Farm Scoop – August 2017

Monday, August 21, 2017
Soil Health Field Day

5:00 – 7:30 at Bumbleroot Farm, 196 Highland Cliff Rd. Windham. We will be touring various summer cover crops and cover crops mixes, discussing and demonstrating cover crop management practices and implements, and discussing soil health measurements, including methods for testing and determining results.


  • 5:00 Welcome and Introductions
  • 5:10 Bumbleroot Farm Tour and Soil Health Management Strategies
  • 5:25 Summer Cover Crop and Cover Crop Mixes Field Tour
  • 5:50 Seeding Rate Calculations and Cost Comparisons
  • 6:00 Reduced Tillage Trials Overview
  • 6:15 Equipment Tour and Demos
  • 6:45 Soil Health Testing (Lab and in Field)
  • 7:15 More Equipment Demos (if time permits)
  • 7:30 Wrap-up

Click here for more information.

Apiculture Insurance Expanded to More States
Increased safety net available to beekeepers in 48 states.

Crop insurance for beekeeper operations has been expanded to include 19 additional states and now spans the entire 48 contiguous states. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced changes to the Apiculture Pilot Insurance (API) plan, ensuring greater protection for the producers’ honey, pollen collection, wax, and breeding stock.

In addition to expanding API coverage, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board of Directors voted to replace the satellite-based Vegetation Index with the precipitation-based Rainfall Index for API policies. Available since 2009, API was developed through the Federal Crop Insurance Act’s 508(h) process, which allows private submitters to develop innovative insurance products to meet the needs of producers.

Producers have until Nov. 15, 2017 to enroll in API coverage for the 2018 crop year. Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator.

Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at

August 3, 2017 – Round-Table Meeting for Tunnel Tomato Growers, Researchers

As part of a Northeast SARE project focused on tomato production in high tunnels, we are going to hold a Farmer-to-Farmer Round-Table Discussion for experienced tunnel tomato growers, researchers, and Extension educators.  The meeting will take place on Thursday, August 3 at Johnny’s Selected Seeds at 184 Foss Hill Road, Albion, Maine, from 1:00 p.m. – around 3:00 pm.

This meeting is a part of a SARE research project looking at tomato production in high tunnels. The research project includes participants from MOFGA, University of Maine, University of New Hampshire and the University of Vermont.

The day will include a tour of the tomato trials at Johnny’s, an update of the research project, and a round table discussion of any and all the tomato growing issues growers raise. We know that summer is a hard time for you and us to leave our farms, but it is the only time to offer the opportunity to see how others grow. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, August 16, 12-1 p.m.
Organic Vegetable Cost of Production Project Webinar with Jen Miller, Farmer Services Coordinator, NOFA-VT

Over the course of the 2016 season, 30 organic farms in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts tracked their crop-specific costs of production using a newly developed cost of production workbook.  Results were analyzed at the individual farm level and also aggregated to provide production metrics on a per acre basis.  Join Jen Miller, NOFA-VT’s Farmer Services Coordinator, to dive into the NOFA cost of production workbook, examine crop-specific and farm-level results, and discuss best practices for farmers who want to do this analysis on their own farms.  We will conclude with a discussion of how farmers can use cost of production analysis as a tool to strategically increase the profitability of their farm businesses.


To see and register for upcoming webinars in this series, visit the Trainers Toolbox!

Wednesday, August 16, 12-1 p.m.
Aquaculture Risk Management Webinar

This will be an online webinar featuring information on the Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for aquaculture and the Whole Farm Revenue Protection crop insurance policy. Gary Moretti from Wild Ocean Aquaculture LLC and Peter Stocks from Trundy Point LLC will be providing their perspective on and experience with NAP. This webinar is hosted by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Crop Insurance Education Program and the Farm Service Agency. Can’t make the webinar? Not a problem, it will be recorded and shared afterwards.

Please copy and paste this url into your web browser:

USDA and SCORE Launch Innovative Mentorship Effort to Support New Farmers and Ranchers

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with officials from SCORE, the nation’s largest volunteer network of expert business mentors, to support new and beginning farmers. Today’s agreement provides new help resources for beginning ranchers, veterans, women, socially disadvantaged Americans and others, providing new tools to help them both grow and thrive in agri-business.

SCORE matches business professionals and entrepreneurs with new business owners to mentor them through the process of starting-up and maintaining a new business. USDA and its partners across rural America are working with SCORE to support new farming and ranching operations, and identify and recruit mentors with a wealth of agricultural experience.

SCORE mentors will partner with USDA and a wide array of groups already hard at work serving new and beginning farmers and ranchers, such as the Future Farmers of America, 4-H, cooperative extension and land grant universities, nonprofits, legal aid groups, banks, technical and farm advisors. These partnerships will expand and integrate outreach and technical assistance between current and retired farmers and agri-business experts and new farmers.

This joint initiative leverages SCORE’s 10,000 existing volunteer mentors and USDA’s expertise and presence in agricultural communities to bring no-cost business mentoring to rural and agricultural entrepreneurs. This initiative will also be another tool to empower the work of many community-based organizations, cooperative extension and land grant universities, working with beginning farmers in their communities. SCORE mentorship will also be available to current farmers and ranchers. Anyone interested in being a mentor can get more information and sign up on the USDA New Farmers’ website at

Online Small Business Workshops 

Maine SBDC has workshops on a variety of small business topics. These workshops are free and provide information on starting your business,managing your finances and marketing your businessACCESS THE FULL LIST OF WORKSHOPS HERE…