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Home » From the Commissioner

NH Weekly Market Bulletin: August 20, 2009

New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food (August 20, 2009)

Governor Lynch has sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack requesting a “Secretarial Disaster Designation for farmers with production losses in hay and other crops in all ten New Hampshire counties.” The letter states that “The disaster period began in early June and continues to date.” USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA)state officials are assembling the necessary reports reflecting losses to hay and other crops due to excessive rains and moisture, including weather-related plant diseases. If the Secretary declares the disaster designation it could make qualified New Hampshire farmers and growers eligible for disaster assistance programs
that may become available. The 2008 Farm Bill made changes to disaster programs, and the rules are still being written. Likely assistance would include emergency loans. Farmers should contact their county FSA office for information.

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New Hampshire Eat Local Month has inspired a host of activities. Scroll down the list at www.nheatlocal.org for a sample.The Keene Young Professionals are discussing local CSAs at a morning coffee. Canning demonstrations are drawing crowds in the Seacoast and Merrimack County. farmers, town agricultural commissions, food co-ops and other groups are hosting farm tours all over the state. Colebrook’s Main Street Farmers Market is featuring cooking demos to celebrate NH Eat Local Month. Julie Moran reports this innovation is so popular it may be continued through September.The Farm to Restaurant Connection Growers’ Dinners series celebrates Eat Local Month with two special dinners. On Monday, August 24 at the Concord Center for the Arts, students of the New Hampshire Food Bank’s Recipe for Success Culinary Job Training Program will prepare and serve a four-course dinner of seasonal and locally produced foods,under the tutelage of Chef Instructor Jayson McCarter. The $50 per person charge includes a donation to the Food Bank. For information and reservations, contact 669-9725 x145 or email at: hcostello@nhfoodbank.org . The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel and North Country Farm Fresh Co-op will present a Growers’ Dinner on Saturday, August 29 at The Clubhouse Grille, featuring produce and products from local farms. Reservations required-call 255-4900.

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Asian Long Horned Beetle (ALB)Awareness Month is also garnering attention,with our federally funded outreach and education campaign in full swing. The public information ad currently running on WMUR-TV Channel 9 is a collaboration of our divisions of Plant Industry and Agricultural Development. The ad caught our 12 year-old granddaughter’s eye. Getting a cadre of kids scrutinizing the beetles they come across in these last weeks of summer vacation could be a bonus for the campaign.When Doug Cygan gave the Division of Plant Industry presentation current issues including the ALB effort at the recent NH Farm Bureau policy development committee meeting, John Hodsdon produced a long-antennaed specimen he had found at his Meredith farm. Entomologist Chris Rallis identified the insect as a female Stictoleptura c. canadensis, also known as red-shouldered pine borer. Common to our area, the borer feeds on various conifers and occasional hardwoods. All collaborating agencies are happy to field inquiries about suspect insects. The scheduled twilight meetings, ad campaign, and other activities are designed to educate the public about the ALB threat.A Bulletin reader wrote in with a question about the firewood ban issued by the Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED). Because firewood can harbor invasive insect or disease pests, including the emerald ash borer and ALB, people are being asked to obtain all firewood locally, and not transport firewood from other states or regions. Movement of firewood of all types and species (except kiln-dried, packaged firewood) onto stateowned parks and properties under the administration of DRED is prohibited. The White Mountain National Forest has instituted a similar order banning the movement of firewood.

Lorraine S. Merrill
Lorraine S. Merrill

Lorraine S. Merrill, Commissioner
State of New Hampshire
Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food
Weekly Market Bulletin – August 20, 2009
Reprinted with permission

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