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Potato wart found in two P.E.I. fields | The Guardian


PEI SEED POTATO EXPORTS TO USA SHUT DOWN AFTER DISCOVERY OF ‘POTATO WART’ (AGAIN). In another reminder that it’s important to remain ever vigilant in sourcing vegetatively propagated seed potatoes, ‘Potato Wart’ (A soil-borne fungus, Synchytrium endobioticum) has been found in two fields on Prince Edward Island, Canada. As a result CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) has stopped PEI seed potato exports to the U.S. and has initiated soil control measures in an effort to try and eradicate Potato Wart on PEI through extensive testing and quarantine protocols.
According to Dr. Steve Johnston, longtime UMO plant pathologist stationed at the Aroostook Potato Experiment Station in Presque Isle, “Potato wart was once the most serious disease of potato before the spread of the pathogen and subsequent disease was controlled by quarantines.”
Potato Wart was discovered on PEI in 2000 and again in 2014. The spores of Potato Wart are long-lived and they can remain viable in soil for 40 years.
Potato wart was first described in Hungary in 1896. It was discovered for the first time in North America in Newfoundland in 1909. In 1912 the U.S. Federal Horticulture Board enacted an embargo of potatoes coming from countries where Potato Wart was known to exist. In spite of the embargo, demonstrating the longevity of Potato Wart spores in the soil, Potato Wart was discovered in 1918 for the first time in the USA in 27 small garden plots in Pennsylvania.
The Newfoundland quarantine measures which prevent seed potatoes or other produce which might contain soil particles from being exported off the island remain in effect to this day. Caleb, Megan & Jim

“‘The detection was found in soil that was collected for routine export testing,’ said a statement from the CFIA. ‘Trace-back/trace-out activities are underway to determine possible sources of the pest.’

“As soon as potato wart was diagnosed, CFIA secured the farm to prevent potential spread of the fungus. As of Nov. 20, Canada temporarily stopped export of seed potatoes to the U.S.”

Potato wart found in two P.E.I. fields | The Guardian



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Fundraiser for the Sam & Lauren Webber family, organized by Maine Organic Milk Producers

A GOOD TIME TO SUPPORT OUR ORGANIC COMMUNITY: THE ORGANIC DAIRY FARMING WEBBER FAMILY IN MAINE NEEDS OUR HELP NOW! 32-year old dairy farmer Sam Webber in Chesterville, Maine, had a tree fall the wrong way and his accident resulted in breaking his back and some ribs. He will be laid up for 6 months while recovering and the Webber family needs our financial help NOW.
These are VERY hard times for all dairy farmers so it’s not surprising that Sam does not have health insurance.
Please join us by donating TODAY to the ‘Go Fund Me’ campaign set up by MOMP (Maine Organic Milk Producers).
Please DONATE & SHARE widely.
Thanks! Caleb, Megan & Jim
https://gf.me/u/y98tgk

Fundraiser for the Sam & Lauren Webber family, organized by Maine Organic Milk Producers



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Jack Lazor, organic dairy trailblazer, remembered as teacher, mentor – VTDigger


REMEMBERING PIONEERING VERMONT ORGANIC DAIRY FARMER JACK LAZOR. Our friend, Jack, along with his wife Anne, founded the iconic ‘Butterworks Farm’ Organic Yogurt business over 40 years ago on their farm in Westfield, Vermont. They are credited with being America’s first organic dairy farm.
Jack was refreshingly selfless in the sharing of his vast accumulated knowledge with other farmers and was pivotal in helping create and build the organic dairy business across New England and the nation. In 2013, Jack authored the encyclopedic book, ‘The Organic Grain Grower.’
Jack & Anne attended both Agraian Elder Gatherings five and seven years ago in Big Sur CA.
Jack is survived by his wife, Anne, and their daughter, Christine and her husband and child. Caleb, Jim & Megan

“Anne and Jack Lazor were awarded NOFA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019 and were the first organic farmers to be inducted into the Vermont Agriculture Hall of Fame.

“’He was ahead of his time when it came to organic,’ said Vermont Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts. ‘Organic is now pretty mainstream, and he can take credit for launching that.’”
https://vtdigger.org/2020/11/30/jack-lazor-organic-dairy-trailblazer-remembered-as-teacher-mentor/

Jack Lazor, organic dairy trailblazer, remembered as teacher, mentor – VTDigger



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Image: Jack Delano | Farm scene, Old pictures, Maine


AROOSTOOK COUNTY POTATOES HEADED TO MARKET. Circa 1940. Shot by Jack Delano, a photographer who worked for the Farm Security Administration (FSA). His job was to capture for all time a visual historical record of rural America. In 1940 Mr. Delano spend many months working his trade in Aroostook County.
This post-harvest Fall scene shows farmers’ trucks lined up with their barrels of potatoes awaiting unloading into a trackside potato house where grading and packaging would take place. The 11-peck cedar-stave potato barrels were bound together with hand-shaved Brown Ash Hoops. Each barrel held 165 pounds of potatoes.
After early universal adoption in the 1800s, the ‘barrel’ became the standard rule of measure farmers used for determining both yield and price-offers across Aroostook County, Maine. So deeply engrained was this farmer-centric barrel-measure that it took an act of the Maine Legislature to halt the reporting on radio potato market reports of price-per-barrel in the government’s well-intentioned effort to switch reporting over to the U.S. industry’s accepted norm of reporting price per hundredweight (“cwt”). Caleb, Megan & Jim
https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://i.pinimg.com/originals/0e/65/81/0e658147825bc3f6f520bd76601c4bcc.jpg&imgrefurl=https://in.pinterest.com/pin/583356957962465131/&tbnid=WojBy_BtKwRBKM&vet=1&docid=1nRkisUMoELWsM&w=792&h=1024&itg=1&source=sh/x/im

Image: Jack Delano | Farm scene, Old pictures, Maine



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Farming Rises, Sports Tumbles in U.S. Industry Ratings


GALLUP POLL: AMERICANS VIEW FARMING AS TOP DOG AMONG ALL THE BUSINESS SECTORS. Spurred by Covid and a reassessment of what’s really important, businesses considered Essential Critical Infrastructure are trending upward with appreciation – measured as greater positivity – in the eyes of Americans.
That first place ranking for Farming is viewed uniformly across all subgroups. Caleb, Megan & Jim

“For the first time in Gallup’s 20 years of tracking Americans’ views of various business and industry sectors, farming and agriculture is the clear leader. The former top-ranking industries — restaurants and computers — remain in the top four, with the grocery industry rounding out the group. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical industry’s image has improved modestly since last year, and it has yielded the ‘worst rated’ distinction back to the federal government…

“Farming and agriculture was already among the top-rated industries before 2020, but it has now moved to No. 1 with a 69% positive rating — an 11-percentage-point increase.

“With a 13-point increase to 51%, the healthcare industry has advanced from the third-lowest-ranked industry to near the middle of the pack. This is the first time in the 20 years of Gallup measurement that a majority of Americans have rated healthcare positively. The latest reading mirrors the increase in Americans’ confidence in the medical system that Gallup found earlier this year.”
https://news.gallup.com/poll/319256/farming-rises-sports-tumbles-industry-ratings.aspx

Farming Rises, Sports Tumbles in U.S. Industry Ratings



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Image: The Angelus (painting) – Wikipedia


THE ANGELUS. Circa 1859. Oil painting by French painter Jean-Francois Millet (1814-1875).
Happy Thanksgiving! Caleb, Megan & Jim

“The painting depicts two peasants bowing in a field over a basket of potatoes to say a prayer, the Angelus, that together with the ringing of the bell from the church on the horizon marks the end of a day’s work…

“Millet said: ‘The idea for The Angelus came to me because I remembered that my grandmother, hearing the church bell ringing while we were working in the fields, always made us stop work to say the Angelus prayer for the poor departed (Wikipedia).”
https://images.app.goo.gl/NAxyr49sRJTRcmWB8

Image: The Angelus (painting) – Wikipedia



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DIF&W commissioner enjoys a rare visit from an elusive pine marten

RARE PINE MARTIN SPOTTED IN MAINE. It is extremely uncommon to come across the elusive Pine Martin in the North Maine Woods. However, on an extended deer hunting trip near Greenville and Moosehead Lake, wildlife biologist Judy Camuso – who is also the current Commissioner at Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife – not only spotted a Pine Martin but was able to take clear photos of it.
The photos and the interesting story behind the sighting are told in this article which appeared in yesterday’s ‘Bangor Daily News,’ Maine’s largest newspaper. Caleb, Megan & Jim

“‘I was sitting there and I heard something pretty loud behind me and I thought it was still the red squirrel. I try not to move very quickly when I’m deer hunting because I don’t want to startle anything,’ Camuso said. ‘I turned very slowly and I looked, and I was like, ‘That’s not a red squirrel. It’s a pine marten!’”
https://bangordailynews.com/2020/11/24/outdoors/difw-commissioner-enjoys-a-rare-visit-from-an-elusive-pine-marten/

DIF&W commissioner enjoys a rare visit from an elusive pine marten



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‘WHITE’ TRACTOR FINDS NEW HOME ON WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM. In the early 1970s, in a frenzy of industry consolidation,


‘WHITE’ TRACTOR FINDS NEW HOME ON WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM. In the early 1970s, in a frenzy of industry consolidation, White Corporation bought out the Oliver Tractor Company. “White” tractors were designed by Oliver engineers, built in Oliver factories by longtime Oliver workers, then painted sleek silver and black (instead of Oliver Green). Within a few short years inept White ran the company into the ground and industry-leader Oliver was finally kaput.
The White 2-105 model was basically an Oliver 1850 Diesel with the identical Perkins motor, but with an added turbocharger which raised the horsepower from the 1850’s 92 HP up to 105 HP. This local Aroostook County ‘2-105’ pictured below is in nice shape and we got a pretty good deal on it at a recent local online auction.
Covid-19 has brought about myriad changes to agriculture. One impact is that Covid has pushed traditional farm equipment auctions fully online.
In recent years internet bidding – by distant farmers – has increasingly supplemented the bidding at in-person live auction events.
Internet invasion was probably inevitable given that a farm auction is seller-centric. An auction’s reason-for-existence is to motivate a SELLER to offer their surplus equipment into the market. The auctioneer’s income is made as a percentage of the bidding sale price, so any incentive to generate higher sales prices brings a big smile to the auctioneer.
Not entirely, but increasingly gone are the days of yore where occasional phenomenal deals were to be had. Many years ago, at the end of one long auction day, and amidst a dwindled crowd, a farmer friend snatched up a used ‘Lockwood 2-Row Air Potato Harvester’ for under $300. The fair-market-price approached twenty times that amount. Caleb, Megan & Jim




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