Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - January 9, 2019
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
News & Resources
- Biosolarization Utilizes Ag Waste and Sun's Heat to Control Pests
- Voluntary Ecosystem Services Market Development Progresses
- Texas Passes Heirs Property Legislation
- National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Seeks Coalition Director
- University of Massachusetts Online Sustainable Agriculture Program Announces Spring Courses
- World Resources Institute Proposes Actions for a Sustainable Food Future
- International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture
- Lakewinds Organic Field Fund
- New York Advancing Agriculture Energy Technologies Initiative
- Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association Conference
- Organic Grain Conference & Trade Show
- Midwest Winter Production Conference
News & Resources
Biosolarization Utilizes Ag Waste and Sun's Heat to Control Pests
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, are testing "biosolarization," combining the sun's heat with soil amendments made from agricultural wastes to manage weeds and other soil-borne pests and improve soil health. Adding organic, waste-based amendments like grape and tomato skins or ground nut hulls to the soil before tarping promotes growth of beneficial bacteria and can shorten the time required for solarization.
Voluntary Ecosystem Services Market Development Progresses
Noble Research Institute has provided an update on its efforts to advance ecosystem service markets (ESM) that incentivize farmers and ranchers to improve soil health systems. A pilot of the ESM protocol will take place during 2019 and 2020, across 70,000 acres in Texas and Oklahoma that are involved in Noble Land Stewardship Program. Meanwhile, the protocol team will be drafting adaptations to additional crop production systems and geographies around the country.
Texas Passes Heirs Property Legislation
In December, Texas became the tenth state to pass the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, providing inherited-property protections to vulnerable, low- and middle-income families with tenancy-in-common ownership. Under this type of ownership, sales can be forced by a minority owner, often at far less than market value. Texas A&M University professor Thomas Mitchell found that these sales disproportionately affect African-American, Hispanic and Latino, and Native American families, which led him to craft legislation that would help resolve the problem.
Related ATTRA Podcast: Land Loss in African-American Communities
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Seeks Coalition Director
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is seeking an energetic, passionate, experienced, and collaborative Coalition Director to provide executive-level leadership to NSAC, its staff, governing body, and membership. NSAC offers competitive non-profit salary and benefits and is an equal opportunity employer. Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is identified.
University of Massachusetts Online Sustainable Agriculture Program Announces Spring Courses
The University of Massachusetts Stockbridge School of Agriculture offers three online degrees in sustainable agriculture: certificate, Associate of Science, and Bachelor of Science. Registration is now open for 10 courses offered during Spring 2019, including pasture management and farm management, planning, and marketing, as well as new course offerings in small-farm husbandry and soil fertility.
World Resources Institute Proposes Actions for a Sustainable Food Future
World Resources Institute (WRI) has published 22 solutions to close the food, land, and greenhouse-gas mitigation gaps arising from the need to feed nearly 10 billion people by 2050. WRI presents its solutions in five topic areas: (1) reduce growth in demand for food and other agricultural products; (2) increase food production without expanding agricultural land; (3) protect and restore natural ecosystems; (4) increase fish supply; and (5) reduce GHG emissions from agricultural production.
>>More Breaking News
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International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is calling for award nominations in two categories. The $40,000 Award for Digitalization and Innovation for Sustainable Food Systems recognizes innovations that impact more than one level of supply chain and strengthen the link between farmers and consumers. The $20,000 Award for Innovations that Empower Youth in Agriculture and Food Systems recognizes innovations that strengthen the role of youth (under 35) in agriculture and food systems. The awards are funded by the Federal Government of Switzerland and limited to innovations related to agriculture and pastoral systems.
Nominations are due by February 28, 2019.
Lakewinds Organic Field Fund
Lakewinds Organic Field Fund is a grant program dedicated to making a bigger impact on local farming and organic food by furthering the development and sustainability of farms in the Minnesota, northern Iowa, and western Wisconsin region. Grants up to $8,000 are available for the following types of project proposals: Organic certification, transitioning a conventional farm to organic, any type of project that helps a farm scale its offerings, or any type of project that helps a farm improve efficiency or effectiveness.
The application deadline is February 1, 2019.
New York Advancing Agriculture Energy Technologies Initiative
New York State is making approximately $3 million available through the Advancing Agricultural Energy Technologies initiative to accelerate commercially available technologies and practices to make farm operation more energy-efficient. Proposals for emerging technologies should be replicable and provide cost-effective energy-efficiency improvements to farms in New York State. Eligible technologies and practices include hardware, software, and operational strategies. Eligible participants include project developers, equipment manufacturers and vendors, animal and/or crop-production farm owners, trade and professional organizations, utilities, and universities and other academic institutions.
Round 1 applications are due February 28, 2019.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association Conference
February 14-16, 2019
Corpus Christi, Texas
The TOFGA conference includes two days of interactive learning sessions, plus multiple add-on pre-conference workshops and farm tours. NCAT's Kara Kroeger and Colin Mitchell will speak.
Organic Grain Conference & Trade Show
February 13-14, 2019
The Organic Grain Conference is dedicated to organic grain education and networking. Explore advancements and issues facing the industry. Both production and policy sessions are included in the agenda.
Midwest Winter Production Conference
February 11-12, 2019
Jefferson City, Missouri
Webb City Farmers Market presents a two-day training on winter production, to help innovative farmers to expand into the winter months.
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ATTRA was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
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