Farm Scoop – April 2017

2017 Census of Agriculture

Make Sure Your Farm Counts!

NASS conducts a census of all agricultural operations every five years as well as other agricultural surveys. We need to know about all types of agricultural operations of all sizes. The Information you provide is kept confidential by law and will not be disclosed to any other government or private entity.

Apply Now for Agricultural Internships in Maine

The Maine DACF has compiled a listing of available Maine-based internships for those interested in furthering their technical, professional, and educational skills sets. The following listing includes information about the companies, internship descriptions, and position requirements. To learn more about the specific internship opportunities, please visit the company websites that are included below.

Summer Farm Intern: Swango Farm, Woolwich, ME

Started in 1976, Swango Farm was one of Maine’s first certified organic farms (not certified now). They grow ten acres of mixed vegetables marketed through their Bath farm stand, area restaurants, a small CSA. Also, they have livestock on the farm. They are seeking a motivated person to help at the farm, work outside in the field and at their market, and be a part of their small management team. Living accommodations if desired and will negotiate a fair wage.

Please call or email Jim for more information, contact Jim Economou or call 207.837.9930. Swango Farm is on Facebook.

Wolfe’s Neck Farm’s Organic Dairy Farmer Training Program: Wolfe’s Neck Farm, Freeport, ME

This first-of-its-kind, two-year residential program allows apprentices to go from experienced-to-expert in all aspects of organic dairy cow operations and management. The program is a National Apprenticeship under the U.S. Department of Labor-Employment and Training Administration and is operated in partnership with Stonyfield and Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship. It consists of 4,000 hours of training over a period of two years. Our goal is to prepare each trainee to become an independent operator at the conclusion of their two-year apprenticeship. The program will provide a guided pathway to the knowledge, skills, experiences and resources trainees will need to begin their own enterprise.

For more information, visit the Wolfe’s Neck Farm website or contact Sarah Littlefield, Dairy Director.

Student Worker: Highmoor Farm, Monmouth, ME

Highmoor Farm will be hiring student workers for the summer of 2017. Work on the farm would include pruning, weeding, planting and harvesting. Positions are for 40 hours per week. Independent study projects and internships can be arranged. Work hours are from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM, Monday through Friday.

Highmoor Farm is a Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station for the University of Maine, located on Route 202 in Monmouth, Maine. For directions and more information about the farm, please visit the Highmoor Farm website.

For more information about applying for summer employment, please contact Pam St. Peter at 207.933.2100, Ext. 100.

The Big E Invites Maine Farms and Businesses to Enter 2017 Competitions

The Big E invites all Maine cheese, wine, and hard cider producers to enter the 2017 Gold Medal Cheese, Northeast Gold Wine, and Northeast Gold Cider & Perry Competitions. The entry deadline for the wine and cider competitions is May 15th, and the cheese competition entry deadline is August 4th. All who enter will be eligible to participate in sales and tastings in The Big E Wine and Cheese Barn at Mallary Garden.

All medal winners are displayed in the Wine and Cheese Barn during The Big E, exposing New England wines, ciders, and cheeses to a potential audience of over 1.8 million fairgoers.

This is a unique way to showcase some of the finest cheeses, wines, and ciders that Maine has to offer, as well as market and promote your farms and businesses on a national level.

For more information, please visit the Big E website or email to obtain a copy of the entry forms.

Census of Agriculture Countdown Begins for America’s Farmers and Ranchers

America’s farmers and ranchers will soon have the opportunity to strongly represent agriculture in their communities and industry by taking part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census, to be mailed at the end of this year, is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them.

The Census of Agriculture highlights land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures, and other topics. The 2012 Census of Agriculture revealed that over three million farmers operated more than two million farms, spanning over 914 million acres. This was a four percent decrease in the number of U.S. farms from the previous census in 2007. However, agriculture sales, income, and expenses increased between 2007 and 2012. This telling information and thousands of other agriculture statistics are a direct result of responses to the Census of Agriculture.

Producers who are new to farming or did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 still have time to sign up to receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture report form by visiting and clicking on the “Make Sure You Are Counted” button through June. NASS defines a farm as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year (2017).

For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture and to see how census data are used, visit or call 800.727.9540.

Introduction to Farm Accounting with QuickBooks Pro™

Thursday, May 4, 2017, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, 307 Maine Avenue, Bangor

This free workshop is for farmers who are first-time users of QuickBooks or with less than a year’s experience. The presenters, QuickBooks ProAdvisors from Austin Associates, will demonstrate how to set up and use accounts, perform invoicing, deposits, and reporting using QuickBooks Pro. Participants may bring a laptop but it is not required.

Pre-registration is required. Class is limited to 15. To register or request a disability accommodation, contact Pamela St. Peter or 207.933.9700.

Sponsored by UMaine Extension Crop Insurance Education Program. Participants will be entered in a drawing to win a QuickBooks Pro™ subscription.

Nursery Commodity Crop Insurance Deadline May 1, 2017

The sales closing deadline for crop insurance on nursery plants is May 1, 2017.

To be eligible for nursery crop insurance a nursery must receive at least 50% of its gross income from the wholesale marketing of nursery plants, and meet other eligibility requirements outlined in the Risk Management Agency policy fact sheet (PDF).

Nursery crop insurance protects the grower from loss due to adverse weather conditions, failure of irrigation supply caused by weather-related events, and wildlife damage.  Growers can protect their plant inventory value (PIV) at the catastrophic level (27.5% of PIV and costing the producer $300) or at higher levels of coverage ranging from 50-75% of their PIV.

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) or a list of agents serving Maine can be found online using the Agent Locator tool.

New Leaders Program (NLP)

The National Corn Growers Association is looking for young farmers and farmer couples in their 20s and 30s for a great leadership opportunity.  The NCGA and DuPont have revised their New Leaders Program (NLP).  This introductory leadership program is free for NCGA members and their spouse, although individuals may apply.  I am hoping that you could help share this message with your alumni.

Not only will you hear from great speakers from DuPont-Pioneer, the program will help you:

  • Identify your specific leadership style;
  • Work effectively with people with various personality traits and leadership styles;
  • Build your public speaking and presentation skills;
  • Gain a broader understanding of the political process;
  • Find opportunities in your state corn associations.

Who is eligible?

The National Corn Growers Association and DuPont are pleased to provide the NCGA DuPont New Leaders Program. Up to two farming operations, represented by a couple or individual, per NCGA-affiliated state will be chosen to participate for a hands-on communications and leadership training program designed for corn growers who are just becoming active in their industry and are interested in strengthening their skills so they can better serve American agriculture.

Become an NCGA member.

Deadline to Apply for the New Leaders Program: May 1, 2017.  Applicants must commit to attend both sessions. The application can be found online.

Cover Crops Work? Show Me!

All across the United States, farmers are increasingly using cover crops to suppress weeds, conserve soil and control pests and diseases. But agricultural educators know that savvy farmers are reluctant about risk and often want to see cover crops in action before making significant change. SARE’s Library of Cover Crop and Soil Health Images is now available to help educators show producers how cover crops can work on their farms.

The collection includes over 1,500 photos and illustrations organized into 10 galleries. A soil health gallery features high-resolution illustrations compiled in a set of 20 PowerPoint slides for use in presentations.

Plum Production in Maine

The resurgence in demand for locally-grown fresh fruit has created an opportunity for Maine’s famers to grow and sell plums. Many varieties of plums with excellent fruit quality and market potential are adapted to Maine’s cold climate. As a summer fruit, they are ready to harvest when most farmstands are open for business and people are seeking local produce. The cultural requirements and production practices of plums are similar to apple trees, so farm operations can be easily adapted for plum production. See Bulletin #2034 Plum Production in Maine for more information.

  • If browsing the publications catalog, you’ll find the new publication in the Agriculture » Fruit » Other Fruit category
  • FYI….You can sort the list of titles by name/title, author, price, or manufacturer/publisher
  • To print a publication click on the PRINT icon (near the title), then click on PDF.

Overview of the Farm Bill with Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree will be offering an overview of the upcoming Farm Bill and afterward will be available for a question and answer session.

This free and open to the public event is hosted by the Cumberland County Farm Bureau and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County.

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017
Time: 5:30-6:30pm
Location: UMaine Regional Learning Center in Falmouth, ME
RSVP: Email (RSVP required to attend.)
Live Stream:

Training for Maine’s Horticulture Industry

Training and education designed for Maine’s horticulture industry professionals will be held April 10, 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Suite 104, Falmouth.

The Garden Pro program is suitable for, but not limited to, both new and current staff in garden centers, landscape businesses, garden education and municipal public works. Training topics include integrated pest management and nonchemical strategies, soil testing and fertilizer selection, native plants for Maine and Introduction to insect Identification.

UMaine Extension and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry are conducting the training.

The $25 fee includes handouts, coffee, tea and an afternoon snack. An optional training manual will be available for $30. Space is limited; registration is required by April 5. Register online. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Kate Garland, 207.942.7396, The program is approved for four pesticide applicator credits.