Farm Scoop – July 2019

USDA Now Making Payments for New Dairy Margin Coverage Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) opened enrollment for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program on June 17 and has started issuing payments to producers who purchased coverage. Producers can enroll through Sept. 20, 2019.   For more information please see the press release.

New Feature Helps Producers Find Farm Loans that Fit Their Operation

A new online tool can help farmers and ranchers find information on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) farm loans that may best fit their operations. USDA has launched the new Farm Loan Discovery Tool as the newest feature on, the Department’s self-service website for farmers.  For more information, please visit the FSA website.

How to Start a Farm on Limited Acreage

This Webinar gives basic information on setting up a homestead to raise milk and meat. There are multiple ideas and comparisons for fences, shelters and other equipment as well as ideas for growth. There’s insight on variations of care and equipment. A common sense approach to supplying your family with proteins on your own land. How to milk share, basic milking equipment for home use as well as steps to grow into a business.  Webinar registration.

Hire-A-Vet Campaign

The Hire-a-Vet Campaign kick-off event is at the Augusta Civic Center on August 29th.  Please visit Maine Career Center for more information on this event.

Climate Impacts on Maine Wild Blueberry Farms: Interview with David Yarborough, PhD

Sonja Birthisel & Erin Roche

To better understand the impacts of climate change on blueberry farms, we asked UMaine Cooperative Extension’s David Yarborough* to reflect on his 40 years of experience advising Maine growers.

David has noticed changes in weather patterns during his career, including “both an earlier spring and a later fall” leading to a longer growing season, “more erratic frosts and freezes,” and the drought-inducing combination of “higher summer temperatures and less summer precipitation.” David suggests that emerging management issues related to these changes include the need for irrigation in crop fields, and new diseases and insect pests that can impact blueberry yields. Additionally, in relation to human health he notes that “ticks have also spread into wild blueberry fields and diseases they vector such as Lyme can cause serious diseases.” You can read David’s full interview at:

This is part two in a series of Specialist Interviews the Maine Climate and Agriculture Network (MECAN) is collecting in order to share perspectives on climate change from different agricultural sectors in Maine. You can find out more about MECAN on our website,

2019-2020 New England Small Fruit Management Guide

Copies of the 2019-2020 New England Vegetable Management Guide are now available at Highmoor Farm. The guide is designed for commercial growers, and contains the latest information on management control options for the major small fruit pests as well as scouting information. This guide has been significantly revised and updated. We recommend all earlier editions of the guide be discarded, in favor of this latest edition.

Cost of the guide is $15.00. To order the guides, please send your check made payable to UMaine Cooperative Extension mailed to:  Highmoor Farm, P.O. Box 179, Monmouth, Maine 04259, atten. Pam St. Peter. For more information, contact Pam St. Peter at 207.933.2100 or

Members of the Maine Vegetable & Small Fruit Growers Association (MVSFGA) or the New England Vegetable & Berry Growers Association receive free copies of the guides. For MVSFGA membership information, contact Bill Jordan at 207.799.1040.

Poultry Processing Workshop

July 25, 2019
Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., MOFGA’s Common Kitchen at the Common Ground Education Center, Unity.

Fee: $75; $60 for MOFGA members.

Join an elite crew of poultry processing professionals for a workshop about how to process poultry. Registration

Information on the Poultry Processing Workshop.

Why Farmers Markets Need Great Merchandising and Marketing Matters

July 23, 2019
Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
UNH Extension Coös County Office, 629A Main Street, Lancaster, NH
There is no cost for the workshop.

This two-part workshop will reflect upon what has been done so far, what’s working (or not working) and what changes can still be implemented this season to increase sales. These workshop sessions will also provide a jump start for developing marketing plans during the slow months of the year.

Registration is appreciated for the morning session.  Registration is required for the afternoon to schedule a 60-minute meeting with Nada.

For more information visit Morning Ag Clips.

Register by e-mailing or by calling  603-679-5616.

Cattle Handling Workshop and Pasture Walk

July 20, 2019
12 p.m.
 to 3 p.m.
Shaw Road Farm, 283 Shaw Road, Garland

There will be a presentation on reducing stress in cattle by Colt Knight, UMaine Extension livestock specialist.  Also, A live demonstration of Shaw Road Farm’s practices of separating three beef animals from a herd of approximately 50.

The Cooksons, will discuss how they have changed their practices to more effectively reduce the long term and immediate stress on the herd.  A pasture walk will feature Shaw Road Farm’s mob grazing pasture management system and water delivery system.

Those interested in attending should contact Colt Knight at