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Soil suitability for farming & forestry - 08/16/2017

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Soil Suitability for Farming and Forestry: What You Need to Know

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Sidney Town Office, 2986 Middle Road, Sidney

 

This workshop is for farmers, foresters, landowners, and other resource managers who are making choices about what to grow, and where. These choices are often based on understanding soils. 

Most farms have woodlots which can contribute to the overall farm economy. In addition, some farmers need to convert land from forest to farmland. However, not all woodland soils are equally suitable for trees and agricultural crops, and conversion of woodland to agriculture can have mixed results. How to manage land and soil to maximize productivity – and key considerations about clearing forests for farming – are the focus of this workshop. 

Speakers include Dave Rocque, State Soil Scientist; Ken Laustsen, Maine Forest Service Biometrician; and Andy Schultz, Maine Forest Service Landowner Outreach Forester. The workshop is supported by Kennebec Woodland Partnership, a regional conservation initiative focused on the sustainability of Kennebec County’s woodlands and a landscape-level approach to conservation. 

The morning session will be at the Sidney Town Office, with a field session at a nearby farm in the afternoon – so please dress appropriately. Please bring a lunch. 

 

Space is limited! Please register by Friday, September 15th by emailing Morten Moesswilde, Maine Forest Service, at morten.moesswilde@maine.gov or call 441-2895 for more information

Brown tail moth survey - 07/28/2017

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Browntail Moth Flight

Browntail Month

Have you seen fat, fuzzy white moths around your lights over the past three weeks? If so they may be Browntail Moths (they have brown bodies). The Maine Forest Service, Maine Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation, would like your help in tracking the moth flight. Please go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/mebrowntail to fill out a survey on where and how many moths you saw.

The caterpillar stage of this insect feeds on the foliage of many hardwood trees and shrubs in May and June. They particularly like oak and apple trees. Caterpillar feeding causes reduction of growth and occasional mortality of valued trees and shrubs. 

While feeding damage may cause some concern, the primary human impact from the browntail moth is the result of contact with poisonous hairs found on the caterpillars.  Contact of these hairs with human skin causes a rash similar to poison ivy that can be severe on some individuals. People can also experience respiratory distress from inhaling the microscopic hairs that blow around in the air.

Over the past three decades the browntail has been a problem along the midcoast and islands of Maine. The population is now spreading further inland and Downeast to communities such as Poland, Belgrade, Burnham, Eddington, and Deer Isle. Many people in these recently colonized areas are unaware of the impact browntail can have on them or their trees. Knowing where moths have been seen in large numbers can help us give people a heads-up as to what they may have to deal with next spring.

Controlling the moths is not practical. If you are seeing large numbers of white moths learn about what you can do if the caterpillars end up in your yard.

For more information go to: http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/forest_health/invasive_threats/browntail_moth_info.htm, call the Maine Forest Service at 287-2431 or your local Extension office.

Funding opportunity - 07/28/2017

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The following news item is being sent to DACF subscribers as a courtesy.

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Funding Opportunity: Acer Access and Development Program 2017 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced that $1 million in competitive grant funding is available for the Acer Access and Development Program (Acer).  This program supports the efforts of states, tribal governments, and research institutions to promote the domestic maple syrup industry.

Activities eligible for support include: promotion of research and education related to maple syrup production; promotion of natural resource sustainability in the maple syrup industry; market promotion for maple syrup and maple-sap products; encouragement of owners and operators of privately held land containing species of trees in the genus Acer to initiate or expand maple-sugaring activities on the land or to voluntarily make the land available, including by lease or other means, for access by the public for maple-sugaring activities.

Please review the Request for Applications on the AMS website for details about eligible projects.Applications from eligible applicants must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, August 25, 2017.

NOTE: AMS publication of the Acer RFA to NOTE: AMS publication of the Acer RFA to Grants.gov is pending. If you would like to receive updates on this, or have other questions, please contact Martin Rosier at Martin.Rosier@ams.usda.gov  or Karin French at KarinR.French@ams.usda.gov

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Maine water update - 07/26/2017

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For Immediate Release

July 26, 2017

Contact: John Bott, 207-287-3156john.c.bott@maine.gov
                Robert G. Marvinney, Ph.D., 207-287-2804
                Tom Gordon, M.P.A., 207-287- 4986

Summer Water Resources Update

 

2017 conditions are better, according to state geologist and agriculture officials

AUGUSTA - Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) officials have provided a summer 2017 Maine water resources overview. Compared to the summer of 2016, Maine is positioned much better this summer in terms of water resources.

Normal winter conditions in the early part of 2016, plus normal precipitation in the spring, contributed to near normal runoff and recharge to groundwater. As of July 18, in all of New England, only a small area of southern coastal Maine was experiencing abnormally dry conditions according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

For comparison, in July of 2016 most of New England was under abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions and some areas of Massachusetts were in severe drought. 

Drought Map

 

In Maine last year, the southern coastal part of the state was hit particularly hard with moderate to severe drought through the summer months.

Groundwater experienced excellent recharge during Spring 2017 with most observation wells in the U.S. Geological Survey’s monitoring network reaching slightly above normal levels. Current conditions are near normal across the state, with only a few wells in southwestern Maine experiencing slightly below normal conditions. “This shows great improvement over 2016 when most wells in the southern half of the state were far below normal,” said State Geologist Robert Marvinney.  “It’s good news for public water systems, irrigators, and other users of Maine’s groundwater.”

Stream flows in July 2017 are currently near normal in the western part of the state and slightly below normal in the east, compared to 2016 when most gaging stations showed well below normal flows.

Tom Gordon, of the DACF’s Soil and Water Program, stressed that, while this is good news for farmers, the time to prepare for the next drought is now. “While drought conditions have abated, land owners need to plan and prepare their water infrastructure for the next drought,” said Gordon. “Information on agricultural water management can be found on the Department’s website at: http://www.maine.gov/dacf/ard/water_management/index.shtml.

Spotted Wing Drosophila alert - 07/21/2017

This announcement is also posted with color pictures on the Highmoor Farm Spotted Wing Drosophila web blog at https://extension.umaine.edu/highmoor/spotted-wing-drosophila/, where you can subscribe to updates.

 

Spotted Wing Drosophila Alert:  7/21/2017

 

David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist; James Dill, Pest Management Specialist; Frank Drummond, Professor of Insect Ecology/Entomology

 

There has been an increase in spotted wing drosophila activity at most trapping sites this week (see table below). Reports from throughout the northeast suggest a similar trend. This is significantly earlier activity than we have seen in recent years, and some of the trap counts are already well above what we consider potentially damaging to ripening berry crops, especially raspberries and blueberries.  Research suggests that when 6 to 10 flies are caught in a yeast-baited trap in a week, larvae will start appearing in the fruit.

 

We expect that spotted wing drosophila populations (SWD) will continue to build rapidly in the coming weeks as more eggs are laid in the fruit that is now ripening. Growers should set out traps, if you haven’t already. Start protective sprays on any berries that have begun to ripen when more than four spotted wing drosophila flies are caught in a trap, or any larvae are noticed in the fruit. Look for fruit flies hovering around fruit and symptoms of premature fruit decay. Remember, the flies favor shady, moist regions of the planting.  

 

You can find directions for making a home-made SWD monitoring trap on our blog. (See address below.) An effective commercial trap and bait is now available from Scentry.  The trap is reusable and the bait lasts 4-6weeks.  Cost for both is about $15 plus shipping, it is available from Great Lakes IPM Company (http://www.greatlakesipm.com/).

 

For more information on identifying spotted wing drosophila and updates on populations around the state, visit our SWD blog at:  http://umaine.edu/highmoor/blog/tag/spotted-wing-drosophila/.   

 

Other IPM Web Pages
Michigan State University:  http://www.ipm.msu.edu/invasive_species/spotted_wing_drosophila

Penn State University:  http://extension.psu.edu/pests/ipm/agriculture/fruits/spotted-wing-drosophila

University of New Hampshire:  http://extension.unh.edu/New-and-Invasive-Pests/Spotted-Wing-Drosophila-SWD

 

David T. Handley
Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist

 

Highmoor Farm                      Pest Management Office
P.O. Box 179                          491 College Avenue
Monmouth, ME 04259           Orono, ME 04473
207.933.2100                          1.800.287.0279

 

Where brand names or company names are used it is for the reader’s information. No endorsement is implied nor is any discrimination intended against other products with similar ingredients. Always consult product labels for rates, application instructions and safety precautions. Users of these products assume all associated risks.

 

The University of Maine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

 

 

Town

Spotted Wing  Drosophila weekly trap catch 7/6/17

Spotted Wing  Drosophila weekly trap catch 7/13/17

Spotted Wing  Drosophila weekly trap catch 7/20/17

Wells

 

19

8

Sanford

0

4

6

Limington

4

2

7

Limerick

1

3

4

Cape Elizabeth

19

21

37

Buxton

12

6

3

New Gloucester

3

30

298

Bowdoinham

2

10

28

Dresden

0

0

2

Freeport

2

0

4

Poland Spring

1

2

2

Mechanic Falls

14

5

0

Monmouth

2

4

5

Wales

110

 

121

Farmington

0

3

9

Fayette

6

3

5

 

 

 


 

Pam St. Peter
Administrative Specialist II
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Maine Crop Insurance Education Program
Highmoor Farm
P.O. Box 179/52 US Route 202
Monmouth, ME  04259
Tel. 207.933.2100 X100
Fax 207.933.4647
Email:  pamela.stpeter@maine.edu
extension.umaine.edu/highmoor
umaine.edu/agriculture/maine-risk-management-and-crop-insurance-education-program

Bee pollinator habitat - 07/17/2017

 

SGTF logo
 
 

Bee Pollinator Habitat I planted.

  Summer 2017    



19th century barn 

On the Web:

 Sugargrove Website

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Since 1823 
 

19th century barn

 

Sugargrove Tree Farm is a family owned and operated, choose and harvest Christmas Tree Farm, located on a historic Ashland County farm that has been in our family since 1823.   

 

Join Our Mailing List!
 

Spring and early summer at Sugargrove Tree Farm has been busy again this year.  Every year seems to bring different challenges and weather and his year, the rainfall has been exceptionally well timed and probably a little more than we need. We have had a difficult time keeping ahead of the mowing.  Rain came shortly after we planted this year, getting the new tree seedlings off to a good start.  Other than a short time in May, the growing season has been very good and this year's crop has developed very well.  I think that after shearing, they will be very beautiful trees.  Here is a photo of just planted trees in 2010 that we will be harvesting from this year.  They grew quite nicely since 2010. And Casey, our Dalmatian is inspecting our work.  I will include a picture of the sheared trees in our early fall newsletter.

 

Casey inspecting the work

Spring 2010 Planting

 

 

Shearing of trees has begun.  The white pine, Norway spruce, and blue spruce have received their annual shearing and we will start working on the 10,000 fir trees later in July.    If you are interested in how we shear our trees, visit the Sugargrove Facebook page where we have posted a video of how we shear.  Here is a link to our Facebook page: 

 

https://www.facebook.com/SugargroveTreeFarm/

 

 

I have some favorite farm photos to share with you.  They include an early morning July sunrise and a view of the trees and buildings from out in the field.  I hope you like them.

 

 

Early July Morning
 

Farm View

I am headed to Wisconsin this August for my last board meeting of the National Christmas Tree Association.  This tour of duty has been for 12 years that included the office of Vice President of Finance for 6 years, President for 2 years, and now, Past President for 2 years.  My term will end December 31 of this year.  I am thankful for the experience and the opportunity to meet and work on national issues with Christmas tree growers from Oregon and California to Main and North Carolina.  I am also happy to be relinquishing the responsibility. 

 

Until I see you at the farm....

 

Blake Rafeld

President, Sugargrove Tree Farm

Succession of family farms - 07/17/2017

HOME/NATIONAL/FUTURE OF FAMILY FARMS AT RISK

AGING FARMERS ...0 COMMENTS

Future of family farms at risk

Aging farmers, lack of succession plans put future of family farms at risk

PUBLISHED ON JULY 16, 2017

A Statistics Canada study found last year that the average age of Canadian farmers had reached 55 after rising for decades, and 92 per cent of farms had no written plan for who will take over when the operator retires. (Joshua Durst, Flickr/Creative Commons)

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, Canada — Bryan Maynard says his grandfather, a Prince Edward Island potato farmer, didn’t start talking about retirement until he was 80 years old and had been diagnosed with dementia.

At that point, with no succession strategy in place, Maynard and his brother suddenly had to scramble to find a way to keep the farm in the family and just barely managed to do so.

The 33-year-old’s situation is not uncommon. A growing number of farmers are nearing retirement without having formally planned for their successors, putting the next generation of small-scale farming at risk — something Maynard and advocates are urging farming families to think about.

“Our grandfather didn’t really want to talk about selling the farm, ever, until it was too late and he had to,” Maynard said.

A Statistics Canada study found last year that the average age of Canadian farmers had reached 55 after rising for decades, and 92 per cent of farms had no written plan for who will take over when the operator retires.

It also found there were more farmers over age 70, than under 35.

Christie Young, of Guelph, Ont., is trying to tackle that issue with Farmlink, a matchmaking service she runs for farm owners and prospective farmers across Canada.

She has found there’s no shortage of young people armed with business plans who want to get into farming, and older farmers who want to see their land farmed by a new generation when they retire.

The problem, she said, is that many farmers have become heavily leveraged in recent decades, having borrowed against the rising value of their farm properties — which spiked nearly 40 per cent per acre on average between 2011 and 2016, according to Statistics Canada.

That means farm owners need to sell their properties for full market value in order to retire, said Young, so the only buyers tend to be large agricultural operations consolidating farmland in rural areas or, if the farm is in the shadow of a city, property developers.

“If you’re a new farmer who’s trying to buy a piece of land and pay for it by working the land, it’s almost an impossible proposition,” she said.

Young uses Farmlink to help farm owners and young farmers set up partnerships that begin years before the owner’s retirement, such as lease-to-own arrangements that can allow a new farmer to start small and expand.

“The problem is that’s not how building farms has happened in the past — we don’t have a whole lot of history with agriculture, we only have 200 years — and the transition between generations hasn’t looked like this before,” she said.

A successful farm transition tends to require time and planning, so when a farmer comes to Young wanting to sell his property to a new farmer for $5 million by next weekend, she can’t help, she said.

In Maynard’s case, when his grandfather suddenly needed to retire in 2015, he and his brother bought 70 per cent of the farm. They’re successful today, but Maynard said they’re exception to the rule.

He said they just managed to get a loan, secured with a parcel of land that had been willed to them by their father and the financial backing of their mother — assets that aren’t available for most.

“It’s not the way Canadian agriculture should be doing things,” he said. “It’s just tough to see family farms dwindle up and go the way of the dinosaur just because of the lack of planning and lack of resources available to young farmers to help them get off the ground.”

Statistics Canada has, however, identified a small sign of change, finding the number of farmers under age 35 had increased slightly from 2011 to 2016, reaching almost 25,000, with a marked increase in the number of farms run by young women. It’s the first growth in the under 35 demographic since 1991.

Brenda Hsueh attributes some of that growth to a recent trend of many young farmers being motivated by a passion for small-scale organic farming and local food.

She took an unconventional path to farming, buying property in Grey County, Ont., in 2009 at age 33, with funds from the sale of her Toronto condo, which she had bought while working in the financial services industry.

Hsueh was trained to farm by the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training in southwestern Ontario, a network of small-scale organic farms that offer internships.

But Hsueh said most of the younger interns she met can’t afford the price of entry to farming today.

That’s why Young said she’d love the federal government to focus more of its farming support on young farmers, rather than on the economic viability of farming in general, fearing that without a change, there will be no more small family farms.

“We’re losing them,” she said.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada said the federal government provides funding and loan support to some young farmers, including loans for farm transitions that allow for deferred payments and interest-only payments.

“We are continuing to explore ways to support the next generation of farmers in starting up and transferring farms,” the ministry said in a statement.

Statistics Canada’s research shows the overall amount of Canadian land being farmed has remained relatively stable over decades, as farms have consolidated to become larger, and the number of farmers has fallen.

“That’s OK if what we care about is GDP and gross farm receipts,” said Young. “But it’s not OK if what we care about is farm livelihoods and farm families and thriving communities.”

–Jessica Smith Cross, The Canadian Press

For more articles concerning international issues, click here.

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AG NEWS - 07/12/2017

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Open Farm Day

Mark your calendar for Sunday, July 23rd, 2017 to experience Open Farm Day throughout the State of Maine!

 

Over 80 farms state-wide will open their doors to connect with their neighbors and communities. Many farms will have demonstrations, displays, farm-raised products for sale, and animals and crops to experience. Activities include barn and field tours, milking, petting zoos, nature trails, beautiful scenery, samples for tasting and refreshments.

To view the most current list of participants, please visit: http://bit.ly/2teYT2b


Harvest New England Day at The Big E

 

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry would like to invite Maine producers to take part in a unique and great opportunity to showcase their products and company at one of the largest agriculture fairs in the country. Please join us for Harvest New England Day at the State of Maine building, located at the Eastern States Exposition on Friday, September 29th, 2017 from 10am to 5pm. The Eastern States Exposition (Big E) takes place every September in West Springfield, Massachusetts and attracts over 1,498,605 fairgoers each year over seventeen days. The State of Maine building showcases Maine foods and products, as well as features information on Maine’s resources in agriculture, commerce, culture, food, fisheries, forests, wildlife, recreation and tourism. The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry takes pride in the operation and management of the building and Maine’s participation in this annual event. 

 

Harvest New England Day is a chance for Maine companies to promote and market their agricultural products and companies through an informational display, educational activities, sampling and selling at one of the largest consumer based fairs in the Northeast. If interested in obtaining an application for the event, please contact Samantha Howard at 287-7620, or email Samantha.Howard@maine.gov.

 

We look forward to partnering with you on this this great opportunity to promote the wonderful agricultural companies and products within our state. Please be sure to follow up with us if you have questions.

 


POTENTIAL APPLICANTS FOR NRAC FUNDING

 

The Northeastern Regional Aquaculture Center (NRAC) is inviting Pre-Proposals for project funding consideration.  This 2018 Request for Pre-Proposals (RFA) identifies targeted research areas that NRAC is considering for funding.  The NRAC selection criteria, review process and Pre-Proposal submission guidelines are described in the Request for Pre-Proposals

 

The deadline for submitting Pre-Proposals is Monday, August 21, 2017. (Local Time in College Park, Maryland).  Pre-Proposals will be reviewed to determine which investigators will be invited to submit detailed full proposals for consideration.  Eventual funding will require a successful full proposal.  Successful proposals are expected to receive funding prior to August 1, 2018.  

To learn more about this opportunity

Veterans and farming - 07/12/2017

FARMER VETERANS ...

Farm work may improve veterans’ health

Farming may help improve veterans' well-being, according to a recent study

PUBLISHED ON JULY 11TH, 2017

This is a growing veterans farm. (Care farming by Josef Kalinko/Seattle University)

WASHINGTON — Care farming — using working farms and agricultural landscapes to promote mental and physical health — helped improve veterans’ well-being in a recent study.

With care farming, individuals participate in various horticultural activities and learn useful skills within a safe community and a green environment, a setting shown to improve mental and social well-being.

In the study of 5 veterans of foreign wars (4 men, 1 woman), care farming improved life satisfaction in 3 participants and optimism about future life satisfaction in 2 of the participants. Also, perceived loneliness decreased in 2 participants.

The findings support the use of care farming as a treatment for languishing veterans and for helping individuals with mental struggles.

“Farming acts as a kind of loose group therapy — the veterans are working with people who have had similar experiences that only those who have served in combat truly understand,” said Dr. Arie Greenleaf, co-author of the Journal of Humanistic Counseling study. “The farm provides a space they need to heal, a space where they can grow life rather than destroy it — not a small factor for many veterans trying to come to grips with the death and misery they witnessed in war, at times inflicted by their own hands.”

DEPT. OF AG-IS YOUR FARM READY FOR THE NEXT STEP - 07/01/2017

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Farmer Resources

Is your farm business ready to take the “next big step”?

BusinessPlanningImage1  

Starting this November, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry – Maine Farms for the Future Program and Jed Beach of FarmSmart Business Services will offer NxLevel™ Tilling the Soil of Opportunity, a business planning course tailored for Maine farmers.

 

 

 

 

This six session course will help you to:

 

  • Update your business goals - compare now with where you want to be
  • Determine which crops are helping or hindering your goals
  • Evaluate new & potential markets
  • Improve your time & people management skills
  • Create a crop/product plan that will meet your goals
  • Evaluate potential financing opportunities to identify your best options

Write your new business plan - then make it a reality!

BusinessPlanningImage2

 

You will hear stories from practicing farmers and guest speakers who are experts in agricultural business, production and marketing. And, you’ll have the opportunity to network with other experienced growers, including farmers in the Maine Farms for the Future Program.

All sessions will be offered at a comfortable and convenient site in central Maine to accommodate multiple farm/family members to attend. Most of the sessions will also be available via remote internet access.

All sessions will include two 15-minute breaks and ½ hour lunch to allow plenty of networking opportunities with all participants.

It’s time to “press the pause button” and finally give yourself time to refresh your thinking, conduct research, and work one-on-one with trained professionals to discuss and evaluate the pros and cons of making positive changes to your business model.

SAVE THESE DATES NOW: 11/2912/13, 1/8, 1/24, 2/7, 2/21
Course registration will begin on-line in early August 2017
Want to know more?
Want to get on the waiting list?
Visit http://www.farmsmartmaine.com/ag-business-planning-class.html, or contact Jed Beach, FarmSmart Business Services, at jed@farmsmartmaine.com, or call 207-370-9238

Pesticide bill approval - 06/30/2017

Unanimous approval for pesticide bill

Agriculture, non-agriculture, environmental, labor interests support bill

PUBLISHED ON JUNE 29TH, 2017

“This historically noncontroversial, bipartisan legislation is vitally important to both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as farmers and farmworkers,” said Roberts and Stabenow. (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Flickr/Creative Commons)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., today held a business meeting where H.R. 1029, the Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act of 2017, was favorably reported out of the Committee by unanimous voice vote.

“This historically noncontroversial, bipartisan legislation is vitally important to both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as farmers and farmworkers,” said Roberts and Stabenow. “Not only does this legislation provide certainty to the pesticide industry, but it also provides new products to farmers for crop protection and to consumers to protect public health.”

In May, the Committee held a hearing in preparation for legislative action to gather input on pesticide registrations. In March, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1029 with strong bipartisan support by voice vote on the suspension calendar. A variety of agriculture, non-agriculture, environmental and labor interests support enactment of this legislation. 

—U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry

For more articles concerning agricultural policy, click here.

Forest and shade tree report/update - 06/29/2017

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Insect & Disease Conditions Update

June 29, 2017

A printer-friendly version of this report will be available on-line from the Conditions Report Index on Friday June 30, 2017.

Caterpillars and disease agents have been abundant this year, so we’ve been keeping very busy.  However, we wanted to get this report out to you before the Independence Day holiday to update you on tree health issues we’ve been seeing and hearing about.  


Insects

Arborvitae leafminers in spider web. MFS

Arborvitae Leafminers (A complex of species) - Cedar in many parts of the state are showing browning from the feeding of arborvitae leafminers as well as other problems (see diseases). This is not new. There are four species of leafminers that feed on cedar in Maine. The larvae feed inside the needles causing them to turn brown. There will be a small hole in each mine that can be seen with a hand lens. This damage is easily confused with winter injury or damage from fungal pathogens.  Mined tips will be hollow and will appear translucent if held up to a strong light. The larvae  overwinter in the needles then resume feeding in the spring.  The moths are now flying in the Bangor area, and have probably also emerged in southern Maine. 

Photo: Spider webs, such as the one pictured, can help you determine whether you have a caterpillar among the causes of cedar-browning and when the adults fly.  Or you can use the traditional method of shaking the trees.  Maine Forest Service Photo. 

 

High-value trees can be monitored for the presence of leafminer adults. From the end of June into early July periodically shake the branches of the trees and if clouds of tiny moths fly out, it is time to treat. Use a contact insecticide to kill the moths – they do not feed.

On lightly infested trees, this pest can be controlled by clipping and burning mine-containing leaves in fall or very early spring. In heavier infestations, treatment to control the moth stage is fairly effective and will prevent egg-laying. Repeated treatments may be necessary to control the adults as their flights may extend over several weeks. Another option is to wait until new mines appear in early August and treat at that time. Chlorpyrifos (Chlorpyrifos), Bifenthrin (Talstar) and Permethrin (Permethrin) are some of the contact insecticides registered for control of leafminers. These contact insecticides can be used on both adults and larvae. Control of larvae in mines using a contact insecticide is best achieved with an emulsifiable concentrate, however wettable powder sprays will provide adequate control and are less toxic for applications around home grounds. Acephate (Orthene) and Imidacloprid (Merit 75 WP) systemic insecticides are also registered for larval control within the mines.

Browntail Moth Caterpillar

Browntail Moth (Euproctis chrysorrhoea) – Since the last Conditions Report there have been two new detections of significant populations of browntail moth.  Burnham (Waldo County) and Eddington(Penobscot County) are the latest towns to join the ranks known to have browntail moth infestations. In both instances, the feeding has led to near complete defoliation of oaks in a forest stand. These detections reinforce the message that browntail moth is on the move. The caterpillars are easily moved on vehicles; the pupa can be moved on all manner of conveyance (wandering caterpillars find a cozy place to pupate, often one that is easily overlooked); and the moths can fly long distances and are attracted to lights.  

Photo: Browntail moth caterpillar. Maine Forest Service Photo.

Browntail moth caterpillars have finished feeding or are winding down their feeding for the season. If you had significant populations this year, be aware that although the caterpillars are no longer out in abundance, their hairs are still in the environment. Pupal masses should be handled with extreme caution, as they contain the cast skin of the last instar the caterpillars (often dozens in a single mass). Exposure to the hairs and their toxins is most likely during dry, windy conditions.  Please refer to the new browntail moth brochure for more information. 

What’s next for this beast?  They will spend a couple of weeks in their cocoons, then emerge in mid- to late July as moths.  The moths (remember, attracted to lights) will lay eggs on the undersides of host leaves, the eggs hatch into caterpillars in late-July and early-August and begin skeletonizing the host leaves.  The caterpillars begin to build their overwintering web in August.  Remember, for low populations clipping and destroying the webs is a very effective control method. 

Purple trap used in detection survey for emerald ash borer (MFS)

Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) – As was true last year, the purple traps deployed around the state have been hung by a federal contractor, Delta 21. Each trap should have an information card associated with it. If you find a trap that has been damaged or otherwise needs attention, please contact the number on the card: 866-322-5412. If you have other concerns regarding the program, you can contact Maine’s USDA APHIS, PPQ office in Hermon at (207) 848-0000.

Photo: Purple trap used in detection survey for emerald ash borer. Maine Forest Service Photo.

If the emerald ash borer were in Maine, we would expect to begin to see adults exiting infested trees now. When they exit, they create a D-shaped exit hole, similar to other Buprestids. If you suspect you’ve found an area infested by emerald ash borer, please report it to our office. You can find photos of the insect and damaged trees and a new MFS information sheet for landowners at www.maine.gov/eab.

Forest Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria) – Defoliation of northern red oak caused by forest tent caterpillar has been reported in Blue Hill and Brooksville (Hancock County).  An abundance of the caterpillars not associated with significant defoliation have been reported in Stockholm (Aroostook County), Old Town (Penobscot County) and Bath (Sagadahoc County).  In Blue Hill, moderate to severe defoliation is visible along Route 15 (Mines Road) for approximately one mile. 

Forest tent caterpillars are wrapping up feeding for the season. In Hancock County this week, their cocoons were festooning plants and structures beneath the defoliated trees. Gypsy moth caterpillars were scattered amongst the remaining forest tent caterpillars, but the forest tent caterpillars were more abundant. However, gypsy moth will continue to feed after the forest tent caterpillars have pupated.  

This is a native insect, with many natural controls, however during epidemic populations significant forest damage can occur. 2007 was the last time we mapped defoliation by forest tent caterpillar in Maine. The affected area comprised about 30 acres of primarily aspen in Aroostook County. The population crashed after a single year of recorded defoliation.  Outbreaks frequently last for 2 to 4 years.

If you have noticed defoliation, do not assume someone else has already reported it, please let us know.  In the case of the defoliation in Blue Hill, the defoliated trees are obvious along a significant stretch of busy route 15. There is no doubt that cars, decks and driveways were coated with frass for weeks.  We received one report (which we’re very grateful for!).  Your reports help us target ground and aerial surveys.

Forest tent caterpillar and damage. Maine Forest Service

Images From left to right above: Gypsy moth (L) and forest tent caterpillars (R) along with cast skins of forest tent caterpillar; Cocoon of forest tent caterpillar in eastern white pine  beneath defoliated northern red oak; Oak defoliation (Blue Hill).  Maine Forest Service Photos.

Uglynest caterpillar webs

Uglynest Caterpillar (Archips cerasivorana) – Tree-engulfing webs were reported by a homeowner in Hebron (Oxford County).  The culprit was determined to be uglynest caterpillar. This is mostly a nuisance and aesthetic pest; and is of little import from a tree-health standpoint.  The webbing is impressive, though!  You can find a thorough factsheet on the idtools.org website

Webbing created by uglynest caterpillars in Hebron, ME.  Photo: Maine Forest Service Photo.

 

 


Diseases and Injuries 

Dutch elm disease symptoms.  MFS

Dutch elm disease symptoms are beginning to be noticeable across Maine where elms grow. Symptoms include wilting, followed by reddening of foliage and progressive dieback from the point of infection to interior portions of the tree. While pruning out infected limbs can be attempted, this rarely effectively stops the disease from killing the tree. Mortality typically happens within three years of initial infection – although trees can die the same year they are infected.  Although Dutch elm disease is present throughout Maine, actions by homeowners can influence how fast the disease spreads to nearby trees in their neighborhood.  Current recommendations include immediate treatment/ removal  of the infected tree, with the wood either debarked, burned, or buried to prevent insects from using the wood as breeding material. It is in this wood that elm bark beetles mate, mature, overwinter and are exposed to the spores of the Dutch elm disease fungus. When the beetles emerge in spring, covered with Dutch elm disease spores, they feed on the branches of healthy elm trees, transmitting the disease. There are two different elm bark beetle species known to transmit the disease in Maine (Scolytus multistriatus and Hylurgopinus rufipes). A third, S. schevyrewi, has been found in many states including Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but has not yet been found in Maine.

 

Photo: Flagging branches affected by the Dutch elm disease wilt fungus. Maine Forest Service Photo.

Pestilotiopsis tip blight arborvitae (MFS)

Pestilotiopsis tip blight of arborvitae (Pestilotiopsis funera) has been seen in many locations in Maine in natural and horticultural settings. This disease, causing orange branch tips due to infection and dieback, is often associated with poor tree/shrub health and injury. Pestilotiopsis tip blight is often connected to unfavorable environmental conditions, is seldom a severe threat to tree/shrub health (although aesthetic impacts may be significant) and is quite straightforward to manage.  

Photo: Arborvitae with dead tips infected with Pestilotiopsis funerea.  Maine Forest Service Photo.

Dead branch tips should be pruned several inches below the last part of a symptomatic branch.  When pruning diseased plant material, it is always a good precaution to sterilize 
pruning shears between cuts to prevent accidentally spreading the disease you are trying to eliminate. Supplemental fertilizer can be applied to support tree health, but not after the middle of July, as that can stimulate the production of succulent growth.  This succulent growth is vulnerable to winter damage because it may not harden off before freezing temperatures. Avoid directly wetting arborvitae foliage (or any parts of any trees for that matter) with water from sprinkler systems, as this prolongs the period during which spores can be produced, spread, germinate and penetrate/infect host tissues. Chemical fungicides are seldom needed to bring this tip blight under control, although fungicides containing the active ingredient ‘chlorothalonil’ have been shown to be effective at maximizing aesthetic quality and tree/shrub health when applied before the period of spore production, beginning now during periods of high relative humidity (rain, fog or from irrigation systems).

 

*Pestilotiopsis tip blight may be confused with arborvitae leaf miners (see information about this in the ‘Insects’ section of this issue of the Conditions Report).

Sugar maple failure to leaf out, Gorham (Meribeth Leach)

Maple trees failing to leaf out properly has been a frequently reported issue in Maine during the months of May and June. All species of maple seem to be affected.  Several field visits to address this issue have resulted in common findings:  no fungal, bacterial or viral disease has been seen to be associated with this. Further, insects have not been seen to be associated with the issue; only in a few cases what appears to be heavy pear thrips damage was noted (this damage is characterized by small, malformed leaves with tattering of various parts of the inner and marginal parts of leaves). However, since thrips damage occurs very early in spring, after which the thrips transition to an underground part of their life cycle, this has not been confirmed. So, in the absence of insect or disease evidence, there are a few theories about what may be happening that center on environmental conditions that could, alone or in concert, be causing the observed symptoms.  

Photo: A sugar maple in Gorham that failed to fully leaf out this spring. Meribeth Leach Photo.

The growing season of 2016 was historically dry.  This may have led to inadequate moisture for normal tree growth and health maintenance including varying degrees of fine root dieback. This may have led to poor bud development (buds for the 2017 growing season formed in 2016) and even dieback of branches in the upper crown. Other symptoms include late foliage, small foliage, no foliage on some parts of trees, discolored foliage and heavy seeding.

Abnormal/incomplete leaf development can be caused by several things from lack of resources to herbicide injury.  In the  cases seen this year, the cause is likely   environmental and related to the 2016 drought.  Trees affected by this may only partially leaf out this year, they may push out a late flush of small leaves, they may suffer various degrees of branch dieback and some may die completely.

Discolored foliage is likely the result of the prolonged cold and wet soils this spring leading to nutrient deficiencies causing maple leaves to be yellowish or purplish.  This effect may be enhanced on more alkaline (less acidic) soils. The needed nutrients are actually present in adequate amounts in the soil, but due to inundated and cold soil, the chemical processes on the cellular level needed for the roots to absorb enough crucial nutrients for normal leaf development occur too slowly.

Heavy seed years are not abnormal for healthy trees of some species. For example, oaks have evolved this habit to increase regeneration success.  

 

However, heavy seeding in response to stress events can be an indication of a serious tree health problem. If a tree is shifting its energy reserves from leaf production to seed production, the tree may be making a last effort at reproduction before it dies. 

 

In closing, the current recommendation is to ‘wait and see’.  While some maples will certainly die, others may recover and leaf out fully next spring. In this meantime, efforts to support tree health can be considered such as supplemental watering during times of drought and fertilization. However, excessive watering and fertilization too late in the summer (typically not after mid-July) could lead to late flushes of growth that may not harden off soon enough in fall and be vulnerable to freeze damage, further stressing trees. 

White pine needle diseases (Lecanosticta acicola, Lophophacidium dooksii, Bifusella linearis and others) – The yellowing, browning, and premature shedding of one-year-old needles of white pines  is currently occurring throughout all regions where white pine grows in Maine.  A recent aerial survey flight by the Maine Forest Service documented widespread yellowing of needles and thin crowns.  Disease intensity was noticed to be most severe in areas near bodies of water.  Needles are expected to continue to shed well into July as infected needles turn reddish brown.  Small black dots or black lines may be seen on shed needles – these are the spore-producing structures of the causal fungi.  Nothing needs to be done with these shed needles, as they have already released spores and re-infected newly emerging pine needles before being cast to the ground, where their ability to cause infection is minimal.  

The Maine Forest Service has been leading a multi-state effort to address challenges posed by the long-term effects of white pine needle disease and other white pine decline issues.  The states of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York and Rhode Island have been awarded a regional Evaluation and Monitoring grant by the US Forest Service and will be joining and focusing efforts over the next two years.

White pine needle damage aerial image (MFS)

Photo Above: A white pine stand showing symptoms of present and past infection by white pine needle diseases.  Note the greyish, thin appearance of the crowns. Maine Forest Service Image.


Office Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for holidays.

If you plan to visit either office, you may wish to call ahead just to make sure someone will be present to meet with you. (207) 287-2431 (Augusta)  and 827-1813 (Old Town).


Conditions Report No. 3, 2017
On-line: http://maine.gov/dacf/mfs/publications/condition_reports.html
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE CONSERVATION & FORESTRY
Maine Forest Service - Forest Health and Monitoring
Contributors: Aaron Bergdahl, Allison Kanoti

Reversal of federal ban of pesticide use - 06/29/2017

 

NATIONALEPA REVERSES COURSE ON PESTICIDE BAN

AG POLICY ...

EPA reverses course on pesticide ban

EPA chief met with Dow CEO before deciding on pesticide ban

PUBLISHED ON JUNE 28TH, 2017

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. (Gage Skidmore, Flickr/Creative Commons)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration’s top environmental official met privately with the chief executive of Dow Chemical shortly before reversing his agency’s push to ban a widely used pesticide after health studies showed it can harm children’s brains, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s schedule shows he met with Dow CEO Andrew Liveris on March 9 for about a half hour at a Houston hotel. Both men were featured speakers at an energy industry conference.

Twenty days later Pruitt announced his decision to deny a petition to ban Dow’s chlorpyrifos pesticide from being sprayed on food, despite a review by his agency’s scientists that concluded ingesting even minuscule amounts of the chemical can interfere with the brain development of fetuses and infants.

EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said Tuesday that Pruitt was “briefly introduced” to Liveris at the conference.

“They did not discuss chlorpyrifos,” Bowman said. “During the same trip he also met with the Canadian minister of natural resources, and CEOs and executives from other companies attending the trade show.”

EPA released a copy of Pruitt’s March meeting schedule earlier this month following several Freedom of Information Act requests. Though his schedule for the intervening months has not yet been released, Bowman said Pruitt has had no other meetings with the Dow CEO. There was a larger group meeting that Pruitt attended which also included two other Dow executives, but she said that didn’t involve chlorpyrifos.

Dow, which spent more than $13.6 million on lobbying in 2016, has long wielded substantial political power in the nation’s capital.

When President Donald Trump signed an executive order in February mandating the creation of task forces at federal agencies to roll back government regulations, he handed the pen to Dow’s chief executive, who was standing at his side. Liveris heads a White House manufacturing working group. His company also wrote a $1 million check to help underwrite Trump’s inaugural festivities.

The American Academy of Pediatrics urged Pruitt on Tuesday to take chlorpyrifos off the market. The group representing more than 66,000 pediatricians and pediatric surgeons said it is “deeply alarmed” by Pruitt’s decision to allow the pesticide’s continued use.

“There is a wealth of science demonstrating the detrimental effects of chlorpyrifos exposure to developing fetuses, infants, children, and pregnant women,” the academy said in a letter to Pruitt. “The risk to infant and children’s health and development is unambiguous.”

The AP reported in April that Dow is also lobbying the Trump administration to “set aside” the findings of federal scientists that organophosphate pesticides, including chlorpyrifos, are harmful to about 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species.

The chemical is similar to one developed as a weapon in World War II. Dow has been selling Chlorpyrifos for spraying on citrus fruits, apples, cherries and other crops since the 1960s. It is among the most widely used agricultural pesticides in the United States. Dow sells about 5 million pounds domestically each year.

As a result, traces of the chemical are commonly found in sources of drinking water. A 2012 study at the University of California at Berkeley found that 87 percent of umbilical-cord blood samples tested from newborn babies contained detectable levels of chlorpyrifos.

Dow, which sells chlorpyrifos through its subsidiary Dow AgroSciences, contends it helps American farmers feed the world “with full respect for human health and the environment.”

Under pressure from federal regulators over safety concerns, Dow voluntarily withdrew chlorpyrifos for use as a home insecticide in 2000. EPA also placed “no-spray” buffer zones around sensitive sites, such as schools, in 2012. But environmental and public health groups said those proposals don’t go far enough and filed a federal lawsuit seeking a national ban on the pesticide.

In October 2015, the Obama administration proposed banning the pesticide’s use on food. A risk assessment memo issued in November by nine EPA scientists concluded: “There is a breadth of information available on the potential adverse neurodevelopmental effects in infants and children as a result of prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos.”

The law requires EPA to ensure that pesticides used on food in the United States are safe for human consumption — especially children, who are typically far more sensitive to the negative effects of poisons.

Pressed at a congressional hearing this month to cite evidence that chlorpyrifos is safe, Pruitt said his decision was based on “meaningful data and meaningful science.”

Asked by AP to provide details, Pruitt’s office responded with quotes from media releases from trade groups and the U.S. Department of Agriculture attesting to the chemicals usefulness to farmers, but did not offer scientific studies on its safety.

“Despite several years of study, EPA has concluded that the science addressing chlorpyrifos remains unresolved,” Bowman said Tuesday. We will make a decision based on the science, not on real — or perceived — pressure from companies or environmental activists.”

Before coming to EPA in March, Bowman directed issue advocacy and communications for the American Chemical Council, an industry trade group of which Dow is a member.

At a hearing Tuesday, Sen. Tom Udall again challenged Pruitt to cite a single peer-reviewed study showing chlorpyrifos is safe. Pruitt responded that he had relied on “interagency dialogue” with USDA before denying the petition to ban the chemical.

EPA says its next review of the chemical’s safety will occur by October 2022, the next statutory deadline for the agency to perform a legally mandated review of chlorpyrifos’ safety. That would mean Dow’s product will potentially remain on the market well after the expiration of President Trump’s current term.

___

Follow AP environmental writer Michael Biesecker at www.Twitter.com/mbieseck

—By MICHAEL BIESECKER

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Staying alert to army worms - 06/27/2017

PEST MANAGEMENT ...

Stay alert to stem armyworm infestations

UMaine Extension advising early detection to curb armyworm infestations

PUBLISHED ON JUNE 26TH, 2017

The devastating pest normally feeds at night, and much damage can occur before they mature. The preferred foods are grasses including corn, grains and perennial forage grasses. (USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab, Flickr/Creative Commons)

AUGUSTA — Farmers throughout Maine should be on the lookout for an outbreak of armyworms (Pseudaletia unipuncta).

The devastating pest normally feeds at night, and much damage can occur before they mature. The preferred foods are grasses including corn, grains and perennial forage grasses. Armyworms will feed on other plants if grasses are unavailable. Once the grass has been devoured, the caterpillars will move in a mass to other fields.

UMaine Extension has received several reports of armyworms in the state, and in New Hampshire and Vermont.

“The last time we had a large outbreak was in 2001,” says Extension professor Richard Kersbergen. “That year, we also had a cool moist spring, similar to what we have experienced this year.”

While the reports are preliminary, it is important for farmers to inspect their fields. Often, once damage is noticed, the pest has already devoured a considerable amount of the crop.

The adult moths of armyworms lay their eggs in grassy areas — whether stray clumps of winter rye, grassy weeds in cornfields or unharvested hayfields and those in regrowth after a recent harvest.

Ragged feeding on leaves and sawdust-like frass are indications of armyworms. Local wildlife also can be indicators, including unusually active flocks of crows in a field. Damage from large infestations can appear any time until June 30.

Early detection is essential. By early July when infestations are at their peak, it will be too late for treatment.

UMaine Extension has a fact sheet on armyworms that will help provide some additional information and identification. It is available online at extension.umaine.edu/ipm/ipddl/publications/5040e.

—UMaine Extension

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Help for farmers buying new equipment - 06/26/2017

PROPOSED LEGISLATION ...

Helping farmers purchase equipment

Tax code change would help farmers recover cost of farm machinery

PUBLISHED ON JUNE 25TH, 2017

“This commonsense legislation will give farmers and ranchers the certainty they need to invest in new, more modern equipment so they can create more jobs and growth in our communities,” said Roberts, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Flickr/Creative Commons)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) has joined Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) to introduce the bipartisan Agriculture Equipment and Machinery Depreciation Act to help farmers purchase new equipment and replace worn-out machinery by amending the U.S. tax code to permanently set a five-year depreciation schedule for certain agricultural equipment. The current tax code sets a seven-year depreciation cost recovery period for agricultural equipment. Changing the depreciation schedule for agricultural equipment to five years would make the tax code more consistent and support rural development by aligning the length of time that farmers can take a depreciation deduction with the average useful life of that property.

“This commonsense legislation will give farmers and ranchers the certainty they need to invest in new, more modern equipment so they can create more jobs and growth in our communities,” said Roberts, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “A five year depreciation schedule allows for predictability and fairness in our overly complex tax code, giving the agriculture community the ability to produce more efficiently and at a lower cost.”

“In Minnesota, our prosperity depends on supporting and strengthening farms and rural communities,” Klobuchar said. “Making the tax code more consistent with how farmers finance new equipment will allow them to write-off equipment costs sooner and put money back in their pockets. In turn, they will be better able to create jobs and boost our economy.”

“This bipartisan bill puts money back in the pockets of family farmers and ranchers,” Tester said. “With commodity prices down across the board, it is critical that our tax code is up to date and reflects the needs of hardworking farmers and ranchers.”

Under the tax code, taxpayers are allowed a depreciation deduction to allow them to recover the costs of investing in certain property, like farm machinery and farm-use motor vehicles. The recovery period for the deduction should match the useful life and financing of that property. According to surveys from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, on average farmers and ranchers finance farm equipment and machinery for five years.

–The Office of U.S. Senator Pat Roberts

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New Apiary opens, Bees,Bees - 06/22/2017

 

NATIONALNORTHEASTERN STATESNEW ENGLANDMASSACHUSETTSNEW STATE APIARY OPENS

POLLINATION ...

New state apiary opens

Administration also announces $50,000 for pollinator gardens

PUBLISHED ON JUNE 21ST, 2017

A collection of beehives will be used for education and academic research at Essex Technical High School. (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Flickr/Creative Commons)

DANVERS, Mass. — Today, in conjunction with Massachusetts Pollinator Week, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton celebrated the opening of the second state apiary at Essex Technical High School, a collection of beehives which will be used for education and academic research. During the event at the state apiary, Secretary Beaton also announced $50,000 in funding to plant pollinator-friendly gardens at Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) facilities.

“Massachusetts Pollinator Week is an opportunity to highlight the important role pollinators and their beekeepers play in ensuring a healthy and diverse ecosystem that farmers rely on for crop pollination and food production,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The new state apiary and this new funding for pollinator-friendly gardens will help educate the public about pollinators and support the Commonwealth’s vitally important pollinator populations.”

Pollinators include bees, birds, bats, butterflies and other species, and over 45 percent of agricultural commodities in Massachusetts rely on pollinator species for crop pollination and food production. There are approximately 4,500 honey beekeepers managing approximately 45,000 hives across the Commonwealth. Pollinator species provide significant environmental benefits that are necessary for maintaining healthy, diverse ecosystems, and produce valuable products including honey, propolis, royal jelly and wax.

“The Baker-Polito Administration is proud to partner with Essex Technical High School on this second apiary location, which will provide hands-on learning and knowledge on pollinator health for students and faculty,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton. “We look forward to continuing to invest in pollinator education and pollinator-friendly gardens, and working with local beekeepers across the Commonwealth.”

The state apiary at Essex Technical High School will serve as a vessel for education, outreach demonstrations and research related to agricultural sustainability, pollination, honey bee health and hive management. This apiary will complement MDAR’s first apiary, which opened last June and is located on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus.

The new apiary will consist of six honey bee hives located within a 30 foot by 100 foot plot on the campus of Essex Technical High School. The apiary was funded by appropriated FY17 funds for the DAR Apiary Program designated for projects that provide research, education and general support to benefit Massachusetts honey bees.

“The opening of the second Apiary site fits in with the Apiary Program’s mission of promoting and sustaining apiculture by providing support to all involved stakeholders in the beekeeping industry” said Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux. “We are proud to have such knowledgeable staff in the Apiary Program that provide a wide range of services such as hive inspections, technical assistance, education and outreach.”

For more information on MDAR’s Apiary Program, visit their website.

—Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

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rain

Showers bring some relief to S.D. farmers

Armyworms are on the march

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Trilateral meeting on AG - 06/22/2017

 

NATIONALTRILATERAL AGRICULTURE MEETINGS TAKE PLACE

TRADE TALK ...

Trilateral agriculture meetings take place

Agriculture representatives from United States, Mexico, Canada meet

PUBLISHED ON JUNE 20TH, 2017

"Our three countries remain committed to continued collaboration to ensure a safe and reliable regional supply chain that makes the North American agriculture sector more competitive," read the joint statement from U.S. Secretary Perdue, Canadian Minister Lawrence MacAulay & Mexican Secretary Calzada. (U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos, Flickr/Creative Commons)

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay; Mexican Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food Jose Calzada; and United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement at the conclusion of their first trilateral meetings in Savannah, GA, June 19-20, 2017.

“Our three nations are connected not only geographically, but through our deeply integrated agricultural markets. Our trading relationship is vital to the economies – and the people – of our respective countries. We are working together to support and create good jobs in all three countries. We share a commitment to keeping our markets open and transparent so that trade can continue to grow. That mutual commitment was reaffirmed in our discussions this week.

“The North American Free Trade Agreement has greatly helped our respective agricultural sectors as well as our consumers who have benefitted from an ever-growing variety of safe, affordable food products all year around. While even the best trading partnerships face challenges from time to time, our agricultural differences are relatively few in the context of the $85 billion in agricultural trade that flows between our three nations each year.

“Over the years, the United States, Mexico, and Canada have also worked collaboratively to protect plant and animal health, conduct joint research, and share best practices. These efforts have helped to eradicate several pests and diseases from the region, differentiating us from the rest of the world. Our three countries remain committed to continued collaboration to ensure a safe and reliable regional supply chain that makes the North American agriculture sector more competitive.

“Our visit to Georgia fostered the mutual understanding and personal relationships that will help North American agriculture thrive, improve our regional partnership and collaboration, and strengthen our trading relationship.”

—Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
United States Department of Agriculture
Mexican Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food

Agricultural preservation restrictions - 06/20/2017

FARMLAND PRESERVATION ...

Survey examines APR program

MFBF has received many complaints on the program in recent years

PUBLISHED ON JUNE 19TH, 2017

"The APR program has been successful in keeping farmland in production and keeping land available for farmers," said MFBF President Ed Davidian, who farms in Northborough. "However, as the program has progressed the administration of the program has come under scrutiny by farmer land-owners." (Courtesy Photo)

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — The Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) has received many complaints and criticism in recent years from land owners who had sold their development rights into the agricultural preservation restriction (APR) program. This voluntary program is intended to offer a non-development alternative to farmers and other owners of “prime” and “state important” agricultural land who are faced with a decision regarding future use and disposition of their farms.

The Massachusetts APR program has permanently protected more than 900 farms and a total land area more than 73,000 acres. The primary purpose of it is to preserve and protect agricultural land, including designated farmland soils, which are a finite natural resource, from being built upon for non-agricultural purposes or used for any activity detrimental to agriculture and to maintain APR land values at a level that can be supported by the land’s agricultural uses and potential.

To explore the scope and validity of the criticism that MFBF was hearing, the organization polled landowners across the state, who had sold their development rights to the Commonwealth through the APR program. When the survey concluded 197 responses were received, which represented 27 percent of the known APR farms as identified by the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture.

It is important to note that 63 percent of respondents felt that the restrictions that the state enforces or attempts to enforce on their property does not exceed those to which they agreed. While this majority is significant, it is critical to review the complaints to see a pattern.

“The APR program has been successful in keeping farmland in production and keeping land available for farmers,” said MFBF President Ed Davidian, who farms in Northborough. “However, as the program has progressed the administration of the program has come under scrutiny by farmer land-owners.

“As many of the complaints and concerns expressed about the APR Program have been anecdotal, the purpose of this survey was to provide an objective analysis of APR owners experiences and perceptions of the administration of the program.”

Some of the key findings and takeaways form the survey included:

  • Many respondents (and presumably current APR owners) do not understand the provisions of the program. For instance, many listed the savings on property tax as a benefit of land being in APR. Others stated that they could not develop the land, which is the very basis of the restriction.
  • A significant number of APR land-owning respondents (31 percent) feel that the state is enforcing more restrictions on their land than they agreed to in their contract.
  • 24 percent of APR land-owners report that the state has prevented them from doing something on their farm that they wanted to do. This does not necessarily indicate that the state is being heavy handed in every instance. However, when nearly a quarter of all APR owners experience such a conflict, a closer examination is necessary.
  • 25 percent of respondents feel that the state has not treated them fairly in the administration of the program.
  • As far as benefits respondents experienced from having land in APR, the largest percentage of respondents saw the primary benefit of APR as keeping land out of development.

“These statements offer a window into how the respondents view this program,” Davidian said. “Based on these results, I see several needs related to APR, including education, further analysis and action. Farm Bureau is considering ways to take these steps and work together with all stakeholders in this program to improve it to its optimal level.”

To read the survey results in their entirety, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/APRSurveyResults.

—Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation

For more articles out of New England, click here.

- See more at: https://www.morningagclips.com/survey-examines-apr-program/?utm_content=articles&utm_campaign=NLCampaign&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_term=newsletteredition&utm_medium=email#sthash.uDrBAjUh.dpuf

Fragrant odors & bugs - 06/20/2017

PEST MANAGEMENT ...

Fragrant chemical found to control pests

May help control spotted wing drosophila fly, brown marmorated stink bug

PUBLISHED ON JUNE 19TH, 2017

ARS chemist Aijun Zhang has discover a familiar fragrance may be an environmentally friendly insecticide. (Photo by Peggy Greb)

WASHINGTON — A scent that petunias and snapdragons release to attract pollinators may be an environmentally friendly control for pests like the spotted wing drosophila fly (SWD) and the brown marmorated stink bug.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) chemist Aijun Zhang discovered the fragrant chemical methyl benzoate, which is also a popular ingredient approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in foods, cosmetics and shampoo, can kill these insects and others.

Few choices are available for controlling SWD, which is an invasive species from Asia. It has quickly spread across the United States and can cause significant damage to fruit crops, especially berries.

Zhang, who is with the ARS Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratoryin Beltsville, Maryland, points out the possibility of a new bio-based pesticide—especially one based on an inexpensive chemical whose residue lasts a relatively short time in the environment—is exciting.

Recently, Zhang was granted a patent for insecticide use of methyl benzoate. ARS is seeking a company to license the technology and bring commercial products to market.

Originally, Zhang was identifying volatile compounds in apple juice that attracted fruit flies. Compounds found in rotting apples and other fruits usually attract flies. He found one compound—No. 19—strongly repelled SWD, and later showed it killed them as well. Compound No. 19 turned out to be methyl benzoate, with its characteristic wintergreen-spicy, floral-fruity aroma.

Methyl benzoate proved to be 5 to 20 times more toxic to eggs of brown marmorated stink bug, diamondback moth and tobacco hornworm than a conventional pyrethroid insecticide, a sulfur and pyrethrin mixture, or some organic products currently on the market.

Next, Zhang will test methyl benzoate’s effectiveness against mosquitoes, fire ants, gypsy moths and stored-product insect pests. All of these insects are developing resistance to standard pesticides.

Zhang is also investigating whether low doses of methyl benzoate could control Varroa mites, the No. 1 problem of managed honey bees today.

You can read more about this research in the June 2017 issue of AgResearch magazine.

For more information contact Kim Kaplan, ARS Office of Communications.

—USDA ARS

For more articles concerning research, click here.

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Palmetto Palate 2017

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Tomato field day August 10

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Summer with CTPB - 06/19/2017

 

The 

Coming to a Meeting Near You

 

Want to learn more about the 2017 campaign and how to use it in your own business? CTPB is pleased to announce that we will be participating in most state and regional meetings this summer! Attendees will receive an introduction to the campaign and instruction on how to access and use campaign assets. CTPB staffer, Marsha Gray will be participating in person or via video link at many state meetings and she is looking forward to sharing the simple steps to engage in the campaign. The most immediate meetings on the schedule include: 

 

Minnesota: June 23

Maryland: June 24

Mid America/Ohio/Indiana/Illinois: July 8

New York: July 14
 

CTPB is also developing a video of this presentation for growers who are unable to attend their local meetings and we will announce that video in an upcoming electronic newsletter.

Ballots to Nominate CTPB Candidates

Christmas tree growers who have paid their CTPB assessments will soon be receiving a ballot to nominate growers for Promotion Board seats that are up for re-appointment. There are two board seats up for appointment in both the Eastern and Western regions, as well as one seat up for appointment in the Central region.  The Importer seat on the board is up for appointment as well.  The ballots come with instructions and are due back to the CTPB office by July 15, 2017 The top two vote-getters for each open seat will be considered by the Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, who will make the final selection.  The appointments become effective January 1, 2018.

Promotion Board Focuses on Research

CTPB is in the process of writing research contracts with seven universities for five different research projects. Many of these projects are collaborative between multiple universities. Thus far we have signed agreements to conduct research projects with North Carolina State and Michigan State Universities to reduce cone formation in Christmas trees. An agreement has also been signed with Oregon State University to identify disease and pest resistant trees with superior growth and post-harvest characteristics that are adaptable to regional production conditions; contracts with five other universities across the country are in process to collaborate on this project.  A contract is also in place with Oregon State University to develop effective IPM strategies for managing slugs, an agreement with another university to collaborate on this project is pending.

Come to Wisconsin!

The Christmas Tree Promotion Board, the National Christmas Tree Association and the Christmas Spirit Foundation will all be meeting in Green Bay, Wisconsin between August 16th and 19th in conjunction with the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Growers Association.  During this event, all three boards will be meeting and NCTA will host the National Christmas Tree and Wreath Contest. The Wisconsin growers are welcoming all industry members to register and be a part of the fun.

LEARN MORE HERE  

No One Likes to be in the Dark...

Make sure all of your key team members are receiving the CTPB 

E-newsletter! To add email addresses, please click below 

and request to be added to the list!
 

JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST  

2016 Campaign Summary Video

And don't forget to view the Campaign Summary Video if you haven't yet.  Great way to learn how CTPB promoted fresh-cut Christmas trees last season!

WATCH THE VIDEO  

 

Christmas Tree

Promotion Board

800-985-0773

info@christmastreepromotionboard.org

www.christmastreepromotionboard.org

 

 

Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.
 

Christmas Tree Promotion Board, P.O. Box 3669, Littleton, CO 80161

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Weed management - 06/14/2017

WEED MANAGEMENT ...

Is P. amaranth becoming more aggressive?

Significant differences were observed in traits of collected Palmer amaranth

PUBLISHED ON JUNE 13TH, 2017

"It appears Palmer amaranth can evolve life-history traits that increase its potential to grow and reproduce in various cropping systems," says Ramon Leon, Ph.D., a member of the research team. (University of Delaware Carvel REC, Flickr/Creative Commons)

WASHINGTON — Palmer amaranth is widely considered to be one of the most damaging and difficult to control agricultural weeds in North America. A lot of time and attention has been devoted to herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth and the significant yield losses it can produce. Research featured in the journal Weed Science, though, shows other “life history” traits may be contributing to crop losses by making Palmer amaranth more aggressive and difficult to control.

Researchers from the University of Florida collected samples of Palmer amaranth from 10 fields in Florida and Georgia. The sites had widely divergent cropping histories – from short-statured vegetables and peanut crops to tall corn and cotton crops. The fields also varied in herbicide use. Some were devoted to organic production, while others had a history of intensive herbicide use.

Significant differences were observed in the traits of the Palmer amaranth from the various fields, such as fresh and dry weight, days to flowering, plant height, leaf shape and canopy. Researchers say these differences could not be explained by whether the Palmer amaranth population was glyphosate resistant or glyphosate susceptible. Instead, crop rotation and crop canopy better explained the many variations found. For example, the tallest populations of Palmer amaranth came from corn fields, while the shortest came from fields planted with the shortest crops.

“It appears Palmer amaranth can evolve life-history traits that increase its potential to grow and reproduce in various cropping systems,” says Ramon Leon, Ph.D., a member of the research team. “To avoid the development of more aggressive weed biotypes, it is important to consider these evolutionary consequences when designing crop rotation systems and weed management strategies.”

—Cambridge University Press
via EurekAlert!

For more articles concerning weed management, click here.

- See more at: https://www.morningagclips.com/is-p-amaranth-becoming-more-aggressive/?utm_content=articles&utm_campaign=NLCampaign&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_term=newsletteredition&utm_medium=email#sthash.dPeZNN4G.dpuf

Hosting a field day - 06/12/2017

TOOLKIT ...

Host a better field day

SARE has a new toolkit available to help you plan your field day

PUBLISHED ON JUNE 11TH, 2017

Whether through trial and error or the completion of an on-farm research project, farmers and ranchers are the keepers of knowledge and skills that can help others succeed. (K-State Research and Extension, Flickr/Creative Commons)

WASHINGTON — You’ve done some interesting work: You had a great idea, tried it on your farm and got surprising results. Now, you want to share those results with other farmers and ranchers. The only problem is, you’re busy and constantly pressed for time. Who has time to plan a field day? Thankfully, SARE’s new Farmer Field Day Toolkit is here to take off some of the pressure and get the right tools and tips into your hands.

Our free, digital Farmer Field Day Toolkit is a comprehensive resource of step-by-step instructions, timelines, and downloadable tools and templates for planning and hosting a successful event. Plus, users will learn the ins and outs of working with the media, creating press releases and PSAs, generating public interest, capturing the event with video and sharing it online.

Whether through trial and error or the completion of an on-farm research project, farmers and ranchers are the keepers of knowledge and skills that can help others succeed. With advance planning and coordination, you can use your field day to educate others on best practices, specific management practices and equipment, or to highlight research methods and results. It’s a win-win for you, who may benefit from an increased market and brand recognition, and your attendees, who may be inspired to take what they’ve learned and adapt it for their own production system.

Download the toolkit now.

This toolkit offers ideal support to farmers and ranchers who have received a SARE grant and are interested in holding a field day to fulfill their outreach requirement. But our toolkit can be used by anybody interested in hosting a field day, so download it now and start planning an event of your own.

–SARE

For more articles concerning research, click here.

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Dudley Smith Field Day June 21

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- See more at: https://www.morningagclips.com/host-a-better-field-day/?utm_content=articles&utm_campaign=NLCampaign&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_term=newsletteredition&utm_medium=email#sthash.S2kSG1dR.dpuf

Christmas Tree Promotions Board - 05/31/2017

 

Greetings

Although the weather says spring, the Promotion Board is looking forward to the Christmas season! 

2017 Campaign

At its most recent meeting in May, the board approved the promotional campaign and a $1.1 million budget for the 2017 season. This campaign will continue to use the "It's Christmas. Keep it Real" campaign theme and many of the quality assets that were created for the 2016 season, such as videos, banner designs and more.
 

The Promotion Board will continue to work with Concept Farm as our advertising agency, but has also added public relations powerhouse, Fleishman Hillard to the team in an effort to further expand the reach of the campaign. These two agencies have already met with staff and Promotion Committee Chairperson, Mark Arkills to develop a plan of attack for the 2017 season.
 

In upcoming issues of this newsletter, you will begin to learn more about the campaign and how you can become engaged.

Check Your Inbox and Mailbox!

Over the next weeks and months, you will be receiving a number of items from the Promotion Board:

  • Annual Report - Watch you mail for the CTPB Annual Report - It is currently in production and should hit your mailbox in the next several weeks. This is a printed piece and will be sent via traditional mail.
  • CTPB Board member ballot - Also arriving in your mailbox in June will be a ballot of nominees for board positions that are up for appointment on December 31, 2017.
  • More frequent e-newsletters - In an effort to provide more information to growers on the campaign and other efforts undertaken by the Promotion Board, we will be sending these e-newsletters on a more frequent basis. We hope you will take the time to open and read them! 

Coming to a Meeting Near You

The Promotion Board will have a presence at many state and regional Christmas tree meetings this summer and fall.  This provides growers with an opportunity to learn more and ask questions regarding the Christmas Tree Promotion Board.  Staff member, Marsha Gray, will be presenting information on how to get your farm or retail location engaged in the campaign and how to use the campaign to promote your business.  We will provide a list of the meetings where CTPB will be represented in a future issue of this newsletter.  Staff is also working on creating an on-line learning opportunity for growers who are not able to attend state or regional meetings.

2016 Campaign Video

If you haven't taken a few minutes to watch the 2016 Campaign Summary Video, please do so....it is worth your time!
 

WATCH VIDEO  

Flashback from the Season!

Many growers have indicated that they did not see the electronic newsletters sent to producers leading up to and during the selling season.  So, we will be featuring some of the items in this Flashback feature in the next few issues of this newsletter.  Here is this issue's Flashback:
 

VIEW FLASHBACK ISSUE  

 

Christmas Tree

Promotion Board

800-985-0773

info@christmastreepromotionboard.org

www.christmastreepromotionboard.org

 

 

Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.

NCTA NEWS - 05/31/2017

May 2017 - The Latest News and Information from the National Christmas Tree Association

Promotion Board Sets Campaign Budget; Selects Promotion Team 

At its most recent meeting in May, the Christmas Tree Promotion Board approved the promotional campaign and a $1.1 million budget for the 2017 season. This campaign will continue to use the “It’s Christmas. Keep it Real” campaign theme and many of the quality assets that were created for the 2016 season, such as videos, banner designs and more.

 

The Promotion Board will continue to work with Concept Farm as its advertising agency, but has also added public relations powerhouse, Fleishman Hillard to the team in an effort to further expand the reach of the campaign.  These two agencies have already met with staff and Promotion Committee Chairperson, Mark Arkills to develop a plan of attack for the 2017 season, and each will have a unique role in executing the 2017 campaign.

 

Growers and retailers of Christmas trees are encouraged to engage in the campaign and can learn more through the Promotion Board’s e-newsletter and at sessions scheduled for most state and regional Christmas tree meetings this summer.

NCTA, Christmas Spirit Foundation and Promotion Board in Wisconsin

 

All three national-level Christmas tree organizations will be meeting in Green Bay, Wisconsin, August 16-19, bringing together industry leaders from across the country.  The National Christmas Tree Association Board of Directors will be meeting on August 16.  The following day, the Christmas Tree Promotion Board as well as the Christmas Spirit Foundation Trustees will also meet.  All of these meetings are being held around the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association’s Summer Meeting.

 

The Wisconsin growers welcome all interested producers to attend their event that includes an optional day of programming at Whispering Pines Tree Farmon Thursday, August 17.   Friday kicks off the official event with scheduled presenters including Craig Regelbrugge with AmericanHort, Tim O’Connor with the Christmas Tree Promotion Board and National Christmas Tree Association, as well as a preview of the Promotion Board’s 2017 campaign.  Saturday is a tour of North Countree Christmas and wraps with a Wisconsin-style “Beer and Brats Tailgate Party.”

 

National Tree and Wreath Contest winners will be announced at the Friday eveningbanquet and the Grand Champion winner will have the honor of being considered to present a Christmas tree to the White House.

 

For more information on the Wisconsin meeting, please visit the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers website. 

EPA Delays Pesticide Worker Protection, Certified Applicator Rules 
Jill Calabro, PhD, AmericanHort    

 

The EPA recently announced a further delay in the implementation of the Certification and Training of Pesticide Applicators rule. This time around, implementation is extended a full year.

 

The original effective date of March 6, 2017 had been extended twice already by the Trump administration. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt acknowledged the need for additional time to enable states to come into compliance with the new rules. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture(NASDA) cited education, training, and guidance on the new rules as being particularly burdensome for states. The new effective date is now May 22, 2018.

As a reminder, the proposed new rules update licensing requirements for pesticide applicators. Changes include:
  • Enhanced applicator competency standards
  • Minimum age for certified applicators
  • Maximum recertification interval of five years
  • Training program requirement for noncertified applicators using restricted use pesticides (RUPs)
  • Eliminates the special process to allow non-readers to gain certification

In late-breaking news, implementation of EPA’s revised Worker Protection Standard (WPS) will also be put on hold. However, this rule will be delayed indefinitely. EPA granted NASDA’s request to postpone the revised WPS, again citing a financial burden on the states to meet the revised WPS requirements in the time allotted.

Some of the WPS changes had included the following:

  • Minimum age of 18 for all pesticide handlers
  • Expanded training, including training to minimize exposure to children in farmworkers’ homes
  • Required no-entry buffer zones around treated area

Pyrethroid Comment Period Reopened 
Jill Calabro, PhD, AmericanHort    


The comment period for EPA’s draft ecological risk assessment review of the pyrethroid class of insecticides was recently reopened. If you did not previously submit a comment in the first comment period, please do so now at the AmericanHort Voter Voice site. The new comment period closes July 7, 2017.

 

EPA first opened the comment period in November 2016 but closed it in January following the White House Regulatory Freeze memo.

 

This issue is incredibly important because EPA’s initial assessment does not account for many actual real-world uses and industry best practices. Pyrethroids are essential in the green industry, from imported fire ant quarantine compliance to Christmas tree production and other critical pest management challenges. Pyrethroids often serve as an effective pest control option with low risk to applicators and as a rotation partner for pesticide resistance management efforts.

 

You can help EPA better understand how and why the green industry uses pyrethroids. If these valuable tools are important to you, please submit your comments now describing pyrethroids’ importance to your business. 

Have You Renewed your NCTA Membership?

The NCTA office has been receiving membership renewals at a brisk pace during the first two months of 2017.  If you have not renewed your membership, you are encouraged to do so at your earliest convenience to insure that you don’t miss the Spring issue of the American Christmas Tree Journal or you opportunity to participate in the National Christmas Tree Contest.

Not currently a member?  We encourage you to take a look at the work that the association does on behalf of the industry and join your fellow growers in furthering the industry.  Please click here for a membership application! 

For a complete list of NCTA Board members and contact information, please click here.

National Christmas Tree Association | realchristmastrees.org

P.O. Box 3609, Littleton, CO, 80161

800-975-5920

Forest and shade tree pests, update - 05/26/2017

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Insect & Disease Conditions Update

May 26, 2017

printer-friendly version of this report is available on-line from the Conditions Report Index.


Invasive Species Portal on Maine.gov

Invasive Species Portal on Maine.gov (QR Code)

The new Invasive Species Portal on Maine.gov gives citizens easy access to invasive species-related work of state agencies. The portal can help you find resources about destructive flora and fauna that have invaded our state or could be coming very soon. You can access the resource at www.maine.gov/invasives or scan the QR code on the left. If you check out the site and navigate to the DACF MFS page, you’ll find a new entry on oak wilt disease, a devastating disease of oaks that has been found as close as New York State.  We count our readers as an important part of our forest health monitoring network; you are a vital to early detection of invaders in our forest and community trees.

Laboratory Business Hours

Laboratory Business Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for holidays.

However, due to a very busy field schedule, we may not be able to staff the Insect and Disease Lab at all times. If you call our Lab and receive no answer, please call back another time. 

If you have questions on insect and disease pests of trees, you can submit a clinic form directly on-line at http://maine.gov/dacf/mfs/forest_health/tree_ailment.html.  We will also accept samples mailed to our Lab in Augusta.  Our street address and location remains the same (50 Hospital Street, Augusta); our mailing address is 168 State House Station, Augusta, 04333-0168

Allison Kanoti is at the Old Town Regional Office: Phone (207) 827-1813; Fax (207) 827-8441.  Mailing Address: MFS, PO Box 415, Old Town, ME 04468; Physical address: 87 Airport Road.

If you plan to visit either office, you may wish to call ahead just to make sure someone will be present to meet with you.


Insects

Browntail Moth Caterpillar

Browntail Moth (Euproctis chrysorrhoea) - Browntail moth caterpillars are feeding voraciously in coastal Maine and inland. The infestation is once again centered in Sagadahoc and northern Cumberland Counties but infested trees can be found from Biddeford (York County) inland to Turner (Androscoggin County) and Waterville (Kennebec County) and has spread as far as Deer Isle (Hancock County). 

Photo: Browntail moth Caterpillar (Maine Forest Service).

Like last year, the caterpillars are already stripping the oak and apple leaves off the trees in heavily infested areas and crawling across lawns, houses and cars to get to more food. The frequent rainfall this spring has not led to a fungal epizootic (an event where many caterpillars are infected by a fungus leading to population collapse), so plan on dealing with the hairs from the caterpillars once again this year. 

Remember: Timing of pesticide treatment is critical. Treatment before the end of May will reduce the development of the toxic hairs, treatment after the end of May will not provide significant relief. 

Licensed Pesticide Applicators may not be able to take any more browntail clients this year as there is so much demand for treatment. If you decide to treat for browntail yourself, consider if you can actually get pesticide to the caterpillars. For your own protection and that of the environment, apply pesticides only in strict accordance with label directions and precautions. Special restrictions apply to treatments near marine waters. 

The hairs from this caterpillar can cause a rash or respiratory distress in sensitive individuals. The hairs break off from the skins shed by the caterpillars. The hairs then blow in the wind or are stirred up by mowing, weed   wacking, raking, etc. Use caution when working outdoors in infested areas. 

The following precautions may help people living or visiting browntail moth infested areas during June through August:

  • Avoid places heavily infested by caterpillars.
  • Take a cool shower and change clothes after any activity that might involve contact with browntail moth hairs.
  • Dry laundry inside during June and July to avoid having the hairs become impregnated in clothing.
  • Wear a respirator, goggles and coveralls tightly closed at the neck, wrists and ankles when performing  activities that stir up caterpillar hairs such as:  mowing, raking, weed whacking, removing pupal webbing from eaves and boats.
  •  Perform the above tasks on damp days or wet down material with a hose as moisture helps keep the hairs from becoming airborne thereby minimizing contact.
  • Use caution cleaning debris left by caterpillars because the toxin is extremely stable and remains a hazard for a number of years. Summer residents should bear this in mind when opening cottages that have been closed all winter, as the hairs frequently settle over the winter and may be contacted during spring cleaning activities. Wet mopping prior to vacuuming or dusting is advised.
  • Consult your physician if you develop a severe reaction to the browntail moth.
  • Be aware that the chances of contacting browntail hairs increases during dry, windy conditions.

 

Eastern ash bark beetle galleries.  Photo: ME Project Canopy  

Eastern Ash Bark Beetle (Hylesinus aculeatus) – Blonding on ash trees resulting from eastern ash bark beetle was observed in Dexter (Penobscot County).  “Blonding” is the term used to describe the appearance of bark on ash trees after woodpeckers and other birds have excavated larvae from beneath the bark. It can be associated with damage from birds going after emerald ash borer, or seeking out bark beetles and woodborers that are native to Maine. We appreciate reports of blonding, and are happy to follow-up to help rule out emerald ash borer damage.

Photo: Eastern ash bark beetle galleries.  These galleries were revealed using a drawknife to remove the outer bark from an area with blonding (Credit: ME Project Canopy). 

 

Eastern Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma americana) – The webs of eastern tent caterpillar are quite abundant this year, with many cherries and apples supporting numerous webs. These webs usually originate in branch junctions. They will be full of the frass of well-fed caterpillars and often the caterpillars themselves. If the webs are an aesthetic problem, the best way to manage them is to wind them around a forked stick in the cool hours of the morning or evening, thereby ensnaring the occupants. You can relocate the webs to another host tree out of sight (they do feed generalist predators and other beneficial insects), soak them in a bucket of soapy water or dispose of them in a sealed plastic bag. Be cautious in browntail territory not to confuse the webs of the two species and also because you will sometimes find browntail moth caterpillars snuggled in with their cousins in the safe haven of the eastern tent webs. To see images of the most common hairy tree pest caterpillars of Maine, see the chart below.

Hairy Caterpillar Comparison Chart (Photos MFS)

 

Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) – All trap trees girdled in the spring of 2016 have been  peeled and examined for signs of emerald ash borer (EAB).  Fortunately, no EAB were found.  We are starting to girdle trees again this year to continue monitoring. If you have an ash tree of any species over four inches diameter at 4.5 feet that you would be willing to sacrifice as a trap tree, please email Colleen Teerling with the subject line ‘Trap Tree’ and we will help you create a trap tree.  This is one of the most proactive things you as an individual or community can do to monitor for EAB in your area. 

Six-spotted tiger beetle (Deven Morrill)

 

This time of year the native six-spotted tiger beetle adult is very common and highly visible across the state. These blocky, long-legged, metallic green beetles are often mistaken for EAB. Adult EAB have not emerged yet here. In Maine, EAB would emerge in early to mid-June, or when the black locust bloom.

 

Photo: The native, beneficial six-spotted tiger beetle, Cicindela sexguttata (Credit: Deven Morrill).

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) – Crawlers (the very tiny, mobile young stage of HWA) have emerged.  Eggs and/or crawlers are more or less continuously present until late-July or early August. These life-stages can be spread on items other than the host trees (clothing, equipment, pets, etc.).   

As a reminder, HWA is a quarantined pest. All products may move freely within the quarantined area.  Roundwood products such as logs and pulp may be moved freely within Maine, but must be free from branches.  Material with branches, such as chips, moved outside the quarantine area must go to facilities with agreements to receive the material. Quarantine regulations are slightly different in neighboring New Hampshire and Vermont. 

Larch casebearer feeding damage and cases (MFS)

Larch Casebearer (Coleophora laricella) – Spotty and light larch casebearer damage was observed through Penobscot and Southern Aroostook County.  Foliage of affected trees has a brown hue; on close examination mined needles, with tan tips are apparent.  On samples from T9 R5 WELS (Aroostook County) early spring feeding had finished and pupae had not yet been vacated.

Photo: Larch casebearer feeding damage and cases.  At this time, in southern Aroostook County, caterpillars have pupated within the cases and adults have not yet emerged (Maine Forest Service). 

Pine leaf adelgid (Credit C. Armstrong and J. Bissell)

Pine Leaf Adelgid (Pineus pinifoliae) – The native Pine leaf adelgid is in epidemic mode in at least north-central Maine (Northern Piscataquis and Penobscot Counties, Southern Aroostook County).  Samples of eastern white pine from T9 R5 WELS (Aroostook County) showed signs of a history of damage by pine leaf adelgid including shortened needles and distorted shoots.  Close examination of the twig revealed that some nymphs that had settled on the 2016 twigs (exules) have resumed development and molted this spring.  No significant reddening of 2016 growth was observed on this date (5/23), but it is expected that affected white pine will begin to flag in the coming weeks.  Reports of damage are appreciated (e-mail to Allison Kanoti or call (207) 827-1813). 

 

Photos: Pine leaf adelgid exules that  settled in 2016 that has not molted (white arrow) and one that has (black arrow).  Keel-shaped cast skins of overwintering stages were apparent on the recently molted nymphs.  Most will develop into winged adults  that will migrate to red or black spruce (Sexuparae) a smaller proportion will develop into a second generation on pine (Exules) (Photo C. Armstrong, UMaine Extension).  This year  we expect to see significant damage to 2016 white pine growth in the affected region and appreciate readers’ reports of damage (photo at right from 2015, J. Bissell Baxter State Park).

Spruce Budworm MFS QR Code

Spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) – The season for monitoring spruce budworm moths is near and a sincere thank you is due to our cooperators in that effort.  This year, 23 different organizations have committed their resources to participating in the Maine Forest Service cooperative pheromone trap network in the area of concern.  If all goes as planned, around 450 sites will be set up with 3 traps a piece before the end of next month.  This cooperative effort is focused on the larger landowners and managers in affected towns.  Cooperators who would like to access on-line directions for trapping and other information relevant to this effort can do so by scanning the QR code to the right (link to MFS spruce budworm webpage). 

A separate network of trappers, the budworm trackers, is also gearing up for the trapping season.  This network of citizen scientists is coordinated by the Healthy Forest Partnership based out of Canada.  Between returning volunteers and new recruits, they are all set for the 2017 trapping season.  However, stay tuned to their Facebook page (@budwormtracker on Facebook) for informative videos and other information on spruce budworm in the region. 

spruce budworm caught in light traps 2016  

 

Finally, data from our light trap operators contribute to our understanding of the geography and timing of budworm moth activity in Maine. For instance, last year an overwhelming proportion of moths caught in light traps coincided with the highly publicized, late-July mass migration of moths from Quebec (see graph on left). 

Winter moth larva (MFS)

Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata) – Winter moth larvae are feeding on the leaves of oaks, apple, birch, blueberries, and other trees and shrubs. They are still tiny, but expect to see increased defoliation over the next two weeks. The little green inch worms will then string down on silk to spin cocoons in the soil below the trees. There they will stay until December when the moths emerge to mate and lay eggs. DO NOT MOVE soil, perennials,  saplings, etc., from under or near winter moth infested trees. You will be moving winter moth with the soil/plant material. The cocoons look like dirt. Nurseries that sell perennials often keep the potted plants under trees to shade them from the sun. These pots need to be protected from infestation by winter moth larvae dropping into them over the next 2–3 weeks. Populations appear to be down from previous years. Winter moth is currently found along the coast from Kittery (York County) to Mount Desert Island (Hancock County). 

Photo: Winter moth larvae (Maine Forest Service)

In related news, Charlene Donahue cooperated with the University of Maine on a winter moth study and the results were published in:

O’Donnell, K. and E. Groden. 2017. Variation in Captures of Adult Winter Moths (Operophtera brumata) In Coastal Maine Over Two Years. In Northeastern Naturalist Winter Ecology: Insights from Biology and History. 24(Special Issue 7):B72–B80. 

Available on-line to Northeastern Naturalist subscribers.

Yellowheaded spruce sawfly (Pikonema alaskensis) – Yellowheaded spruce sawfly damage is common on young, open-grown spruce in Maine.  The following excerpt from Minnesota DNR forest health specialist Brian Schwingle is hard to improve upon (From Minnesota DNR, our emphasis):  “Yellowheaded spruce sawflies can seriously damage spruce seedlings and saplings, so I recommend controlling them if they caused problems the previous year. On ornamental spruce in your yard, spray young larvae less than 1/3-inch long off trees with a strong jet of water (and laugh evilly as you're doing so). Do this daily to keep them off the trees, starving them. In young plantations, spray young sawfly larvae with an insecticidal soap or horticultural oil if they are common. Young larvae are difficult to see, so begin scouting for them from late May to early June.” 


Diseases and Injuries 

Needle cast diseases of spruce are very common throughout Maine, especially in planted landscape trees. The two most common fungi causing needle cast are Stigmina lautii (Stigmina needle cast) and Rhizosphaera kalkoffii (Rhizosphaera needle cast). Although Colorado blue spruce seems to be most susceptible to infection, the diseases have also been noted causing severe symptoms on white spruce and both diseases have also been found in the forest environment in Maine.  The spruce needle casts are also known to affect red spruce and Norway spruce, although Norway spruce is considered to be resistant to infection and noticeable needle loss is rare in that species.

Both needle cast fungi affect susceptible spruce trees in a very similar way (loss of second- and third-year needles) and the fungi even look similar growing in/on infected needles (rows of tiny black dots filling the stomata on the underside of needles; see figure). However, these fungi have different life cycles. Thus, accurate diseases diagnosis is a very important first step to management. 

If needle cast infection is confirmed on a tree and the decision is made to treat the tree, there are several important things to consider and they are outlined in the following text. 

Needles on at least the bottom half of the crown should be protected with fungicide containing the active ingredient ‘chlorothalonil’. A finer mist is best to assure that the green needles are thoroughly coated. Check the residual period (the time that the fungicide remains effective on the tree) of the product used to determine how frequently applications of the fungicide are needed to ensure there is not a lapse in protection.  A typical residual period for protective fungicides used on conifers is 7 to 14 days (make sure to read and follow all  label recommendations or hire a licensed applicator).  

For Stigmina needle cast fungus the first treatment should be applied in early spring, since this fungus produces spores earlier – well before bud-break, infecting needles produced in the previous year (this year spore production was seen on infected needle samples collected already during the first week of May). Once fungicide treatment begins, it must be continued every two weeks (again depending on the residual period) until September.  According to current knowledge about the Stigmina needle cast disease, this must be repeated every year to ensure needle retention (Stigmina needle cast disease has not been intensively studied).  

If only the Rhizosphaera needle cast fungus is present on a tree, treatment should begin at the candle stage (when new growth is emerging and measures about 1 to 1.5 inches; see figure) and continue until the end of July. Treatment can be stopped after three or four years, as the infection cycle is typically effectively broken at this duration of treatment.  

It is important to remember that fungicides labeled for control of spruce needle cast fungi are not curative and are only effective when applied as protectants before spores are released. The first year application cycle will protect the current year’s growth only and needles will not regrow on the portions of the tree that have already lost needles. Treatments applied in the second year will ensure retention of at least two years’ worth of needles; three years of treatment will ensure retention of three years’ worth of needles, and so on, with the eventual result of a fuller, healthier tree with a full complement of needles. Treating needle cast of spruce is a long-term process that can be frustrating, since it takes a few years of treatment before sufficient needle retention is achieved, making aesthetic improvements noticeable.  This is often frustrating for tree owners and tree replacement with a needle-cast resistant species is worthy of consideration.

Spruce needlecasts (MFS)

Photos (Above): (Upper left) Spruce needle emergence of about 1 to 1.5 inches, referred to as the ‘candle stage’. (Lower left) Close-up of spruce needle infected with Stigmina needle cast fungus.  Note the tiny black spots growing out of the gas exchange pores (stomata). (Right) Fine branch dieback due to chronic infection and needle loss, reducing the aesthetic qualities of a spruce tree.

White pine needle diseases (Lecanosticta acicola, Lophophacidium dooksii, Bifusella linearis and others) – The yellowing, browning, and premature shedding of one-year-old needles of white pines appears to be beginning in the region, with affected trees exhibiting (in some cases heavy) needle drop any time between now and early July. Trees that have been severely damaged over several consecutive years may show dieback of lower branches and an overall “thin” crown appearance. Weakened trees are subject to additional damage from secondary insects and pathogens that are better able to take advantage of the chronically stressed trees.


Calendar of Division and Related Events 

NH Forest Health WorkshopFriday 07/14/2017, 8:30 AM–3:30 PM, Fox State Forest - 309 Center Road, Hillsborough NH 03244: All-day, “in the field” workshop at Fox Research and Demonstration Forest. Stations with unique sets of insects or diseases for hands-on examination and discussion with specialists. $45.00 - lunch provided, SAF Category 1 - 4.0 CFEs; NHPLP Certification - 8.0 CEUs.


Conditions Report No. 2, 2017 

Veteran farmers - 05/26/2017

 

NATIONALNORTHEASTERN STATESNEW ENGLANDMAINEARMED TO FARM TRAINING IN MAINE

TRAINING ...

Armed to Farm Training in Maine

ATF lets veterans and spouses to experience small-scale farming enterprises

PUBLISHED ON MAY 25TH, 2017

Armed to Farm will take place August 21-25, 2017, in Bangor, Maine. Participants will attend classroom sessions and travel to local farms, including several successful, veteran-owned operations, for hands-on learning experiences. (Courtesy Photo)

BANGOR, Maine — The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is partnering with United Farmer Veterans of Maine (UFVME) to bring its Armed to Farm (ATF) training to the Northeast. Veterans who want to attend the week-long training in Bangor, Maine, can apply online now.

ATF allows veterans and their spouses to experience sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and explore career opportunities in agriculture. At ATF, participants learn about business planning, budgeting, recordkeeping, marketing, livestock production, fruit and vegetable production, and more. Participants gain a strong foundation in the basic principles of operating a sustainable farm. In addition, ATF attendees join a nationwide network of supportive farmer-veterans and agricultural advisors.

ATF trainings include an engaging blend of farm tours, hands-on activities, and interactive classroom instruction. NCAT Sustainable Agriculture specialists will teach the training sessions. Staff from USDA Agencies and experienced crop and livestock producers will provide additional instruction.

Applications are available at https://www.ncat.org/atf_ME/ and are due by July 12, 2017.

This training is for veterans in the Northeast, with preference given to those in Maine. The number of participants will be limited. NCAT will notify selected participants by July 19. Spouses are welcome to apply as well.

Dates, Location, and Cost

Armed to Farm will take place August 21-25, 2017, in Bangor, Maine. Participants will attend classroom sessions and travel to local farms, including several successful, veteran-owned operations, for hands-on learning experiences.

The event is free for those chosen to attend; lodging, transportation to local farms, and most meals will be provided. Participants must pay their own travel costs to and from the event.

Sponsors

NCAT is organizing and hosting this Armed to Farm event in partnership with the UFVME. Financial support comes from the USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.

Questions?

Please contact Margo Hale at margoh@ncat.org or 479-442-9824.

–Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry

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Invasive species portal - 05/17/2017

 

INVASIVE SPECIES RESOURCE ...

New invasive species portal

New portal can help you find resources about destructive flora and fauna

PUBLISHED ON MAY 16TH, 2017

The emerald ash borer has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees from New Hampshire to Texas and is a threat to all ash in North America. (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Flickr/Creative Commons)

AUGUSTA — Are you interested in learning more about invasive species and what Maine is doing to address them? The new Invasive Species Portal on Maine.gov gives citizens easy access to work being done by state agencies.

The portal can help you find resources about destructive flora and fauna that have invaded our state or could be coming very soon. Invasive species are wreaking havoc on Maine’s ecosystems and resources. Trails are blocked, propellers are clogged, swimmers get tangled and diners may see clam prices rising.

On the maine.gov/invasives portal, you’ll find resources to learn about northern pike, green crabs, hydrilla, spotted lanternfly, emerald ash borer and Japanese barberry. Long list you say? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Invasive species are found across Maine’s ecosystems.

Here is a sampling of the type of invasive species Mainers should be aware of:

  • Ocean: Green crabs are so devastating to our clam flats that you could see the tab for your favorite fried dinner go sky high. Our ocean resources are so important to the Maine way of life. We need to stem the tide of invasive organisms attacking our coastline.
  • Horticulture: Norway maples create dense shade and crowd out native trees from their shallow root systems to completely take over forested areas that previously featured a mixture of native maples, ashes, oaks and pines. The native trees provide lots of food for caterpillars and other insects which are critical food sources for baby birds while the invasive Norway maples do not.
  • Agriculture: If you love local fruits and wines you do not want the spotted lanternfly to find its way to Maine. Although a very colorful and beautiful insect, they suck the life out of grape vines, apple and peach trees and they may also spread diseases to those trees.
  • Lakes: Hydrilla, the Godzilla of lake weeds, can grow so dense that boats and swimmers can become entangled in its tendrils. Only 1% of Maine lakes are now infested with invasive plants, making prevention critical to keeping it that way.
  • Forests: Invasive plants and shrubs can threaten the forest. Shrubs like honeysuckle, Japanese barberry, and glossy buckthorn can out-compete native tree regeneration in the forest understory and can harbor higher densities of disease-carrying ticks.
  • Insects: The emerald ash borer has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees from New Hampshire to Texas and is a threat to all ash in North America. Ash is an important component of the forests around our lakes and rivers, and its loss will alter streams as well as the fish and other animals living in them.
  • Fish: Northern Pike, illegally introduced into the Belgrade Chain of Lakes in the 1970’s, are now present in at least 16 lakes in the Kennebec, Androscoggin, and coastal river drainages. They are suspected to occur in several additional waters. These newest populations have been derived from illegal transport or by out-migration from lakes where they have become established. Pike are voracious predators on other fishes, and their presence in one lake is suspected of destroying one of the state’s premier landlocked salmon populations.

Prevention and awareness are key. Once one of these space invaders is loosed upon our forests, fields or waters it is almost impossible to control. Well-informed Mainers are vital in helping to prevent the spread of invasive species in our lakes, oceans, fields and forests.

—Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry

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More internships available - 04/18/2017

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Farmer Resources

Apply for Agriculture 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.  

Internships:

interns

Farm Manager:

Full Circle Farm, Vassalboro, Maine

 

 

This position would work alongside the Welch family to manage our CSA and Organic off farm sales as well as the day to day farm operation.  All skills taught or skills welcome.  Room and board plus a small stipend provided or other suitable agreement. The right candidate could then manage the farm for the next 2017 18 season.

 

If interested in applying, please email fullcirclefarmme@gmail.com or call (207)-441-6705.

 

Organic Farm Intern: 

Lyric Meadow Farm, Boothbay, Maine

 

MOFGA certified Lyric Meadow Farm in Boothbay is looking for someone who has deep knowledge and education in seed starting and soil management, and organic pest control, as well as digital marketing and social media skills. Any experience in animal management and handling would be welcomed as the farm has 48+ animals, in addition to the organic production of produce.  Position involves heavy lifting!

 

For more information, please contact: Mary Linda Rapelye at (207)-350-1969

Have other internship listings that you would like DACF to feature?  Please email: Ashley Sears at Ashley.sears@maine.gov  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big "E" Competition - 04/14/2017

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Get Real Get Maine Membership

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

big e

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: http://www.thebige.com/p/competitions, or email aginfo@TheBigE.com to obtain a copy of the entry forms.

Sprayer calibration workshop thursday - 04/11/2017

FYI:
Location Change for Calibration Workshop  

The location for the Cooperative Extension calibration workshop on Thursday, April 13, 2017 from 5 to 7 PM has been changed from 367 Buzzell Hill Road in Hope to Hammond Tractor, 1987 Heald Highway (Route 17) in Union, (207) 785-4464, because of field conditions.

We will review and demonstrate the calibration of both a tractor mounted boom and air blast sprayer.  Contact the Knox/Lincoln County Extension Office, if you have questions on inclement weather at 832-0343.  Certified pesticide applicators will receive two credits for attending the workshop.

Dave Yarborough
davidy@maine.edu
(207) 581-2923 or 1-800-897-0757 x1

Ag internships available - 04/03/2017

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Farmer Resources

Apply for Agriculture 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.  

Internships: 

one

Brand Development Intern:

Rococo Ice Cream, Wells, ME

Student or a graduate in the fields of Marketing, Advertising, Graphic Design, Business, Art and Design or Culinary Arts.  Intern will work directly with the business owner and have core responsibilities focused on branding and business development. Looking for an up-beat, energetic and design-oriented individual. You will be assisting with e-commerce build out and running social media engagement strategy. This will be done through the creation of your own unique visual content and the talents of your creative capacity. Please be quick-witted, detail obsessed, fun and thrilled to be working with a nationally acclaimed ice cream company.

For more information about Rococo Ice Cream, please visit: www.rococoicecream.com

Culinary Intern:

Sunday River, Newry, ME

This position is open to culinary students enrolled in an accredited program through a college and has been interviewed by the Sunday River Food and Beverage Team. The culinary intern is responsible for following the expectations of the curriculum designed by the intern's scholastic program and the syllabus established by the assigned direct supervisor. The intern will be responsible to follow all industry sanitation standards and company policies presented in the Sunday River Handbook, the Food and Beverage Handbook, and departmental expectations. The intern will work throughout the Sunday River property in a variety of kitchen environments as well as weekly scheduled shifts in the dining/service areas of the various venues. The intern must be flexible with regards to schedules and work load, must be able to work as part of a team and must present a professional manner and have the ability to maintain their composure during pressure situations resulting from business levels and time constraints.  More information available at: http://www.sundayriver.com/employment

Summer Startup Intern:

Forager, Portland, ME 

Forager is a digital B2B procurement platform designed to simplify the local sourcing process for wholesale buyers and local food suppliers. Our solution streamlines every step of sourcing process for local food—from procurement to payment. We save the time and cost in local sourcing, so buyers and farmers can focus on what they love most: sharing and growing local food.

Summer Startup Intern will have the opportunity to explore various aspects of an early stage tech startup and take ownership of your own projects. Depending on individual strengths and interests, responsibilities may include:

  • Competitive Analysis: Identifying, studying, and mapping competitors onto a competitive landscape. Depending on the competitor, the analysis can range from business model, target segment, investment and traction to-date, messaging and branding, and product and UI/UX features.
  • Digital Marketing: Measuring our online presence with Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and other tools and devising new strategies and content for improvement.
  • UX Innovation: Engaging first-hand with our user onboarding and account management process, tracking customer feedback and user behavior on the platform, and reporting the analysis to assist in marketing and product decisions.
  • Fundraising Research: Researching non-traditional funding sources such as equity crowdfunding, program related investments (PRI), and social impact VC firms; proposing target institutions and platforms, notable and relevant examples, and positioning for Forager.
  • Design & Messaging: Reviewing and drafting messaging, designing marketing materials for our customers and investors, and developing training and support documents.

Have other internship listings that you would like DACF to feature?  Please email: Ashley Sears at Ashley.sears@maine.gov 

Wool grading & shearing workshop - 04/03/2017

Hello All,
Please read below for info on upcoming Mid Coast Farmers' Alliance Workshop.  Let me know if you are interested and please spread the word if you know someone who might want to attend.  Thanks, Aaron
Shearing and Wool Grading 

Meadowcroft Farm, 45 Hopkins Rd., Washington
Presented by Midcoast Farmer Alliance

Please join us for shearing day at the renowned Sea Colors Yarnery (http://getwool.com/meadowcroft) located at Meadowcroft Farm on Sunday, April 23 from 8am to 5pm. Nanne Kennedy, owner of the yarnery and farm, will shear mostly fine wool - and some medium wool - while demonstrating how and why each wool is graded for diverse product use.
The day will be divided into a morning shift (8am to noon) and an afternoon shift (1 to 5pm). Those who commit to come must be able to stay for a complete session. Participants are asked to practice good biosecurity protocols to avoid transmitting pests and diseases: Please wear boots that have not been on another farm! If that is not possible, a bucket will be provided to scrub boots before going beyond the gate. This workshop will take place in the barn and out of doors - dress for the weather and expect to get dirty.  

Please bring a water bottle and lunch; some snacks will be provided.

This event is free and open to the public; pre-registration is required. Please pre-register by sending an email to Aaron Englander at aenglander@mcht.org, indicating whether you would like to attend the morning or afternoon session. There is a limit of 3 participants per session.
For more information, please contact Aaron at the above email. We look forward to seeing you there!

 





 

MAPLE SYRUP SUN. This wknd - 03/21/2017

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For Immediate Release

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

 

Contact: John Bott (207) 287-3156
               Samantha Howard (207) 287-7620

Sugarhouses across Maine open this weekend for Maine Maple Sunday!

 

The annual event highlights dramatic maple industry growth since 2010

AUGUSTA – This weekend Maine will celebrate its 34th annual Maine Maple Sunday on March 26, 2017. The annual event is held every fourth Sunday of March. Participating sugarhouses will be open for visitors to enjoy freshly made maple syrup and candy, demonstrations of syrup production, sugarbush tours and a variety of other family activities.

Last week, Governor Paul R. LePage highlighted maple tapping season with Maine maple producers on the Blaine House lawn by following an annual tradition: the tapping of a maple tree. The Governor highlighted the economic contributions of Maine’s maple industry and new statistics showing its dramatic growth since 2010. 

"Maine’s maple industry is growing in output and importance," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Since 2010, Maine maple syrup production has more than doubled (114% increase). The extended 2016 season yielded 675,000 gallons, up from 315,000 gallons in 2010. During that same time period, the number of taps has increased 26.5% (going from 1.47 million to 1.86 million). Maine’s maple industry contributes an estimated $48.7 million to the Maine economy, including a direct contribution of $27.7 million and multiplier effects. The Maine maple industry is working hard to realize its potential for creating more jobs, business opportunities and locally-produced products valued by consumers.”

Commissioner Walt Whitcomb encouraged people to visit local sugarhouses this weekend. “Maine Maple Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to get outdoors and celebrate the arrival of spring,” said Whitcomb. “We’re hearing that the maple sap has exceptionally high sugar content this year. Bring your family and find out for yourself.”  

Maine Maple Statistics:

  • 545,000 gallons were produced last year, worth $17.4 million
  • Maine’s industry has an annual statewide economic contribution, including multiplier effects, of an estimated $48.7 million in output, 805 full-and part-time jobs, and $25.1 million in labor income
  • Maine has the third largest syrup industry in this country. Maine has the largest maple producing county in the country – Somerset County
  • Maine has around 1.4 million taps

Some sugarhouses will hold events on both Saturday and Sunday. For a list and map of participating sugarhouses, visit the Maine Maple Producers website:

http://www.mainemapleproducers.com/

 

For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, go to: www.maine.gov/dacf

###

Activate or reactiviate, GET REAL,GET MAINE" acct. - 03/21/2017

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Get Real Get Maine Membership

Reactivate Your Account

 

Dear get real. get Maine! Member,

 

We have recently updated our database and have asked you as a member to update your information as well. If you have not signed in and updated your profile in the last month, your listing is not active on the website.

 

get real. get Maine! is a great tool that allows you to promote your business and events, provides you the opportunity to list your social media connections and website, creates a unique and effective way to connect with consumers and visitors, and it’s FREE.

 

In order to reactivate your account, please email Laura Nichols at: Laura.Nichols@maine.gov. Please email Laura with your farm name and address to assure that we reactivate the correct account. We will be reactivating users until April 7, 2017. If we do not hear from you, you will need to create a new account.

 

Questions? We are happy to help! Please call us at 207-287-3491.

 

 

Quick Books For Farming - 03/09/2017

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The following news item is being sent to DACF subscribers as a courtesy.

 

Introduction to Farm Accounting with
QuickBooks Pro™ Workshop

March 28, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
UMaine Regional Learning Center, 75 Clearwater Drive, Suite 104, Falmouth, Maine 04105
Venue Phone:  207.781.6099 or 800.287.1471 (in Maine)
Registration Cost:  Free

Preregistration is required. Class is limited to 15. Please contact Pam St. Peter at pamela.stpeter@maine.edu or 207.933.2100 to register or request a disability accommodation.

This free workshop is for farmers who are first-time users or have less than a year’s experience with QuickBooks. The presenters, QuickBooks ProAdvisors from Austin Associates, will demonstrate how to record farm business transactions, generate reports for measuring financial performance, and provide an example of how QuickBooks is used on a Maine vegetable farm. Participants may bring a laptop but it is not required.

The workshop is sponsored by the UMaine Cooperative Extension Crop Insurance Education Program.

Participants will be entered in a drawing to win a QuickBooks Pro™ subscription.

For more information about the workshop or the UMaine Cooperative Extension Crop Insurance Education Program, contact Erin Roche at erin.roche@maine.edu or 207.949.2490, or visit our website at extension.umaine.edu/agriculture/crop-insurance.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is in partnership with the USDA Risk Management Agency to deliver crop insurance education in Maine.


   

Drought info - 02/07/2017

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Farmer Resources

Resources to Navigate Drought Successfully

Parts of Maine experienced reduced rainfall or drought during 2016.  Shifts in the weather of any kind can cause variability in a farm’s net revenue or bottom line - but preparedness can reduce or eliminate threats caused by drought.  

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension created the following resource to help farmers, gardeners, and landowners plan for and successfully navigate the impacts caused by drought. This webpage document provides a collection of resources that identify where to turn to when a well runs dry, what to do when the farm runs out of water, and where to go for buying and selling hay.  It also provides information on crop insurance and other federal farm programs.  As the next growing season approaches, consider these simple-to-implement measures as a means to lessen or avoid the impact of drought.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Drought Resources

broad band for rural areas - 02/04/2017

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 3, 2017

Contact: Kathleen Connery Dawe/Scott Ogden (202) 224-5344

 

Following Push by King, FCC Moves to Expand Mobile Broadband in Rural America

 

BRUNSWICK, ME – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released an agenda for its February Open Meeting indicating that it will move forward with Phase II of the Universal Service Fund’s Mobility Fund (MFII), which is aimed at providing broadband service in rural areas of the country. The move by the FCC follows pressure from Senator King and his colleagues who wrote to new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai urging him to expand mobile broadband deployment in rural areas.

 

Senator King released the following statement:

 

“Mobile broadband access is not only essential for rural America in the 21st century, but it’s also a necessary ingredient for economic development that enables farmers to practice precision agriculture, entrepreneurs to conduct business on the go, and students to access online resources in areas unserved by fixed broadband connections,” Senator King said. “I am glad that FCC Chairman Pai agrees with me and my colleagues about the necessity of improving cell phone data and voice services in rural America, and I hope that the full Commission will work to move forward quickly with an effective long-term plan for the Mobility Fund program later this month.”

 

USDA GRANT PROPOALS - 01/24/2017

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Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry

Proposals Sought for Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry sent this bulletin at 01/24/2017 11:10 AM EST

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Farmer Resources

Department Seeks Preliminary Proposals for USDA FSMIP Grant

 

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is seeking preliminary concept proposals for application consideration to the USDA Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program grant.  The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will competitively award matching grants to eligible applicants for projects that explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products, and encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the U.S. marketing system.  FSMIP funds a wide range of applied research projects that address barriers, challenges, and opportunities in marketing, transporting, and distributing U.S. food and agricultural products domestically and internationally.  Proposals may address topics dealing with any level of the marketing chain including direct, wholesale, and retail.  As state agencies bear the primary responsibility for submitting and overseeing the funded projects, MDACF is exploring concepts that may be a fit with current State of Maine needs.  

 

Concept statements should address the organization's details, project plans and timeline, marketing goals and objectives, and budget parameters including match sources.  The initial concept proposals should not exceed two pages.  Contact information for where proposals should be sent is included below.   

 

Proposal Process

usda

The deadline for concept statements to the DACF is February 10th, 2017.  At that time, the DACF will review proposals and determine whether the project ideas align with the requirements of the FSMIP grant.  Applicants will be contacted for further discussion about their project proposals and next steps for completing a full grant proposal for submissions will be determined.

 

 

More information about the FSMIP grant and application process can be found at:http://maine.gov/dacf/ard/docs/2017-FSMIP-RFA.pdf 

 

For further information or questions in regards to the proposal process, please contact Ashley Sears at ashley.sears@maine.gov or 207-287-7625.

 

 

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Maine AgriTourism Map signup deadline - 10/18/2016

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Maine Agriculture Tourism Map Participation Agreement

This is a follow up to a letter we recently mailed you with an opportunity to participate in the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry first ever Maine Agritourism Map.  

The map will help your visitors and consumers connect with your farm. Each farm listed encompasses a variety of education, retail, and recreation opportunities. Maine has many farms that offer unique hands-on experiences.

In order to be displayed on the map you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be registered on Get Real Get Maine
  • Hold all licenses, permits, and insurance policies as required by Maine State Law
  • Have physical location
  • Offer retail products
  • Have hours of seasonal operation
  • Have website, Facebook, or current Get Real Get Maine listing
  • Offer value experience to visitor – education, retail, or recreation

To be included in the printed or electronic version of the map, you must complete the participation agreement at http://www.maine.gov/dacf/agmapagreement by November 1, 2016 using the information provided to you in your initial invitation letter.

November 1, 2016 is the final deadline for you to submit your participation agreement. Unfortunately due to printing time frames, any submissions after that date will not be on the printed map, but will be held for future web versions. The map offers a location and brief description about your farm to help guide visitors. If you did not receive your initial invitation letter, or are having difficulty completing your participation agreement, please leave a message for Laura Nichols at 207-287-7568 with your comments or questions. 

Agricultural update - 10/18/2016

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Press Release Header

For Immediate Release

October 17, 2016

 

Contact: John Bott (207) 287-3156

Maine Horticulture Sales Increase 43.6%!
State officials credit LePage Administration tax change for helping make Maine greenhouses and nursery’s more competitive with the rest of the U.S

 

AUGUSTA – USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) today reported that Maine horticulture sales have increased 43.6 % from $49.1 million (2009) to $70.5 million (2014). The number of Maine horticultural operations increased from 250 to 320, a 28% increase over the same time period. The 43.6% increase in sales experienced by Maine is more than double the national average increase of 18%.

Maine state officials welcomed the news, while adding that a tax change policy proposed by the LePage Administration and supported by the 125th Maine Legislature (Law/Bill reference: PL 2011, c. 657, Part N), is helping fuel growth in the Maine horticulture industry.

“This is a perfect example of how business friendly tax policies are helping to grow Maine agriculture and jobs,” said Commissioner Walt Whitcomb. “For decades, the Maine horticulture industry sought the recognition and support its counterparts in the other 49 states received. The tax changes proposed by the LePage Administration and supported by legislative majorities in 2011, provided a sales tax refund on purchases of ‘depreciable machinery or equipment used for commercial agriculture…in the commercial production of greenhouse and nursery products.’ LePage Administration backed changes to the tax code support the hard work of Maine farmers who have more than doubled the impressive growth rate of U.S. horticulture over a 5-year period.”

Maine Horticulture Statistics reported by NASS:

“In 2014, the United States had 23,221 horticultural operations that produced and sold $13.8 billion in floriculture, nursery, and other horticultural specialty products. Maine had 320 horticultural operations that sold $70.5 million in horticultural products in 2014, compared to 250 horticultural operations that sold $49.1 million in horticultural products in 2009. Horticulture producers in Maine had $66.7 million in total production expenses in 2014. Hired labor expenses in Maine accounted for 32 percent of the total production expenses. Of the 1,828 hired workers in Maine, 1,082 worked less than 150 days compared to 746 who worked 150 days or more.”

NASS provides accurate, timely, and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture. The Horticultural Specialties Highlights and all other NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov

For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, go to: www.maine.gov/dacf

Farm Succesion classes - 10/10/2016

  

New England Farm Succession School Coming to New England

 

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The following news item is being sent to DACF subscribers as a courtesy.

Farm Succession

New England Farm Succession School
for senior farmers and farm couples looking toward retirement and farm transition.

 

 

Farm Succession School comes to New England. 

 

Planning for farm succession can be challenging. The Farm Succession School is for senior farmers and farm couples looking for a bit of structure and motivation to tackle succession planning. Farmers will move from thinking about the future to doing active planning! 

Program includes presentations, group discussions and individual exercises, with "assignments" between sessions. Topics include goal setting, estate planning, retirement planning, family communications, taxes, legal structure, Medicaid, and bringing on a successor. Participants will come away with a concrete "game plan" for their farm business, land, and retirement.

Three locations this year! 

 

It is a three-session program. Each session will be from 10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. and includes lunch and refreshments. Open to farmers in all New England states.          

  • Augusta, Maine: November 1, 2016; December 6, 2016; and January 24, 2017                                                           
  • Concord, New Hampshire: November 2, 2016; December 7, 2016; and January 25, 2017                           
  • Randolph, Vermont: November 3, 2016; December 8, 2016; and January 26, 2017

The School will be offered in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island in 2017-2018.

 

The fee is $300 per farmer or farm couple. This includes lunch, refreshments and materials. Participants will receive a $200 credit toward hiring succession-related technical assistance.

Instructors include:

Jon Jaffe
Farm Business Consultant
Farm Credit East
jon.jaffe@farmcrediteast.com 

Kathy Ruhf
Senior Program Director
Land For Good
kathy@landforgood.org
An attorney with expertise in succession planning in each state. 

Sponsored by Land For Good. For more information or to register, call (603)357-1600 or go online to landforgood.org/rsvpRegistration deadline extended to October 21, 2016.

EAB Update - 09/24/2016

 

All Things EAB and more

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Invasive Pest Outreach Information 

Welcome Fall!


All Things Emerald Ash Borer

EAB

 

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is considered one of the most serious threats to our nation's forests and urban landscape.  All native ash trees in the U.S. are susceptible to attack and mortality by the emerald ash borer.  Since it's discovery 15 years ago in Michigan, the emerald ash borer has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees, leaving large gaps in the forest landscape and many city streets bare.  Because of how quickly EAB has spread throughout the country, eradication is not possible.  Current management strategies include biocontrol, developing resistance in trees, slowing the spread, and tons of outreach and education.

  • New State Finds:
    Since the beginning of summer, the emerald ash borer was found in three more states; Texas (in May), Nebraska (in June), and Delaware (in August).  That brings the total state count to 28.  To date, emerald ash borer has not been found in Maine.
     
  • Why has emerald ash borer not been found in Maine?
    Are "they" looking for it?  The answer is YES!  The federal government, the state government, and various cooperators have employed all the surveillance tools known to us to help detect emerald ash borer in the state.  This year the USDA contracted with Delta-21 to deploy over 800 purple traps, and the Maine Forest Service conducted biosurveillance and organized the trap tree network to help detect early introductions of EAB.  The state has conducted numerous trainings to industry, public works, educators, and landowners to teach signs of an EAB infestation.  With all these EAB detection activities, the emerald ash borer has not been found in Maine.  If you suspect you have seen EAB or signs of an infestation, please take pictures and make a report here.
     
  • Quarantines:
    The existence of emerald ash borer in a state means that the state is either partially or entirely quarantined.  If you are considering moving wood (including firewood), check the quarantine map to determine if you need a permit.  If you are moving wood within a state that is partially quarantined, you may need a permit.  Please be aware that Massachusetts is fully quarantined, and New Hampshire is partially quarantined.  Firewood from anywhere in Massachusetts and parts of NH (as well as many other states) should not enter Maine without a permit, or the federal quarantine will be violated.  
     
  • Firewood Scout:
    In an effort to comply with state bans on out-of-state firewood, Maine is preparing to join Firewood Scout - an online resource to help campers find and buy firewood close to their destination.  There is no cost to the user or participating vendors.  If you are a firewood vendor and would like to be found on this network, please send an email to BugWatchME.AGR@maine.gov
  • Latest EAB Research:
    Discovering what makes up an EAB-resistant ash tree - Entomology Today
    Can we manipulate EAB's "vision" so they are unable to find a mate? - Daily Herald
    A tiny parasitic wasp from Russia approved as another biocontol agent for EAB - University of Delaware
    Females shocking males: implications for early detection of EAB - Total Landscape Care
     
  • Emerald Ash Borer Universiy:
    Would you like more in-depth information about emerald ash borer biocontrol, or how firewood movement is a threat to our forests, or...?  Check out these amazing educational videos on at EABU on YouTube.
     
Outreach at Acadia National Park
  • EAB Outreach:
    Over the summer, outreach for emerald ash borer and other invasive forest pests has taken place at various Agricultural and Conservation Fairs, and the famed Bug Maine-ia event.  More outreach opportunities are still ahead...

 -  Common Ground Fair in the Maine Indian Basketmakers Tent  - September 23-25
 -  Conservation Fair hosted by the Knox-Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District - September 29
 -  Fryeburg Fair at the Saco River Recreational Council booth - October 2-9
 -  The Nature of Halloween at the College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor - October 21
 -  Aliens and Super Heroes of the Forest Insect World hosted by the Downeast Lakes Land Trust, Grand Lakes Stream - October 26

If you need materials for an invasive forest pest outreach event, check out our supplies and send us an email.


Asian Longhorned Beetle Update

ALB

The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) is another invasive forest pest that Maine is concerned about.  Unlike the emerald ash borer, ALB can be eradicated and has been successfully eradicated from a number of areas in the U.S.  Now the ALB is known in only 3 states - Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio.  Eradication programs are ongoing in these states and Canada, with the goal of eliminating this beetle from North America.

The easiest way to know if you have Asian longhorned beetle is to notice the adult beetle. In fact, most of the North American detections have been reported by the general public who noticed an unusually large beetle.  The best time to look for the adult beetle in Maine is during its estimated emergence range for our state - mid-July thru early October.  So, it's not too late to spot the beetle.  If you do, don't forget to capture it or photograph it and make a report!  www.maine.gov/alb 

Here's a helpful guide to identifying the beetle and other signs of an infestation.  


Other Invasive Tree Pests of Concern

Hemlock woolly adelgid (Photo USFS)  

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
The hemlock woolly adelgid continues to slowly spread through southern and coastal Maine, with recent detections being spotted on Frye Island and Standish.  According to the Maine Forest Service, August through February is the best time to work in hemlocks from the standpoint of minimizing the risk of introducing or spreading HWA.


btm nests

Browntail Moth
Browntail moth is not only a serious tree defoliator, it is a human health hazard as its toxic hairs can cause severe rashes.  This year, the range of browntail moth has expanded beyond the few communities in southern and coastal Maine and has been reported as far east as Roque Bluffs and inland to Waterville. 

Do you wonder if browntail moth is in your community? Now is a good time to do some surveillance.  Look for its winter nests, which are starting to form at the tips of oak and apple.  These webbed nests harbor the young caterpillars that will overwinter.  Don't be confused with the fall webworm webs that seem to be quite prevalent in parts of Maine right now.  Browntail Moth Winter Nests vs. Fall Webworm Webs.  Browntail moth winter webs should be clipped off and destroyed to reduce its populations.


Interested in more updates about forest insects and diseases? Check out the 

Forest Insect & Disease Conditions Reports from the Maine Forest Service


Would you like to provide feedback on this newsletter, or do you have questions or comments?  Email BugWatchME.AGR@maine.gov


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DROSOPHILA UPDATE - 09/15/2016

 This announcement is also posted with color pictures on the Highmoor Farm Spotted Wing Drosophila web blog at https://extension.umaine.edu/highmoor/spotted-wing-drosophila/, where you can subscribe to updates.

 

SPOTTED WING DROSOPHILA UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 15, 2016

 

David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist; James Dill, Pest Management Specialist; Frank Drummond, Professor of Insect Ecology/Entomology

 

Spotted wing drosophila trap catch numbers were again some of the highest numbers of the season this week, but there were also noticeable drops in numbers at sites that have been sprayed since our count last week. We continue to find larvae in overripe and waste fruit in plantings, emphasizing the importance of keeping up with harvest and keeping fields free of waste fruit, if at all possible. Frequent (5 to 6 day), regular insecticide sprays continue to be essential to keep fruit free of larvae. Good grading of fruit and chilling immediately after harvest are also important to prevent infested fruit from getting into customer hands. Remember to rotate insecticide spray materials to prevent the development of resistance, and follow all label directions, precautions and days to harvests restrictions. (See the New England Small Fruit Management Guide for more information and details.) 

 

Town

Spotted Wing  Drosophila weekly trap catch 9/1/16

Spotted Wing  Drosophila weekly trap catch 9/9/16

Spotted Wing  Drosophila weekly trap catch 9/15/16

Limington*

178

627

787

Limerick

34

506

437

Wells

128

756

184

Cape Elizabeth

153

1180

 

Bowdoinham

25

173

31

Dresden

193

961

549

Freeport

13

234

362

Poland Spring

29

269

68

Mechanic Falls

95

183

283

Monmouth*

732

254

528

Wales

1001

2191

153

Farmington

 

 

840

*unsprayed planting

David T. Handley
Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist

Highmoor Farm                       Pest Management Office
P.O. Box 179                           491 College Avenue

Monmouth, ME  04259           Orono, ME  04473
207.933.2100                          1.800.287.0279

For more information on identifying spotted wing drosophila (SWD) and updates on populations in Maine, visit our SWD blog at https://extension.umaine.edu/highmoor/blog/tag/spotted-wing-drosophila/.

IPM Web Pages

Michigan State University:  http://www.ipm.msu.edu/invasive_species/spotted_wing_drosophila

Penn State University:  http://extension.psu.edu/pests/ipm/agriculture/fruits/spotted-wing-drosophila

University of New Hampshire:  http://extension.unh.edu/New-and-Invasive-Pests/Spotted-Wing-Drosophila-SWD

 

Where brand names or company names are used it is for the reader's information. No endorsement is implied nor is any discrimination intended against other products with similar ingredients. Always consult product labels for rates, application instructions and safety precautions. Users of these products assume all associated risks.

 

The University of Maine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

 

 


Pam St. Peter
Administrative Specialist II
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Maine Crop Insurance Education Program
Highmoor Farm
P.O. Box 179/52 US Route 202
Monmouth, ME  04259
Tel. 207.933.2100 X100
Fax 207.933.4647
Email:  pamela.stpeter@maine.edu
extension.umaine.edu/highmoor
umaine.edu/agriculture/maine-risk-management-and-crop-insurance-education-program

Drought survey - 09/07/2016

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Maine 2016 Drought Survey

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service, Maine Farm Bureau, MOFGA and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry are seeking feedback from Maine farmers and growers related to the shortage of rain in many parts of Maine. Please respond to the survey by Friday, September 16, 2016. 

 

Crop ins. Update - 08/30/2016

 

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The following news item is being sent to DACF subscribers as a courtesy.

USDA
UMCoopExt

Deadlines Near for Forage Risk Management Programs in Maine

The sales closing dates for 3 Federal risk management programs is approaching, programs include:

1. Forage Production Crop Insurance.  September 30, 2016 is the final date to purchase Forage Production Crop Insurance for forage seeded in the spring of 2016.  Coverage begins on May 22, 2017 on acreage that has an adequate forage stand.  To be eligible for this insurance, the stand must be pure alfalfa; alfalfa and perennial grass where 60% or more of the ground cover is alfalfa; or mixed alfalfa and perennial grass where alfalfa makes up more than 25% but less than 60% of the ground cover.  Insurance protects against a decline in your Average Production History (APH) yield due to adverse weather conditions including hail, frost, freeze, wind, drought, and excess precipitation; wildlife damage; insect damage and plant disease, except for insufficient or improper application of control measures.  Crop insurance premiums are subsidized based on the coverage level selected.

Coverage levels range from 50 to 75% of your APH at 100% of the price election.  The price election for the 2017 crop year is $184 per ton.  Forage Production Crop Insurance is available in Aroostook and Penobscot counties and is available outside of these counties through a written agreement. 

2. Pasture, Rangeland, Forage Pilot Crop Insurance.  November 15, 2016 is the final date to purchase this crop insurance for the 2017 insurance year.  This program is a new crop insurance option for Maine producers, providing protection of pasture, hay, and hayland against a single peril, drought. No historical production records are required. Losses are determined by comparing reported precipitation over a 2-month insured period to 50 years of historical rainfall data. Both reported and historical rainfall data are from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center (NOAA CPC).

Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents.  A list of crop insurance agents is available online at the RMA Agent Locator (http://www.rma.usda.gov/tools/agent.html).  Producers can use the RMA Cost Estimator (https://ewebapp.rma.usda.gov/apps/costestimator/) to get a premium amount estimate of their insurance needs online.

3.  Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance (NAP) for Hay Crops.  September 30, 2016 is the final date to purchase the NAP program for hay.  This program protects your APH from natural disasters that results in lower yields or quality.  Coverage level options include the catastrophic level and up to 50-65% of your APH at 100% of the average market price.  This program is administered and sold by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA).  Contact your local FSA office (http://www.fsa.usda.gov/state-offices/Maine/index) to learn more. 

 

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is in cooperation with the USDA Risk Management Agency to deliver crop insurance education to all Maine farmers.  Visit our website at https://extension.umaine.edu/agriculture/maine-risk-management-and-crop-insurance-education-program/.  For questions please contact Erin Roche, Crop Insurance Education Program Manager, 495 College Avenue, Orono ME, 04473 (949.2490erin.roche@maine.edu).


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Dropsohila update - 08/26/2016

 This announcement is also posted with color pictures on the Highmoor Farm Spotted Wing Drosophila web blog at https://extension.umaine.edu/highmoor/spotted-wing-drosophila/, where you can subscribe to updates.

 

SPOTTED WING DROSOPHILA UPDATE: AUGUST 26, 2016

 

David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist; James Dill, Pest Management Specialist; Frank Drummond, Professor of Insect Ecology/Entomology

 

Spotted wing drosophila populations are rising around the state, but numbers have only increased dramatically in sites that have not been sprayed. This indicates that control measures at other sites have been effective at suppressing infestations. We have been able to find larvae in waste fruit at several of our monitoring sites. We expect pressure to increase significantly once we start getting more rain and temperatures begin to cool. Spotted wing drosophila numbers are over levels that call for management in all of our trapping sites, except Wales. You should assume that spotted wing drosophila will infest any ripe fruit in southern and central Maine that is not protected by regular insecticide sprays. Frequent scouting for spotted wing drosophila flies and larvae should be carried out in berry fields with ripening fruit. At this time, a seven-day spray schedule of an appropriate insecticide has been providing adequate control of the flies. (See the New England Small Fruit Management Guide for more information and details.) When populations increase, a more frequent spray schedule will be necessary to prevent infestations. 

 

Town

Spotted Wing  Drosophila weekly trap catch 8/15/16

Spotted Wing  Drosophila weekly trap catch 8/25/16

Limington*

405

972

Limerick

8

13

Springvale

17

48

Wells

31

41

Cape Elizabeth

23

71

Bowdoinham

41

43

Dresden

37

41

Freeport

2

13

Poland Spring

7

8

Mechanic Falls

3

17

Monmouth*

6

355

Fayette

19

20

Wales

3

1

*unsprayed planting

David T. Handley
Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist

Highmoor Farm                       Pest Management Office
P.O. Box 179                          491 College Avenue
Monmouth, ME  04259         Orono, ME  04473

207.933.2100                          1.800.287.0279

For more information on identifying spotted wing drosophila (SWD) and updates on populations in Maine, visit our SWD blog at https://extension.umaine.edu/highmoor/blog/tag/spotted-wing-drosophila/.

 

IPM Web Pages

Michigan State University:  http://www.ipm.msu.edu/invasive_species/spotted_wing_drosophila

Penn State University:  http://extension.psu.edu/pests/ipm/agriculture/fruits/spotted-wing-drosophila

University of New Hampshire:  http://extension.unh.edu/New-and-Invasive-Pests/Spotted-Wing-Drosophila-SWD

 

Where brand names or company names are used it is for the reader's information. No endorsement is implied nor is any discrimination intended against other products with similar ingredients. Always consult product labels for rates, application instructions and safety precautions. Users of these products assume all associated risks.

 

The University of Maine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

 

 



Pam St. Peter
Administrative Specialist II
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Maine Crop Insurance Education Program
Highmoor Farm
P.O. Box 179/52 US Route 202
Monmouth, ME  04259
Tel. 207.933.2100 X100
Fax 207.933.4647
Email:  pamela.stpeter@maine.edu
extension.umaine.edu/highmoor
umaine.edu/agriculture/maine-risk-management-and-crop-insurance-education-program

Eastern Maine Development - 08/26/2016

 

 
Upcoming Workshops For Your Business
Building and Maintaining Effective Websites
EMDC, 40 Harlow Street, Bangor

What is the purpose of your business website? Is it to sell products and services, generate leads, convert supporters to a cause, or educate and establish credentials? Your website is your most valuable online asset. It can help you build and grow your business if it is well designed and maintained. It can also have a counterproductive effect on your business if not built and managed properly. In this session we'll show you how to bolster your conversion rate and your brand.


 
Business Resource Night
The Mill at Dover-Foxcroft


Local, regional and state business resources will join in for an informal session, meeting with businesses, discussing the challenges small business owners face and the various resources that are there to support them. Economic development agencies, traditional and non-traditional lenders, SBA, Maine Procurement Technical Assistance and experts on subjects ranging from workforce training to starting and expanding your business will be in attendance.    
 


 
Introduction to Government Contracting
Katahdin Region Higher Education Center, East Millinocket
8:30am to 10:00am 
 
Learn the ropes of government contracting with Maine PTAC Counselor, Dana Delano as he explains what it takes to sell to the government. Small business owners looking to sell their products and services will learn how to register with the federal, state and local government, what the government is buying and much more!

 
 
Introduction to Government Contracting
Ellsworth City Hall, 1 City Hall Plaza, Ellsworth 
8:30am to 10:00am
 
Learn the ropes of government contracting with Maine PTAC Program Manager and counselor, Ken Bloch as he explains what it takes to sell to the government. Small business owners looking to sell their products and services will learn how to register with the federal, state and local government, what the government is buying and much more!




 
Flexible Financing Solutions
EMDC, 40 Harlow Street, Bangor
 
A panel discussion of the various ways to gain access to capital for your business. Learn how to locate funding for working capital, business acquisition, equipment purchases and more. Panel experts will provide you with practical tips and guidelines to help you with your next project. 
 
Presented by the following panel:
Glen Carter, Loan Officer EMDC
Matt Lewis, Maine Stream Financing
Tim Roach, The Principal
Jen Morin, Camden National Bank
Jim Pinneau, SBA


 
For a complete list of workshops this Fall, visit

 

www.EMDC.org/eventcalendar


 
 
Eastern Maine Development Corporation, 40 Harlow Street, Bangor, ME 04401

Spotted wing update - 08/13/2016

 This announcement is also posted with color pictures on the Highmoor Farm Spotted Wing Drosophila web blog at https://extension.umaine.edu/highmoor/spotted-wing-drosophila/, where you can subscribe to updates.

 

SPOTTED WING DROSOPHILA UPDATE:  AUGUST 10, 2016

 

David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist; James Dill, Pest Management Specialist; Frank Drummond, Professor of Insect Ecology/Entomology

 

Spotted wing drosophila populations continue to increase in numbers and distribution this week at most trapping sites. Hot, dry weather appears to be slowing drosophila activity for the moment but we expect numbers to rise when the cooler, more humid conditions they prefer become prevalent. Fly numbers are now over levels that call for immediate action in Limington, Limerick, Dresden, Fayette, Bowdoinham, and Buxton. Some inland sites, especially further north, are still catching few, if any flies, and berries there may not yet require protection. Scouting for spotted wing drosophila flies and larvae should continue frequently in berry fields with ripening fruit. A seven-day spray schedule of an appropriate insecticide should provide adequate control of the flies once adults or larvae are found in the planting. (See the New England Small Fruit Management Guide for more information and details.) Once temperatures cool down and rain moves into the state, populations will increase quickly and more frequent sprays may be necessary to prevent infestations. 

 

Town

Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 7/29/16

Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 8/4/16

Limington

83

125

Limerick

0

18

Springvale

3

2

Wells

1

1

Cape Elizabeth

0

0

Bowdoinham

17

24

Dresden

2

8

Freeport

3

1

Buxton

1

22

Mechanic Falls

0

2

Monmouth

0

0

Fayette

3

6

Wales

0

0

 

David T. Handley
Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist

Highmoor Farm                       Pest Management Office
P.O. Box 179                          491 College Avenue
Monmouth, ME  04259           Orono, ME  04473
207.933.2100                          1.800.287.0279

For more information on identifying spotted wing drosophila (SWD) and updates on populations in Maine, visit our SWD blog at https://extension.umaine.edu/highmoor/spotted-wing-drosophila/.

IPM Web Pages

Michigan State University:  http://www.ipm.msu.edu/invasive_species/spotted_wing_drosophila

Penn State University:  http://extension.psu.edu/pests/ipm/agriculture/fruits/spotted-wing-drosophila

University of New Hampshire:  http://extension.unh.edu/New-and-Invasive-Pests/Spotted-Wing-Drosophila-SWD

 

Where brand names or company names are used it is for the reader's information.  No endorsement is implied nor is any discrimination intended against other products with similar ingredients.  Always consult product labels for rates, application instructions and safety precautions.  Users of these products assume all associated risks.

 

The University of Maine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

 

 


Pam St. Peter
Administrative Specialist II
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Maine Crop Insurance Education Program
Highmoor Farm
P.O. Box 179/52 US Route 202
Monmouth, ME  04259
Tel. 207.933.2100 X100
Fax 207.933.4647
Email:  pamela.stpeter@maine.edu
extension.umaine.edu/highmoor
umaine.edu/agriculture/maine-risk-management-and-crop-insurance-education-program

Drosophila update 8/10 - 08/11/2016

 This announcement is also posted with color pictures on the Highmoor Farm Spotted Wing Drosophila web blog at https://extension.umaine.edu/highmoor/spotted-wing-drosophila/, where you can subscribe to updates.

 

SPOTTED WING DROSOPHILA UPDATE:  AUGUST 10, 2016

 

David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist; James Dill, Pest Management Specialist; Frank Drummond, Professor of Insect Ecology/Entomology

 

Spotted wing drosophila populations continue to increase in numbers and distribution this week at most trapping sites. Hot, dry weather appears to be slowing drosophila activity for the moment but we expect numbers to rise when the cooler, more humid conditions they prefer become prevalent. Fly numbers are now over levels that call for immediate action in Limington, Limerick, Dresden, Fayette, Bowdoinham, and Buxton. Some inland sites, especially further north, are still catching few, if any flies, and berries there may not yet require protection. Scouting for spotted wing drosophila flies and larvae should continue frequently in berry fields with ripening fruit. A seven-day spray schedule of an appropriate insecticide should provide adequate control of the flies once adults or larvae are found in the planting. (See the New England Small Fruit Management Guide for more information and details.) Once temperatures cool down and rain moves into the state, populations will increase quickly and more frequent sprays may be necessary to prevent infestations. 

 

Town

Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 7/29/16

Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 8/4/16

Limington

83

125

Limerick

0

18

Springvale

3

2

Wells

1

1

Cape Elizabeth

0

0

Bowdoinham

17

24

Dresden

2

8

Freeport

3

1

Buxton

1

22

Mechanic Falls

0

2

Monmouth

0

0

Fayette

3

6

Wales

0

0

 

David T. Handley
Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist

Highmoor Farm                       Pest Management Office
P.O. Box 179                          491 College Avenue
Monmouth, ME  04259           Orono, ME  04473
207.933.2100                          1.800.287.0279

For more information on identifying spotted wing drosophila (SWD) and updates on populations in Maine, visit our SWD blog at https://extension.umaine.edu/highmoor/spotted-wing-drosophila/.

IPM Web Pages

Michigan State University:  http://www.ipm.msu.edu/invasive_species/spotted_wing_drosophila

Penn State University:  http://extension.psu.edu/pests/ipm/agriculture/fruits/spotted-wing-drosophila

University of New Hampshire:  http://extension.unh.edu/New-and-Invasive-Pests/Spotted-Wing-Drosophila-SWD

 

Where brand names or company names are used it is for the reader's information.  No endorsement is implied nor is any discrimination intended against other products with similar ingredients.  Always consult product labels for rates, application instructions and safety precautions.  Users of these products assume all associated risks.

 

The University of Maine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

 

 


Pam St. Peter
Administrative Specialist II
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Maine Crop Insurance Education Program
Highmoor Farm
P.O. Box 179/52 US Route 202
Monmouth, ME  04259
Tel. 207.933.2100 X100
Fax 207.933.4647
Email:  pamela.stpeter@maine.edu
extension.umaine.edu/highmoor
umaine.edu/agriculture/maine-risk-management-and-crop-insurance-education-program

Drosophila alert july - 07/25/2016

 This announcement is also posted with color pictures on the Highmoor Farm Spotted Wing Drosophila web blog at https://extension.umaine.edu/highmoor/spotted-wing-drosophila/, where you can subscribe to updates.

 

SPOTTED WING DROSOPHILA ALERT: JULY 22, 2016

 

David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist; James Dill, Pest Management Specialist; Frank Drummond, Professor of Insect Ecology/Entomology

 

We have found a few spotted wing drosophila fruit flies in raspberry and highbush blueberry plantings in Maine over the past week, including single female flies in Limington and Freeport, and two female flies in traps in Buxton and Dresden. In addition, one to two flies have been caught in traps in wild blueberry fields in Hope, Union, Dresden, Washington, Rockland, Deblois, Columbia and Jonesboro. 

 

These are not yet damaging numbers. Research in Maine and other regions suggests that when 6 to 10 flies are caught in a yeast-baited trap in a week, larvae will start appearing in the fruit.

 

Spotted wing drosophila populations may start to build rapidly in the coming weeks as more food (fruit) becomes available for the flies, especially if conditions remain warm and we get some rain. Now is the time to set out traps, if you haven’t already. Start protective sprays on any berries that have begun to ripen, when more than four spotted wing drosophila flies are caught in a trap, or any larvae are noticed in the fruit. Look for fruit flies hovering around fruit and symptoms of premature fruit decay.

 

Other states in the northeast have been reporting steady, but very low trap catches over the past few weeks.  The lack of a build up of flies to date is thought to be a result of the very dry conditions affecting the region.  Research has shown that dry conditions and exposure reduce the number of eggs these insects will lay in the fruit.  This supports our recommendations to open up your berry plantings by pruning, especially low growth, as these insects favor dark, moist conditions, close to the ground. 

 

Based on what we know so far about this pest, here are six rules for managing spotted wing drosophila.

 

1.     Monitor for the flies with traps, and for the larvae in fruit.

2.     Spray regularly and often once flies have been found in the field (1-2/week).

3.     Harvest fruit regularly and often; do not leave any ripe/rotten fruit in the field.

4.     Sort fruit at harvest; do not leave any soft fruit in the container to be sold.

5.     Chill all fruit immediately after harvest to 38ºF (or as close as you can) for at least 12 hours to slow development of any eggs or larvae.

6.     Prune the planting to open up the canopy and create dry, light conditions.

 

Products that provide good control of drosophila on berry crops include spinosad (Radiant® for strawberries, Delegate® for raspberries and blueberries), Brigade®, Danitol®, malathion and Assail®. Research suggests that adding table sugar to group 4A insecticides, such as Assail®, may improve their effectiveness. The recommended rate would be 1-2 lbs. sugar per 100 gallons of spray. Please check product labels for rates, post-harvest intervals and safety precautions. Keeping fields clean of overripe and rotten fruit will also help reduce the incidence of this insect.


Characteristics of Insecticides for Spotted Wing Drosophila Control

Trade Name

Days to Harvest
Blueberry

Days of Residual

Assail®

1

5-7

Malathion

1

5-7

Mustang Max®

1

7

Bifenture®

1 (3 raspberry)

7

Brigade®

1 (3 raspberry)

7

Danitol®

3

7

Exirel®

3 (not for raspberry)

5-7

Delegate®

3 (1 raspberry)

7

Entrust®

3 (1 raspberry)

3-5

 

A Simple Monitoring Trap for Spotted Wing Drosophila:
The trap body is made from a 16 ounce red plastic cup (we use Solo Brand P16RLR). You’ll need one that has a tight fitting lid (we use Solo Brand 626TS). Using a 1/8” hole punch (available through art suppliers), punch about 15 holes in a row around the cup just under the lip about 1/2” apart. Leave about 2” of the diameter of the rim with no holes so that liquid can be poured in and out. Punch a second row of holes just under the first row, to give you a total of 30, 1/8” holes. Use a black permanent marker to paint a 1/2” wide black strip around the cup under the rim, right over the holes you punched. To support the trap, cut a wooden tomato stake down to about 30”. Attach a 4” or larger hose clamp near the top of the stake to act as a cup holder for the trap. (We just punched a hole in the metal band of the hose clamp and attached it to the stake with a flat-headed wood screw.) Place the trap holder in a shady, moist place in or near the fruit planting, with the cup height about 18” off the ground. Fill the trap with 4 to 6 ounces of apple cider vinegar, water + sugar + yeast, or whatever bait you prefer. It is best to add a few drops of unscented soap to break the surface tension of the liquid. Place the lid on the cup to keep rain and critters from getting in, and place the trap in the holder. Adjust the hose clamp so that the trap fits in snugly but the trap holes are not covered up. Empty and re-bait the trap every week. Do not pour out the old bait on the ground near the trap, as this will draw flies away from it.

 

For more information on identifying spotted wing drosophila (SWD) and updates on populations around the state, visit our SWD blog at:  http://umaine.edu/highmoor/blog/tag/spotted-wing-drosophila/.   

 

Other IPM Web Pages
Michigan State University:  http://www.ipm.msu.edu/invasive_species/spotted_wing_drosophila

Penn State University:  http://extension.psu.edu/pests/ipm/agriculture/fruits/spotted-wing-drosophila

University of New Hampshire:  http://extension.unh.edu/New-and-Invasive-Pests/Spotted-Wing-Drosophila-SWD

 

David T. Handley
Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist

 

Highmoor Farm                       Pest Management Office
P.O. Box 179                           491 College Avenue
Monmouth, ME 04259            Orono, ME 04473
207.933.2100                          1.800.287.0279

 

Where brand names or company names are used it is for the reader’s information. No endorsement is implied nor is any discrimination intended against other products with similar ingredients. Always consult product labels for rates, application instructions and safety precautions. Users of these products assume all associated risks.

 

The University of Maine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

 

 

Pam St. Peter
Administrative Specialist II
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Maine Crop Insurance Education Program
Highmoor Farm
P.O. Box 179/52 US Route 202
Monmouth, ME  04259

AG CLIPS - Christmas Tree Promotion Brd - 07/14/2016

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS IN JULY ...

Growing big Christmas tree sales in 2016

Christmas Tree Board to work with advertising agency Concept Farm

Through the years, the Concept Farmers and their clients have reaped a bumper crop of creative and efficacy accolades including Effie’s, Emmy’s and Cannes Lions, and were recently named Ad Age’s Northeast Small Agency of the Year. The Christmas tree Promotion Board will join a roster of impressive clients that include Aruba Tourism, The Empire State Building, and ESPN to name a few. (Courtesy photo)

WASHINGTON — The Christmas Tree Promotion Board recently conducted a comprehensive review to secure a marketing partner to develop and implement breakthrough strategies and tactics to deliver on its’ vision and mission. Their overwhelming choice was New York City-based Concept Farm, a highly decorated, strategically grounded advertising agency and digital production company who opened their “barn doors” in 1999, at the start of the digital marketing revolution.

Through the years, the Concept Farmers and their clients have reaped a bumper crop of creative and efficacy accolades including Effie’s, Emmy’s and Cannes Lions, and were recently named Ad Age’s Northeast Small Agency of the Year. The Christmas tree Promotion Board will join a roster of impressive clients that include Aruba Tourism, The Empire State Building, and ESPN to name a few.

Concept Farm is spearheaded by four 30-year advertising industry veterans who have the strategic rigor and creative vision to help drive awareness and results well beyond the CTPB’s budget. “We started Concept Farm to launch fresh ideas and nurture relationships with forward-thinking, like-minded partners”, said Concept Farm Partner, Gregg Wasiak. “We are thrilled to have made the cut with the CTPB. We believe in the product, we believe in the mission, and, of course, we believe in Farmers!”

Griffin Stenger, also a Concept Farm partner, recalls the pitch meeting. “With 12 real Farmers on the Board it was a bit tricky explaining what our agency was all about and how we think,” Griffin said. “We quickly connected with the CTPB team and our presentation turned into an actual work session. I guess you could say it was a perfect Farmer fit”

The challenge put forth to Concept Farm and the CTPB is to impact the sale of fresh cut Christmas trees in 2016 and build awareness for the referendum in 2017. While simply stated, the task at hand is not so easy. The Marketing team will need to do so in the “noisiest” time of the year with a budget that, while significant by CTPB measures, is dwarfed by the big marketing spenders looking to buy consumers’ attention around the holidays.

“That’s just the kind of challenge we farmers thrive on,” Wasiak said. Work has already begun on a highly integrated campaign. “Strategically, we have to connect the emotions people have about Christmas with the benefits of an inimitable real cut Christmas tree.” 

“Let’s face it, Christmas has become quite a commercial enterprise. Stores are changing over even before Halloween now. But the true Christmas experience is much richer. It’s the time we spent together with family and friends,” Stenger said. “And, at the center of it all, a fresh cut, real Christmas tree. Our work will strive to unearth that connection and remind people that there is a deeper meaning to Christmas.” Excitedly, Stenger added. “Now combine that with the intense desire Millennials have for authenticity and originality and you have a very compelling story!” 

Ray Mendez and John Gellos, Partners & Co-Creative Directors added some more context to the idea.

“Our campaign is designed to convey that deeper idea of ‘Christmas Tree Authenticity’ in a multitude of ways, through a multitude of channels. For some, Christmas is soft and lovely with a strong sense of tradition, for others it’s fun and exciting with parties, revelry and gift giving games,” Mendez said.

“Our core idea for fresh cut Christmas trees must ring loud and true, promote many-to-many sharing and create buzz. Based on thorough consumer research through focus groups and quantitative surveys, we will create a compelling brand positioning and story that will gain traction and buzz well beyond our paid media dollars,” Gellos said.

In terms of project status, from now through the end of July the campaign structure, communication channels, PR strategy and messaging is being refined. When the next Board Meeting of the CTPB takes place, a final approval will be given to begin executing the tactics and ideas. As the period leading up to and right after Thanksgiving is critical, the launch will take place before Thanksgiving and run through the week after New Year’s. “Just because season ends doesn’t mean our work does. There is education as to what to do with your fresh cut tree post-Christmas. Not to mention all the measurement and analytics follow up necessary to gauge our success,” Stenger said.

The Concept Farm team is a highly collaborative group and has cited deep interaction and feedback from the Christmas tree grower “experts” as critical to achieving success. Wasiak noted that it will be the collective passion for the fresh cut Christmas tree cause that will elevate the effort beyond a ‘campaign’ to a ‘movement.’ “We need to shout it from the tree tops” he said, “a real Christmas tree is as the center of an authentic Christmas!”

— Christmas Tree Promotion Board

For more articles concerning marketing, click here.

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Dept of ag news - 07/12/2016

 

July is National Ice Cream Month!

Did you know that July is national ice cream month? In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. 

 

Make sure to celebrate this month by visiting one of the many farms making this wonderful tasty treat! There are 47 farms listed on GRGM who make and sell ice cream. To find a farm near you visit: www.getrealmaine.com, and pick the category "Other Processed Products" under the Food, Farms and Forestry tab. 


Open Farm Day is Just Around the Corner!

Join the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry as we celebrate the 27th Annual Open Farm Day on Sunday, July 24th.  Open Farm Day is an annual family adventure in which farms throughout the State of Maine open their gates to offer the public an opportunity to learn and experience agriculture. For a full list of participating farms, visit: www.getrealmaine.com

 


Request for Presentations: Harvest New England Agricultural Marketing Conference and Trade Show

Presentations related to agricultural marketing are being sought for the 2017 Harvest New England Agricultural Marketing Conference and Trade Show. Sponsored by the six New England State Departments of Agriculture, this biennial conference began in 2007 and is New England’s premier agricultural marketing conference. Farmers of all types and sizes, new and established, from throughout New England, attend to enhance their marketing and business skills.

 

Topics/sessions should address the following as they relate to agricultural marketing.

 

  1. Social Media and Online Marketing 
  2. Business Planning, Accounting, Business Expansion, etc.
  3. Industry and Marketing Trends 
  4. Employee Relations, Personnel Management, Family Dynamics 
  5. Value Added Marketing, Product Development, Packaging, Commercial Kitchens 
  6. Retail Marketing*, Merchandizing*, Displays, Farm stands, Farmers Markets, CSA’s, etc.
  7. Wholesale Marketing, Selling to Supermarkets, Schools, Institutional Sales, Restaurants, etc.
  8. Agritourism, Culinary Tourism and PYO
  9. Commodity-Specific Marketing: fruits, vegetables, maple syrup, honey, greenhouse/nursery, floriculture, Christmas trees
  10. Food Safety/FSMA/Third Party Audits 
  11. Other topics will be welcomed so long as they relate to agricultural marketing and Business Planning

 

For full details and application instructions, see the attached RFP and application. All applications are due by August 5, 2016

 

Questions? Contact David Webber at david.webber@state.ma.us or 617-626-1754

 


2016 Summer Teacher's Institute

The 2016 Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Summer Teachers Institute will be held at The University Maine, Machias Campus on August 1 – 5 with 36 contact hours or 3.6 CEU's available for recertification. The week will start with curriculum sessions at the College focused on STEM, Nutrition and higher level thinking for students in regard to agriculture. The week-long workshop will include lessons, online resources and grant opportunities. All participants will leave with armloads of materials and megabytes of technology integrating agriculture into your classes from Pre K – 12th grade.

If you have interest in attending or want to learn more about this event, visit: http://www.agclassroom.org/me/programs/summer_inst.htm


USDA Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) grant deadline October 31st

Are you interested in learning how to access USDA Rural Development guaranteed loan or competitive grant funds for the purchase, installation and construction of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency projects?

 

 

 

 

Need Funding Assistance?

 

USDA Rural Development's Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) offers competitive grants for 25% of the total project costs of installing renewable energy systems (max. of $500,000 per project). The next deadline is October 31, 2016.

 

USDA Rural Development also offers guaranteed loans for up to 75% of the total project cost and loan amounts can range from $5,000 to $25 million. (25% of project costs must come from other sources.) Applications are accepted on an on-going basis throughout the year.

Browntail moth update - 06/24/2016

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Contact: Charlene Donahue, Forest Entomologist
(207) 287-2431 

PEST ALERT

I had a BROWNTAIL caterpillar infestation and now I have cocoons!

What to do: Use caution - cocoons are full of the hairs THAT CAN CAUSE A RASH. Remember that these hairs will persist until next year or longer.

If you want to remove the cocoons (different from the overwintering webs):

  • Wear protective clothing
  • Wet down cocoons before removing them

Pressure wash or scrape cocoons off structures or clip out of favorite plants:

  • Put a drop cloth under area to collect them
  • Let soak overnight in soapy water and compost or dispose in trash

Browntail caterpillars wander and form their cocoons anywhere in the area. Favorite places are:

 

  • Under the eaves on a building, on the underside of anything
  • In the leaves of any plant


Larvae forming cocoons under eaves
Larvae forming cocoons under eaves

Close up of two cocoons inside webbing – they look similar to spider egg sacs
Close up of two cocoons inside webbing – they look similar to spider egg sacs

Browntail cocoon inside leaves
Browntail cocoon inside leaves

A leaf removed to show the inside of a browntail cocoon – one or many pupae can be inside
A leaf removed to show the inside of a browntail cocoon – one or many pupae can be inside

Farm Page Update - 05/22/2016

Developing an Inventory of Agritourism Options in Maine

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Due to increased interests for agritourism information, get real. get Maine! is embarking on an effort to get a comprehensive inventory of what Maine has to offer in agritourism.

 

  • Does your farm offer a farm stand or store?
  • Do you offer pick-your-own crop options?
  • Do you offer seasonal activities like hiking or cross country skiing?
  • Are you available for tours or demonstrations?
  • Or do you fit any of the other nearly 30 agritourism categories listed on the get real. get maine! website?

 

Let us know by updating your individual listing on www.getrealmaine.com. Follow the steps below to update your agritourism information. While logged into your individual account that now includes a custom URL, update your listing with any new products or services you might be offering this year and take advantage of some of the new website features like adding your facebook link, adding pictures, further defining your customer market interests, or posting an upcoming event.

We will be using data from the getrealmaine.com agritourism activites selected by our members for exploring promotional opportunities. Enter your data by June 11th to help us capture the best inventory of agritourism activities in Maine.

 

Follow the Steps below to Update your Listing

1. Log into your listing at the top right hand side of the website or by selecting Free Membership. Once logged in click on the 'Modify Online Profile and Add Your Products' at the top of the Additional Information Box.

Step 1

 

2. Carefully review all the details included on the Modify Online Profile and add any new information that would be helpful to your customers in locating you in future searches.

Step 2

 

3. Add check marks to all your product and service offerings. The Agritourism attributes will be located in the first section of the product offering display. Click the box next to each attribute you want displayed on your public website listing.

Step 3

As always, if you have any problems navigating or locating items on www.getrealmaine.com  contact us at 207-287-3491 and we are happy to assist.

Forest Pest Updates - 05/21/2016

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Insect & Disease Conditions Update

May 20, 2016

A printer-friendly version of this report is available on-line from the Conditions Report Index.  

National Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week is always celebrated the week prior to Memorial Day weekend—the big kickoff to camping (and firewood travel) season across the nation.  It is set at this time to remind people that moving firewood long distances is no longer an acceptable practice.  In many cases, it is illegal.  Even though people are often aware of the reasons behind not moving firewood, many believe that their firewood is safe, so not part of the problem (Snell et al., 2014*).  Emerald ash borer is a great example, but only one of many, of why you should “buy it where you burn it.” We know that in Michigan, about 75% of outlying infestations of emerald ash borer were started because of the movement of infested firewood.  Others among the many in the ranks of forest pests that can move readily on firewood include oak wilt, brown spruce longhorned beetle, Asian longhorned beetle, winter moth and gypsy moth.   During this National Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week we ask that you join us in the effort to educate others about the reasons why leaving your firewood at home is so important.  We invite you to visit our firewood page for more information.  

 *From: Campers and Invasive Forest Pests in Northern New England

 

In this issue:


Insects

Browntail Moth Caterpillar

Browntail Moth (Euproctis chrysorrhoea 

Beware! 

Browntail moth caterpillars are feeding voraciously in coastal Maine and inland. The infestation is centered in the Bath/Brunswick (Sagadahoc/Cumberland Counties) but infested trees can be found from Kittery (York County) to Warren (Knox County) and inland to Turner (Androscoggin County) and Waterville (Kennebec County). The caterpillars are already stripping the trees of leaves in heavily infested areas and crawling across lawns, houses and cars to get to more food.

Photo: Browntail Moth (Euproctis chrysorrhoea) Note two orange spots on rear end. (Maine Forest Service)

 

 

The hairs from this caterpillar can cause a rash or respiratory distress in sensitive individuals. The hairs break off from the skins shed by the caterpillars. The hairs then blow in the wind or are stirred up by mowing, weedwacking, raking etc. Use caution when working outdoors in infested areas. 

Canadian pine scale, Matsucoccus macrocicatrices

Canadian Pine Scale (Matsucoccus macrocicatrices) – Samples of eastern white pine collected in T4 R11 WELS and T5 R11 WELS (Piscataquis County) for examination of pine leaf adelgid damage (see entry below) were found to also have what appear to be the overwintering cysts of Canadian pine scale.  Scales were found most commonly at branch nodes, but were also found on internodes.  One emerged adult was found on the samples.  This insect is generally thought to be of little significance from a tree-health perspective; although work is currently being done to understand more about its role in white pine dieback in southern states (for a recent MS thesis on the topic see:  https://getd.libs.uga.edu/pdfs/schulz_ashley_n_201508_ms.pdf).

Photo: Overwintering cyst (left) and emerged adult (right) believed to be species Matsucoccus macrocicatrices on eastern white pine.  (Maine Forest Service)

 

Eastern Tent Caterpillar Web

Eastern Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma americana) – The webs of eastern tent caterpillar are quite abundant this year, with many cherries and apples supporting numerous webs.  These webs usually originate in branch junctions.  They’ll be full of the frass of well-fed caterpillars and often the caterpillars themselves. If the webs are an aesthetic problem, the best way to manage them is to wind them around a forked stick in the cool hours of the morning or evening, thereby ensnaring the occupants.  You can relocate the webs to another host tree out of sight (they do feed generalist predators and other beneficial insects), soak them in a bucket of soapy water or dispose of them in a sealed plastic bag.  Be cautious in browntail territory not to confuse the webs of the two species and also because you will sometimes find browntail moth caterpillars snuggled in with their cousins in the safe haven of the eastern tent webs.  

Photo: Eastern tent caterpillar webs are often found in cherry and apple trees.  (Maine Forest Service)

 

Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) – All trap trees girdled in the spring of 2015 were negative for signs of emerald ash borer (EAB).  We are starting to girdle trees again this year to continue monitoring for EAB.  If you have an ash tree of any species over four inches diameter at 4.5 feet that you would be willing to sacrifice as a trap tree, please email Patti Roberts at patti.roberts@maine.gov with the subject line Trap Tree and we will help you create a trap tree. 

Six-spotted tiger beetle (Wikimedia)

This time of year the native six-spotted tiger beetle adult has made its first appearance across the state. These blocky, long-legged, metallic green beetles are often mistaken for EAB. Adult EAB have not emerged yet in this region. EAB adults emerge at 550 GDD or when the black locust bloom.  The Northeast Regional Climate Center includes Concord, NH on their webpage Growing Degree Day Accumulations to support the tracking of emerald ash borer emergence.  

 

Photo: The native, beneficial six-spotted tiger beetle, Cicindela sexguttata.  (Wikimedia commons)

 

Forest tent caterpillar

Forest Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria– Although a close relative of the eastern tent caterpillar the forest tent caterpillar does not make tents. It feeds on the buds and leaves of oak, poplar, maple, birch and other hardwoods in the spring. The number of moths in light traps were up from the usual level from South Berwick (York County) and Hope (Knox County) to Crystal (Aroostook County) and Topsfield (Washington County). Maine has not had an outbreak of forest tent in decades so this is one to watch. Caterpillars feed on the leaves and then mass together on the trunks of trees when they mature and are starting to look for places to pupate.

Photo: Forest Tent Caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria, on a maple leaf (Maine Forest Service)

 

Ground-Nesting Bees – Beginning in very early spring, solitary ground-dwelling bees emerge and become active. When they first emerge they are usually very active, with much flying around, mating, exploration and nest-building. As people increase their yard-work activities, they begin to notice the bees. All the activity by bees can look frightening. However solitary bees (one nest for each female, although you may have many nests in one area) are generally non-aggressive and must be severely harassed before they sting. The males often look aggressive while they fly around searching for a mate, but they can’t sting at all. This heightened activity persists for only a week or two, and then the bees are almost unnoticeable. Ground nesting bees are valuable pollinators.

Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) – Eggs are hatched or hatching for this pest in southern Maine.  Gypsy moth egg hatch was noted in Old Town (Penobscot County) on May 12th, egg hatch will progress north with the warming season. After hatching the larvae crawl towards the tops of host plants.  Many will put out a line of silk and be carried on air currents to new locations.  Gypsy moth is a pest to watch for in Maine—its populations occasionally outbreak and significant defoliation can occur.  The last gypsy moth epidemic in Maine ended in 2002, with more than 51,000 acres defoliated that year.  This pest first arrived in Maine around the turn of the last century, and it has not yet become established in the far northern Maine.  A map of the area currently known to have reproducing populations of Gypsy Moth is available on-line

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) – Hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) eggs were abundant in Camden (Knox County) last week.  Crawlers will have already emerged in warmer areas of the state.  Eggs and/or crawlers are more or less continuously present until late-July or early August.  These life-stages can be spread on items other than the host trees (clothing, equipment, pets, etc.).   

 

HWA is a quarantined pest.  All products may move freely within the quarantined area.  Roundwood products such as logs and pulp may be moved freely within Maine, but must be free from branches.  Material with branches, such as chips, moved outside the quarantine area must go to facilities with agreements to receive the material.  Quarantine regulations are slightly different in neighboring New Hampshire and Vermont.  

Pine leaf adelgid galls, bugwood.org

Pine Leaf Adelgid (Adelges pinifoliae) – Pine leaf adelgid damage visible during aerial survey was mapped on over 262, 000 acres in Piscataquis County last year.  Less severe damage extended beyond the area mapped.  2015 shoot growth was scant and significantly reduced compared to 2014 growth on samples collected in the Telos area this week. 2014 growth seemed to be most heavily colonized by the nymphs, which would indicate we should expect cone-like galls on current-year spruce growth (red and black) this year.  This is counter to what is in the literature, which reports galls in odd numbered years, so will be interesting to monitor.  Maine Forest Service Forest Inventory crews will help monitor the progression of this pest in the North Maine Woods this year during the course of their regular work in the area.  Others working in the affected area are encouraged to send reports of damage either to spruce or pine.  Bear in mind, samples may be needed to identify the causal agent.

Photo: Abnormally swollen shoots on spruce caused by pine leaf adelgid would be visible as the buds expand.  When the galls mature they resemble pine cones.  Unlike some other adelgid galls on spruce, these are not persistent on the branches, and most drop within the year they are formed. (W. Cranshaw, CSU, bugwood.org)

 

Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata) – Winter moth are feeding on leaves of oaks, apple, birch, blueberries, and other trees and shrubs. They are still tiny but expect to see increased defoliation over the next two weeks. The little green inch worms will then string down on silk to spin cocoons in the soil below the trees. There they will stay until December when the moths emerge to mate and lay eggs. DO NOT MOVE soilperennials, saplings etc. from under or near winter moth infested trees. You will be moving winter moth with the soil/plant material. The cocoons look like dirt. Nurseries that sell perennials often keep the potted plants under trees to shade them from the sun. These pots need to be protected from infestation by winter moth larvae dropping into them over the next 2-3 weeks. Winter moth is currently found along the coast from Kittery (York County) to Mount Desert Island (Hancock County).

 

If you see Swiss cheese-like defoliation (or worse) in other parts of Maine, please contact us. We are looking for Bruce spanworm infestations in particular but would be interested in other significant areas of defoliation as well.


Diseases and Injuries

Dothistroma Needle Blight (Dothistroma septosporum) – David Lambert with Cooperative Extension identified Dothistroma needle blight on Austrian Pine from samples collected in Turner (Androscoggin County).  Moisture control alone or in combination with fungicide applications to current-year foliage can help manage this disease in ornamental settings.  More information is available on-line.

White pine needle damage, Bethel, ME

White Pine Needle Diseases – One-year-old needles of white pines infected with any one of the several needle diseases prevalent during the past several years will begin to appear yellowish-brown to tan and start to be shed from affected trees within the next two weeks or so. The great majority of infections are caused by the brown spot fungus, Lecanosticta acicola (= Mycosphaerella dearnessii), but several other fungal pathogens may also be present.  Needle shedding is expected to be heaviest throughout the month of June, and should be largely completed by the first week in July.  Affected trees will appear thin in the crowns, as the current-season needles will not yet be fully expanded. 

 

In white pine stands that have a known history of several consecutive years of needle loss, manage carefully, and avoid thinning or other disturbance-related activities that could further weaken trees.  Current-season needles of ornamental white pines may be protected from infection with a foliar fungicide application of copper or chlorothalonil.  Applications should be made shortly after budbreak and again two weeks later, to protect the fully-elongated needles.

White pine needle disease infection levels appear to be highly regulated by wet weather; long periods of damp weather and high rainfall increase the probability of infection.  Although much of the growing season in 2015 was drier than in recent past, the month of June was wetter than normal.  2015 infection levels may remain similar to what has been seen in recent years or slightly abated.

Photo: Young white pine regeneration heavily infected with brown spot needle disease, Bethel, Maine on June 14, 2011.  (Maine Forest Service)

 

Winter drying injury on balsam fir.  L. Beauregard photo

Winter Drying Injury  Damage attributed to winter drying injury was reported in Old Town (Penobscot County).  The landowner reported scattered balsam fir with reddened 2015 growth.  Weather conditions were consistent with those reported to predispose trees to this type of damage, specifically winter thaws cause tissues to lose hardiness and become vulnerable to injury from subsequent freezing temperatures. 

Photo: Damaged balsam fir tips, Old Town, ME (Photo: L. Beauregard).

 

Calendar of Division and Related Events 

Spruce Budworm ForumWednesday, May 25thMallett Hall, Lee ME, 5-7pm.   Join Lee Academy Teacher Susan Linscott and her students for a forum on spruce budworm. Speakers will include Allison Kanoti, Forest Entomologist and Terri Coolong, District Forester, both from Maine Forest Service and Wildlife Biologist Barry Burgason from Huber Resources Corporation.


Conditions Report No. 2, 2016
On-line: http://maine.gov/dacf/mfs/publications/condition_reports.html
Department of Agriculture Conservation & Forestry
Maine Forest Service - Forest Health and Monitoring
Contributors: Charlene Donahue, Allison Kanoti, Colleen Teerling


Hairy Caterpillar Comparison Chart

Hairy caterpillar comparison chart, MFS

For more information: 

 


This email was sent to gmfishme@roadrunner.com using GovDelivery, on behalf of: Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry · 18 Elkins Lane, Harlow Building · Augusta, ME 04333 Powered by GovDelivery

Sustainable AG - 05/16/2016

Farmer Resources

 

 

The Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society is hosting the "Maine Sustainable Year-Round Agriculture Cluster Initiative: Design Open House" in Gorham (USM) and Buxton (Little River Flower Farm) from 12-5pm on Thursday, May 26th. Farmers, as well as business innovators in the agriculture, renewable energy, cleantech, composites and related fields are encouraged to attend.  

 

greenhouse

The Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society (MESAS) will be hosting a “Sustainable Year Round Agriculture Design Open House” on May 26th from 12-5PM in Gorham and Buxton. The two-part event will consist of a design round table at the 215 Bailey Hall at USM’s Gorham Campus, followed by a tour of a newly constructed ultra-efficient greenhouse at Little River Flower Farm in Buxton. The event marks the launch of an education and outreach series for the Sustainable Year-Round Agriculture Cluster Initiative that will consist of site visits, informational sessions and workshops for the general public, cleantech and agricultural innovators, and potential partners to the newly forming business cluster.

The SYRA Cluster Initiative is a growing coalition of Maine agriculture, energy, and composite industry representatives who have partnered with Maine farmers and research institutions to demonstrate the potential for financially and environmentally sustainable year-round crop production in Maine.

Part 1 of the Design Open House will take place from 12-3pm at 215 Bailey Hall at USM’s Gorham Campus. It will offer a forum for those interested in the Cluster Initiative by giving a project update and welcoming new voices at a round table discussion. Part 1 will also include a presentation by Tony Keiffer, the Founder and President of ArchSolar who will discuss the technical specifications of his companies’ integrated photovoltaic greenhouse designs and opportunities for Maine businesses.

Part 2 will take place from 3:30 to 5PM at 160 Turkey Lane in Buxton, the site of Little River Flower Farm and their newly constructed 45 x 140’ ultra-efficient greenhouse. Site tours of the farm and greenhouse will begin at 3:30 and owners Bruce and Nancy Stedman will discuss the design features of the new structure and what they mean for their 110-acre farm’s triple bottom line.

For more information, directions, and the event agenda, please visit the Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society's website (www.mesas.org) or for questions please contact: info@mesas.org.

USDA Broadband Grants - 04/19/2016

   

USDA Seeks Applications for Nearly $12 Million in Broadband Grants for Rural Communities

You are subscribed to USDA Office of Communications.

 

Release No. 0092.16
Contact:
Anne Mayberry (202)690-1756
 
USDA Seeks Applications for Nearly $12 Million in Broadband Grants for Rural Communities
 

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA is soliciting applications for grants to establish broadband in unserved rural communities through its Community Connect program. Community Connect is administered by USDA's Rural Utilities Service and helps to fund broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not economically viable for private sector providers to provide service.

"Through Community Connect and our other telecommunications programs, USDA helps to ensure that rural residents have access to broadband to run businesses, get the most from their education and benefit from the infinite services that fast, reliable broadband provides," Vilsack said. "USDA is committed to supporting America's rural communities through targeted investments in our bioeconomy and renewable energy, local and regional food systems, conservation initiatives and rural development."

USDA plans to award up to $11.7 million in grants through the Community Connect grant program. The grants fund broadband infrastructure to help foster economic growth by delivering connectivity to the global marketplace. The grants also fund broadband for community centers and public institutions.

USDA has invested $160 million in more than 240 projects to bring broadband to unserved rural communities since the Community Connect Program was created in 2002.

In 2009, the Wichita Online telecommunications company in Cooperton, Okla., received a Community Connect grant to build a community center with computers. The center serves as an Internet library for local residents and is used by several government agencies. The sheriff's office and volunteer fire department coordinate their public safety, fire protection and other emergency services from the center. During harvest season, many farmworkers use the computers to communicate with their family members far away. Cooperton is a farming and ranching community between the Slick Hills and Wichita Mountains in Southwest Oklahoma.

The minimum grant is $100,000 for FY 2016. The maximum award is $3 million. USDA announced new rules in 2013 to better target Community Connect grants to areas where they are needed the most. To view the rules, go to https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-04-18/pdf/2016-08931.pdf

Prior Community Connect grants cannot be renewed. However, existing Community Connect awardees may submit applications for new projects, which USDA will evaluate as new applications.

For more information on how to apply for grants, see page 22567 of the April 18, 2016 Federal Register.

This Community Connect round builds on USDA's historic investments in rural America over the past seven years. Since 2009, USDA has worked to strengthen and support rural communities and American agriculture, an industry that supports one in 11 American jobs, provides American consumers with more than 80 percent of the food we consume, ensures that Americans spend less of their paychecks at the grocery store than most people in other countries, and supports markets for homegrown renewable energy and materials. USDA has provided $5.6 billion of disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; expanded risk management tools with products like to Whole Farm Revenue Protection; helped farm businesses grow with $36 billion in farm credit; provided $4.32 billion in critical agricultural research; established innovative public-private conservation partnerships such as the Regional Conservation Partnership Program; developed new markets for rural-made products, including more than 2,500 biobased products through USDA's BioPreferred program; and invested $64 billion in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America.

Since 2009, USDA Rural Development (#USDARD) has invested $11 billion to start or expand 103,000 rural businesses; helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes; funded nearly 7,000 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; financed 180,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines; and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/results.

#

 

LD1481 - 04/12/2016

 

We need members to call their Legislator about supporting off road fuel tax exemption!
CALL TO ACTION
We need our members to come together and call their Legislators to receive the tax break they deserve
Your voice is important in get this bill passed

State House phone numbers can be found here. Just calling one Legislator could make the difference for all farmers across the state.

LD 1481
 
An Act to Protect Maine's Natural Resources Jobs by 
Exempting from Sales Tax
Petroleum Products Used in Commercial Farming, Fishing and Forestry
sponsored by Senator Paul Davis
 
Farm Bureau Co Sponsored this bill with the Professional Logging Contractors
Key Points:
  • Farmers and other natural resource industries need and deserve the same tax exemption on fuel that fishermen already enjoy. 
 
  • LD 1481 would help the 8,200 farms across Maine become more financially sustainable.  Maine farmers only average a net cash farm income of $20,141 annually. This tax exemption has the potential to increase the success rate of farms in Maine.
 
  • This tax puts Maine farmers at a competitive disadvantage because New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts do not charge sales tax on off-highway diesel fuel.
 
  • Exempting fuel used in tractors and similar farm equipment will provide much needed help to Maine farmers as they seek to provide healthy, local food while preserving the open space culture of Maine. 
Please do not hesitate to call me.

Alicyn Smart

Fuel Tax Bill - 04/05/2016

 

 

CALL TO ACTION

We need farmers at tomorrows

Press Conference for our off road fuel tax exemption bill

 

Where: The Welcome Center, located on the first floor of the State House, next to Security

We need our farmers to show their support and stand with us while we talk about the need for the bill. If you have any questions, please call me at 207.530.7052.

 

The bigger the turnout the more impact

LD 1481

 

An Act to Protect Maine's Natural Resources Jobs by 

Exempting from Sales Tax

Petroleum Products Used in Commercial Farming, Fishing and Forestry

sponsored by Senator Paul Davis

 

Farm Bureau Co Sponsored this bill with the Professional Logging Contractors

Spruce Bud worm Dept of AG - 03/17/2016

 http://www.maine.gov/dacf/

Emerald ash borer - 07/30/2014

Sent: Monday, July 28, 2014 3:55 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: Fwd: FW: emerald ash borer

 
I hope you all are continuing to talk with people about the search for the invasive pests in our trees here in Maine. We seem to be focused this year on emerald ash borer, which is understandable since we continue to hear of new discoveries of its locations in our neighboring states of NH and MA.
Colleen Teerling, MFS Forest Entomologist, sent me the link to this very interesting article covering recent research in Michigan on the original point of eab colonization in North America. The article is in Sunday's Lansing State Journal and is written by Matthew Miller.

 
Don't forget about Asian longhorned beetle which is also very close and well established in Worcester County, MA, and is emerging now - if it's here in Maine.

 
I am currently deep in recording outreach events for this year's grant including # of contacts, displays, presentations, chats and talks by you folks in the field. If you have been doing anything to spread the word on the threat of the beetles in Maine between now and the past September of 2013, could you please drop me a brief email with general information including "round about" dates, to whom, town, and approximate number of contacts made? This would include any way you have been able to contribute to the information flow. It's very important and if you could just drop me a note right now....I would be very grateful.

 
And if you need any outreach information, let me know and we'll get it in the mail to you pronto.
 

 
Thanks for all you are doing to educate people in Maine about the invasive pests.

 
Cheers,
Lorraine
 


Lorraine Taft
Forest Pest Outreach Project
 
Coordinator
 
207-832-6241
 

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: 7/24/14 to Growers - 07/30/2014

 

SPOTTED WING DROSOPHILA UPDATE: 7/24/2014
David Handley, Vegetable& Small Fruit Specialist; James Dill, Pest Management Specialist; Frank Drummond, Professor of Insect Ecology/Entomology
Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) captures continue to be low this week. Single female flies were caught in traps in Buxton, Turner and Thorndike this week. A single male SWD was caught in Turner. We also have reports of flies being caught in New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York, but also in relatively low numbers.
We expect populations to start to build rapidly in the coming weeks as more food (fruit) becomes available for the flies, especially if conditions remain warm and humid. Now is the time to set out traps, if you haven’t already. Start protective sprays on any berries that have begun to ripen once more than one spotted wing drosophila is caught in a trap, or any larvae are noticed in the fruit. Look for fruit flies hovering around fruit and symptoms of premature fruit decay.
Last year, populations did not reach damaging levels until late August; but weather conditions can alter how quickly the flies will build up. Frequently repeated insecticide sprays (1 to 3 times per week) are often needed to prevent infestations once the insect is present in a field. Products that provide good control of drosophila on berries include Delegate®, Brigade®, Bifenture®, Danitol®, Mustang Max®, malathion and Assail®. Research suggests that adding table sugar to group 4A insecticides, such as Assail®, may improve their effectiveness. The recommended rate would be 1-2 lbs. sugar per 100 gallons of spray. Please check product labels for rates, post-harvest intervals and safety precautions. Keeping the fields clean of over-ripe and rotten fruit can also help reduce the incidence of this insect.

There is a good fact sheet series on management of spotted wing drosophila from Penn State Extension at: http://extension.psu.edu/plants/vegetable-fruit/fact-sheets/spotted-wing-drosophila-1.

David T. Handley
Vegetable & Small Fruit Specialist
Highmoor Farm Pest Management Office
P.O. Box 179 491 College Avenue

Monmouth, ME 04259 Orono, ME 04473
207.933.2100 1.800.287.0279
IPM Web Pages:

http://www.umass.edu/umext/ipm/

Air Temperature Inversions -Pesticide Application - 06/13/2014


Download and Read Full Article

Forest & Shade Tree - Insect & Disease Conditions - 05/19/2014

 

Conditions Report No. 2, 2014 -- Access the on-line version now at: http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/forest_health/documents/condition_reports/2014/cond_2014_2.htm.
Department of Agriculture Conservation & Forestry
Maine Forest Service - Forest Health and Monitoring
Contributors: Charlene Donahue, Allison Kanoti, William Ostrofsky, Jan Santerre (Forest Policy and Management), Colleen Teerling

Forest & Shade Tree - Insect & Disease Conditions for Maine
May 14, 2014
 
In Memoriam: Douglas A. Stark
 
Douglas A. Stark, formerly a Forest Pathologist with the Maine Forest Service, passed away on April 18, 2014. Doug?s career with the Maine Forest Service spanned 32 years, from 1956 to 1988. His initial work here was focused on monitoring the spread of Dutch elm disease and on publicizing disease management protocols. Dutch elm disease was just starting to decimate the native elm populations in Maine?s cities, towns, and forests during the late 1950?s and early 1960?s, and Doug?s expertise was greatly appreciated by many town tree boards, municipalities, and private citizens. Doug was also a very passionate and well-respected authority on white pine blister rust. He was instrumental in advocating for the continuance of quarantine procedures for exclusion and removal ofRibes plants (currants and gooseberries), the primary hosts of the disease. These efforts have protected the valuable white pine resource in an economically efficient manner for the past several decades. The value of this work is especially appreciated now, as a new strain of the blister rust pathogen can now infect commercial cultivars of Ribes previously immune to the disease. A great deal of his time was also spent on spruce budworm management and control operations during the large epidemic of the 1970?s. Doug was heavily involved in chestnut restoration efforts in Maine, locating residual survivors on the landscape and working with others on the restoration efforts which are now coming to fruition. Doug is remembered as a wonderful teacher and mentor, an expert tree disease diagnostician, and a meticulous recorder of field observations of tree and forest health and general forest conditions. He always presented a courteous and professional manner to clientele and co-worker alike, and was a friend we shall all miss.
Arbor Week?Ash Tree Tagging Update
This year Arbor Week coincides with Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week: May 18-24, 2014. Maine?s Project Canopy and Forest Pest Outreach Program are encouraging people around the state to include an ash tree tagging event as part of their community celebrations of trees during the week. To date the communities of Bath, Farmington, Kennebunkport, Portland and Yarmouth are participating in Ash Tree Tagging. If you are interested in participating in this program, or want more information about Arbor Week in Maine, contact Jan Santerre at 207-287-4987 or jan.santerre@maine.gov.
Staff Additions
 
Introductions to Josie Lahey, Patti Roberts and Julie Churchill are overdue.
Josie joined our group in January and graduated from USM last weekend! She has been working nearly full time here, while finishing up a chemistry class at the university. Josie fills the position left vacant when Bill Urquhart passed away last July. She has taken several entomology-themed courses while at USM, as well as worked on a sawfly project under Dr. Joseph Staples and volunteered at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute Vector Borne Disease Lab working with everyone?s favorite disease vectors (ticks and mosquitoes). Josie has been working on browntail moth, emerald ash borer, the insect collection and website projects.
Patti fills the position left vacant when Jean Maheux retired in December 2011. Jean had already left her desk at 50 Hospital Street years before retirement and had been working out of the Maine Forest Service office in Harlow. Patti brings an office assistant?s presence back to the lab at least one day a week?if you?d like to welcome her as part of your insect or disease inquiry, call on a Monday! Patti has taken everything we?ve thrown at her in stride?storing her lunch alongside entomology and pathology samples in the fridge, gamely counting the carpenter ants she squashes (even those bold enough to venture across her desk), handling contracts (and negotiating for us), and properly stowing browntail moth webs and pole pruners. We?re impressed by her enthusiasm, and think you will be too.
Julie is returning for a second summer, but 2013 being what it was, was not introduced last year. She will be assisting with insect and disease survey this summer. Last year she primarily worked on emerald ash borer detection surveys, and spent some time assisting the forest inventory program as well. Julie is a forestry student at the University of Maine in Orono.
Insects
 
Browntail Moth(Euproctis chrysorrhoea) ? Browntail moth populations are starting to rise again in parts of Topsham, Bowdoinham, Bath and West Bath (Sagadahoc County) and Brunswick and Freeport (Cumberland County). Isolated populations of these insects can be found scattered throughout the midcoast and inland to Turner (Androscoggin County) and Vassalboro (Kennebec County).
The larvae have been active since the end of April and can be found feeding on newly emerging foliage.
Browntail moth larvae feed on the emerging foliage of oak, apple, birch, cherry, hawthorn, rose and other hardwoods. They emerge from their overwintering webs starting the end of April, even before the buds have broken. They continue to feed on leaves and molt their hairy skins through June when they pupate leaving their last hairy skin behind. Besides defoliating trees and causing branch dieback and tree mortality, all those hairs make many people itch.
Pruning out webs and destroying them (drop them in soapy water) may eliminate the problem if all the webs are within reach. Clipping should be completed by the end of April and insecticide applications (if warranted) should be made during the month of May by a registered pesticide applicator. There are specific regulations for controlling browntail moth near coastal waters. Be sure to check on the current Board of Pesticide Control regulations before treatment.
Christmas Tree Pests ? The season to treat for balsam twig aphid is upon us in southern Maine. In far Northern Maine you may still have time to treat for balsam shootboring sawfly, but that window will soon close. If you have damaging levels of balsam gall midge, you need to monitor your fir for appropriate development to time treatment of the pest. For some growers treatments will need to occur before the first of June. See the attached May Guide for Pest Management for more information.
If you?ll be using Diazinon AG500 or AG600 for management of Christmas tree pests, be sure to have the supplemental labels on hand. If you plan to use Diazinon 50W, the balsam fir use in Maine has been written in to the new Section 3 label. You can find the labels at the links below, or if you need a hard copy you can contact us.
DIAZINON AG500,EPA Reg. No. 66222-9, SUPPLEMENTAL DIRECTIONS FOR USE ON BALSAM FIR IN MAINE ONLY, http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/archive/documents/66222-9DiazinonAG500MESupplabelissued10-11-11.pdf
DIAZINON AG600,EPA Reg. No. 66222-103-34704, SUPPLEMENTAL LABELING FOR INSECT CONTROL ON ORNAMENTALS GROWN OUTDOORS IN NURSERIES: BALSAM FIR/MAINE ONLY, http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/archive/documents/66222-103-34704DiazinonAG600WBCSupplementalLabelforBalsamFirinMaineOnly.pdf
Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis)? All 34 girdled trap trees last year were negative for signs of emerald ash borer (EAB). We are starting to girdle trees again this year to continue monitoring for EAB. If you have an ash tree of any species over four inches DBH that you would be willing to sacrifice as a trap tree, please email Colleen Teerling at colleen.teerling@maine.gov.. We are also placing over 600 purple traps throughout the state this year to monitor for EAB. As always, remember to watch for ?blonding?: woodpecker feeding on ash trees that might indicate the presence of EAB.
Ground-Nesting Bees ? This is the time of year when solitary ground-dwelling bees emerge and become active. When they first emerge they are usually very active, with much flying around, mating, exploration and nest-building. All this activity by bees can look rather frightening. However solitary bees (one nest for each female, although you may have many nests in one area) are generally non-aggressive and must be severely harassed before they sting. The males often look aggressive while they fly around searching for a mate, but they can?t sting at all. This heightened activity persists for only a week or two, and then the bees are almost unnoticeable. Ground nesting bees are valuable pollinators.
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) ? Detections of hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) continue to march inland and eastward. UNH graduate student/USDA Forest Service intern Justin Williams successfully found HWA in Lebanon and Sanford (York County) using remote sensing to identify stressed hemlock. Ground checks revealed low-level infestations at the two identified sites. Adelgid was also found in Friendship and Owls Head (Knox County) during Maine Forest Service detection surveys. For those of you keeping track, that brings us to 42 towns in 5 counties with HWA detections in the forest since the first forest detection 10.75 years ago (see chart).
The detection in Owls Head was adjacent to a 2002 Sasajiscymnus tsugae beetle release on balsam woolly adelgid. Sampling of hemlock woolly adelgid infested trees did not result in beetle recoveries. This is expected.
HWA development has been delayed by the cool spring. Eggs were not present during a mid-April check in Harpswell (Cumberland County), but oviposition had begun by late-April.
Trees in Harpswell have shown a rapid progression of infestation (from undetectable to ?plastered? in a couple of years). Some of the most severe decline also has been observed in this area as well as on other coastal peninsulas and islands. These locations seem to have a combination of climate and soils (or lack thereof) that contributes to a more rapid buildup of the insect and decline of the host than has been observed in southern York County.
Ichneumon Wasp Cocoon ? A hemlock sample collected due to scale concerns revealed no scale?the suspect marks were wounds in the needle tissue?but did have a beautiful reminder of the many insects working in beneficial roles in our forests. Eisman and Charney, in Tracks and Signs of Insects and other Invertebrates (2010), identify these ?Easter egg? cocoons as structures created by ichneumon wasps in the Campopleginae subfamily. If you?re like me, once you see a picture of one, you?ll notice them everywhere you go in the woods.
Most wasps in this group are parasites of caterpillars. This is the case of the one submitted on the hemlock sample, the head capsule of the host, visible in the photo, was clearly ?caterpillar.? To see a nice summary of the subfamily and a reminder of the specialized languages of biology visit the bugguide page:http://bugguide.net/node/view/21674.
The sample is hanging on my bulletin board. Maybe someday it will produce an adult wasp. However, it may not be the same species as spun the cocoon (see Eisman?s blog post from 2012 to find out more: http://bugtracks.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/campoplegines-part-1/).
Oak Gall Wasps ? As we wrapped up writing of the last issue of the Conditions Report one of our subscribers walked in with a sample of gouty oak gall caused by Callirhytis quercuspunctata. The authors of the USFS oak pest guide count this among more than 600 insects that cause galls on oaks in the United States! (http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/foresthealth/pubs/oakpests/contents.html)
Most oak gall wasps do not cause significant damage to their host tree. C. quercuspunctata is among the exceptions. In some cases it can have a significant impact even contributing to tree mortality. Usually damage is light and with significant damage, effective controls are not available. Management can include pruning affected twigs before adult wasp emergence and removing heavily impacted hosts. Natural controls include other insects and, as is evident in the photo, larger animals as well.
In eastern Massachusetts forest health workers, entomologists, arborists and others are puzzling over the outbreak of a cynipid gall wasp, causing widespread defoliation and branch dieback as well as some tree mortality. Although this has been tentatively identified as the same species that caused oak decline in Long Island in the 1990?s, the crypt gall wasp (Bassettia ceropteroides), so little is known of the group that this identity is not certain. However, this is certainly a wasp (whatever its name is!) to be on the lookout for in Maine?s coastal oaks.
Six Spotted Tiger Beetles (Cicindela sexguttata)?In southern Maine tiger beetle adults are becoming active. Their brilliant green coloration fools even those educated about EAB. A closer look, however and people notice the body shape is off (blockier with a ?neck? and ?head? visible), their legs are too long, and ?Holy Cow!? look at the size of those jaws!
The folks at Fairfax County Virginia Public Schools point out another key feature of the tiger beetle that can help you discriminate between it and EAB, ?Adult beetles are fast runners and fliers. When they fly, they usually stay within three feet of the ground.? You would not expect to find EAB adults consistently hanging out at ground level?or running very much. You can see some great pictures and a description of the beetle?s ecology at their site: http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/six-spotted_tiger_beetle..htm
Spruce Beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) ? Spruce beetle was reported from Sanford (York County) in ornamental Colorado blue spruce. A site visit was not made, but it is assumed that the trees had been subject to severe defoliation by Rhizosphaera needlecast. The severe impact of years of needlecast disease on landscape blue spruce, large and small, is visible throughout Maine. Consider removing large declining trees which are fodder for spruce beetle and other secondary organisms.
Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata) ? Winter moth larvae started emerging the last week of April and are feeding on oak, apple, maple, birch, blueberry and other deciduous trees and shrubs. As of this week larval counts in Harpswell, Cape Elizabeth, Kittery and South Portland indicate that the December snow and cold apparently did not reduce the populations significantly over last year. This, despite the fact that there was only one large moth flight night in 2013 versus nine nights in 2012. Expect heavy defoliation in areas that were hit by winter moth last year and more damage in surrounding areas as well: along the coast from Kittery to Rockland.
Winter moth larvae are small green inchworms that hatch in early spring and initially put out silk to ?balloon? on the wind dispersing to more hosts. They then feed first on the buds, webbing the new leaves together. As the leaves expand the feeding damage takes on the appearance of Swiss cheese and then the larvae consume all the foliage as the infestation progresses. Larvae will move to other hosts as they consume all the foliage on a tree. Feeding is completed in early June when the larvae ?silk down? to the ground where they form cocoons and stay all summer and fall. The adults emerge from the ground in late November and December.
The Maine Forest Service will be releasing the parasitic flies, Cyzenis albicans, for a second year in conjunction with the University of Massachusetts and funded by the USDA.
The first question people always ask about this biocontrol is, ?Will the flies bother anything else (like people)?? The answer is no. This species was released in Nova Scotia in the 1960?s, brought the winter moth population under control and there have been no adverse effects in the intervening 50 years. Flies were also released in British Columbia, again with no impacts on other insects or people. The flies are very closely tied to the winter moth life cycle and need winter moth to survive. There will always be some winter moth around now that they have become established in Maine, but hopefully the flies, once established, will do their job and bring the winter moth population under control in a few years.
It will be years before we see the results of the biocontrol effort as it takes time for the flies to become acclimated to a new location and build up their population to a high enough level that it will have a noticeable impact on the winter moth population. In the meantime people will see defoliation on hardwood trees and shrubs in May. With luck this will not have an adverse effect on the trees before the parasite population catches up to the winter moth population and brings them into balance in Maine.
Critical Information:
A concern is spreading the winter moth further. Larvae disperse to some extent by ballooning to nearby locations. But humans are probably a far greater factor in moving this insect than natural spread. Winter moth cocoons are in the soil from late May until November. Any landscape plants moved from infested areas can have winter moth in the soil. Don?t move plants from areas infested with winter moth. This includes treesaplings that are dug in the spring as they will have eggs and/or larvae on them.
Please report any hardwood defoliation this spring so that we can check out which insect is feeding on the trees. Winter moth particularly favor oak, but feed on a wide range of other hardwoods as well. The feeding makes leaves looks like Swiss cheese.
For more information go to: www.maine.gov/forestpests#wm.
Diseases and Injuries
Hardwood Anthracnose Diseases- The period between mid-May and early June is the most effective time to apply protectant fungicides for the prevention of anthracnose diseases of hardwoods. Anthracnose diseases cause irregular tan or brown spots or blotches on leaves, sometimes followed by curling and cupping of severely affected leaves and premature defoliation. Disease occurrence and severity varies from year to year, and is largely driven by extended periods of wet weather, including rain, fog, or even extended cloudy periods where foliage does not have the opportunity to dry. Maples, ashes, and especially oaks have been affected in recent past years. Although anthracnose diseases rarely result in long-term damage, if ornamental trees have been severely affected for several consecutive years fungicide protection is a reasonable consideration to preserve tree health. There is a wide variety of trade names for recommended fungicides for anthracnose diseases. Most available materials contain one of the following active ingredients: chlorothalonil, copper (copper sulfate), manganese or zinc.
Spruce Needlecast(Rhizosphaera kalkhoffii) - Spruce needlecast continues to cause widespread and serious injury to white and Colorado blue spruces throughout the state. Prolonged infections have resulted in severe dieback and mortality in ornamental and roadside plantings. Applications of protectant fungicides (chlorothalonil or copper-based) to current-season needles will protect the new foliage, but will not help needles already infected. Fungicides need to be applied just after budbreak ( after the new buds lose the protective bud scale sheath in late May or early June), and again about two weeks later, when the needles are nearly full-grown.
White Pine Blister Rust (Cronartium ribicola) - Branch and stem infections on eastern white pine caused by the pathogen Cronartium ribicola are now producing the ?blister? stage of the disease. Orange to orange-yellow or cream-colored spore masses are easy to detect at this time of year. Pruning infected branches can prevent the fungus from reaching the main stem and killing infected trees. The removal of branch cankers is especially effective on younger, sapling-sized trees. Active cankers on the main stem are very difficult to contain, and nearly always result in tree mortality.
The pathogen alternates its life stages between species of Ribes (currants and gooseberries) and eastern white pine. The spores (aeciospores) being produced on the pine in spring can only infect leaves of Ribes spp. Native Ribesspecies should be removed from within 900 to 1000 feet of white pine plantations or stands to provide protection from infection. Introduced and commercially-grown species of Ribes are prohibited throughout the state by white quarantine regulations. For more specific information on the quarantine, please refer to: http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/forest_health/quarantine_information.html#wpbr.
White Pine Needle Diseases- For the past several years, white pines have been affected by several needle disease fungi that result in heavy shedding of one-year-old needles during the month of June (see http://na.fs.fed.us/pubs/palerts/white_pine/eastern_white_pine.pdf). Last year, the spring and early summer months again saw above-average rainfall, with extended wet periods, conditions which are highly favorable to needle infection. The probability for significant needle loss this year therefore, remains very high.
Because this disease complex and the severity with which it is progressing appears to be a relatively new phenomenon to the New England states, management options for affected forest stands have not yet been tested. However, the current recommendation remains to exercise extreme caution when prescribing or conducting thinning operations. Thinning may help to improve air-flow and drying of the foliage, and thereby reduce needle infection in relatively healthy stands. Thinning in stands that have been stressed (with heavy needle loss or from other factors) for several consecutive years will be a significant health risk. Similarly, stands with pines showing a ?tufted? appearance of branch foliage, or showing recent branch shedding and loss of lower limbs are stands low in vigor. In these stands, thinning is likely to be an increased stress and could result in further stand decline and residual tree mortality.
Winter Injury - Numerous cases of winter injury on Rhododendrons have been sent to the Lab in the past few weeks. Winter injury can be caused by any one of three general conditions; foliage desiccation, rapid temperature drops and low temperatures over an extended period of time. The temperatures through the winter season were lower than normal. However, in most areas they did not reach the extreme lows nor did rapid temperature drops occur which would result in severe winter injury. Rather, it was likely the extended periods of low temperatures that caused the extensive winter damage. Also observed was a wide variation in the response of particular individuals, with some plants heavily damaged while neighboring plants were left relatively untouched. Much of this variation is attributed to the specific cultivars (refer to the Univ. Vermont study at http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JARS/v38n2/v38n2-pellett.htm).
Several growers were concerned that the winter injury may have been infection by a serious root disease,Phytophthora ramorum. The symptoms may appear similar at first glance with leaves curling inwards, drying and dying. However, the dark staining in the woody stem tissue associated with P. ramorum infection will be absent in winter-killed stems. In addition, the symptoms ofP. ramorum infection will likely first be noticed later during the growing season, and not in late winter and early spring. Finally, be aware that P. ramorum has not yet been established in Maine, even though some infected plant materials were discovered and eradicated from the state several years ago.
New Resource Now Available- UMass Extension's Professional Management Guide for Diseases of Trees and Shrubs has been freshly revised and updated for 2014, and is now available online. Most of the disease pathogens known to be pests of woody ornamentals in the Northeast region are covered in this guide. Included is host plant information, along with appropriate fungicides, bactericides, biological control materials, and cultural management information where applicable. Go to http://extension.umass.edu/landscape/diseaseguideto access the Guide right now!
PLEASE SEE THE WEB VERSION OF THE REPORT FOR PICTURES OF THE CONDITIONS DISCUSSES ABOVE AS WELL AS THE MAY GUIDE TO PEST MANAGEMENT in MAINE:

MFS_conditions_reports is a seasonal series of updates about insects and diseases affecting and threatening Maine's forest and shade trees. Several issues are produced each growing season with the first usually appearing in mid-to late-April and the last in late- summer. To unsubscribe or manage your subscription visit: http://mailman.informe.org/mailman/listinfo/mfs_conditions_reports
For more information on MFS programs, services, and publications, call the Maine Forest Service at 207-287-2791, or 1-800-367-0223, or send an email to forestinfo@maine.gov. Visit our website at www.maineforestservice.gov.

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