systems
We need farmers to participate in this study!
We are currently looking for farmers to take part in a national study (through a survey) being led by Syracuse University, The Pennsylvania State University, New York University, and the National Center for Appropriate Technology.
The study seeks to examine seeks to examine local and regional agricultural production and intermediated markets, and will examine the opportunities and risks of four main marketing opportunities for farmers — direct-to-consumer, direct-to-institution, direct-to-retail, and selling to intermediaries (such as distributors or food hubs), who in turn sell the products as local food.
We are interested in all farmers’ perceptions of these markets, whether currently selling to these markets or not. A national outreach and technical assistance program will be developed based on the results of this research.
The online survey for farmers should take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.
If you would prefer to complete a paper version of the survey or have any questions, contact Lydia Oberholtzer, Penn State, at 301.891.0470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you in advance for helping out this important study!
This project was supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant #2016-68006-24739 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Are You a Farmer in Southern Maine?
If you are curious about the farmland property tax program, protecting your farmland with a conservation easement, or in need of a specific agricultural or business service, this information session is for you!
Monday, February 27, 2017
1:00 – 4:15 PM
Shaw Brothers Construction
341 Mosher Rd/Rte 237, Gorham, ME
Join Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Maine Farmland Trust, and University of Maine Cooperative Extension for an afternoon of information about services that can help your farm business:
- How to Apply for Farmland Property Tax Program: Stephanie Gilbert, MDACF
- Conservation Easements as a Tool to help Fund Farm Purchase or Improvements: Nina Young & Chris Cabot, Maine Farmland Trust
- Finding Agricultural Service Providers: Stephanie Gilbert, MDACF; Jason Lilley, UMaine Cumberland County Cooperative Extension; Phelps Turner, Legal Services Food Hub; Dale Rines, Ag Engineers, Inc.; Ben Hartwell, Sebago Lake Ranch
Questions? Please contact Stephanie Gilbert for more information ay email@example.com or 207.287.7520.
Parking: Turn off Route 237 at the large granite sign for the “Office Entrance” on Westerly side of the building. There is overflow parking on Easterly side. Enter at the main entrance.
Shaw Brothers Construction is dedicated to supporting Maine’s farms and farmers and has generously donated use of its Training Room for this meeting.