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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - January 14, 2015

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

  • National Agricultural Library Unveils New Search Engine for Published USDA Research
  • Vegetable Taste Test Results Available to Help Growers Choose Varieties
  • Report Card Helps Washington State Juice Grape Producers Assess Sustainability
  • New App Helps Strawberry and Peach Growers Deal with Diseases
  • Cool Farm Tool Wins Oxford Farming Conference Practice with Science Award
  • Iowa Seeks Specialty Crop Block Grant Reviewers and Input on Priorities

Funding Opportunities

  • Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
  • Farm Assistance Grants
  • Vermont Trade Show Grants

Coming Events

  • Midwest Soil Health Summit
  • NOFA-VT Winter Conference
  • Business of Farming Conference

News & Resources

National Agricultural Library Unveils New Search Engine for Published USDA Research
The National Agricultural Library has unveiled PubAg, a free, user-friendly search engine that gives the public enhanced access to research published by USDA scientists. PubAg.nal.usda.gov is a new portal for literature searches and full-text access of more than 40,000 scientific journal articles by USDA researchers, mostly from 1997 to 2014.

Vegetable Taste Test Results Available to Help Growers Choose Varieties
The University of Missouri's Bradford Research Center is making available the results of vegetable variety taste tests conducted during 2014. Participants scored samples of different varieties of tomatoes, tomatillos, and peppers, and the results of this scoring are now available online. Tests results for sweet corn and melon varieties are also available.

Report Card Helps Washington State Juice Grape Producers Assess Sustainability
Washington State University Extension has published The Washington State Juice Grape Sustainability Report Card, a workbook to help growers of juice grapes assess their sustainable farming practices. The workbook contains sections on vineyard management, nutrient management, irrigation, and pest management, among others. The publication is available online.

New App Helps Strawberry and Peach Growers Deal with Diseases
A Clemson fruit specialist and a computer software designer have teamed up to develop a smartphone tool to help strawberry and peach growers. "MyIPM" is the first smartphone app that provides critical disease information for growers to use in making management decisions. "Growers will be able to pick effective and safe fungicides for conventional and organic production of strawberry," said fruit specialist Guido Schnabel.
Related ATTRA Publication: Peaches: Organic and Low-Spray Production

Cool Farm Tool Wins Oxford Farming Conference Practice with Science Award
The Cool Farm Tool (CFT), developed by Dr. Jon Hillier and his team at Aberdeen University, has won the Practice with Science Award run by the Oxford Farming Conference and The Royal Agricultural Society of England. CFT is a free-to-use greenhouse gas calculator used by the whole supply chain to measure the carbon footprint of crop and livestock products.

Iowa Seeks Specialty Crop Block Grant Reviewers and Input on Priorities
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is accepting applications through the Specialty Crop Block Grant program. The Department is establishing a committee to help review, evaluate, and make recommendations on grant proposals submitted. Applications to participate in the Reviewer Committee are due by March 27, 2015. In addition, the Department is asking specialty crop stakeholders and organizations to submit public comments on program priorities.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for more than $18 million in funding to help educate, mentor, and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers. This support is available through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.
Applications are due March 13, 2015.

Farm Assistance Grants
The Wallace Center at Winrock International seeks applications from food hubs for the Farm Assistance Grants program. These $5,000 to $15,000 grants are intended to assist food hubs to provide services to small and mid-sized farms and help them become stronger supply partners.
Application deadline is January 26, 2015.

Vermont Trade Show Grants
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets has created a new matching-grant program to help agriculture and forest product businesses attend domestic trade shows and expand their presence in other U.S. states. Eligible trade shows include any event that intends to make business to business buyer connections. In total, $25,000 in matching funds is available.
The deadline for applications is February 6, 2015.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Midwest Soil Health Summit
February 18-19, 2015
Alexandria, Minnesota

This 2nd annual event begins with a presentation on soil health basics and then includes numerous speakers, a roundtable, and discussion opportunities. Keynote speakers are Gabe Brown and Dr. Allen Williams.

NOFA-VT Winter Conference
February 14-16, 2015
Burlington, Vermont

The 33rd Annual NOFA Vermont Winter Conference theme is "Growing the Good Food Movement," which means supporting new farmers, providing technical assistance to encourage successful farms, and connecting food consumers with their food producers.

Business of Farming Conference
February 13-14, 2015
Asheville, North Carolina

ASAP's Business of Farming Conference is a day of learning and networking for farmers and those seriously considering farming as a profession. The conference offers business- and marketing-themed workshops, networking opportunities, and resources to help farmers grow their businesses.

>> More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page 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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© 2015 NCAT

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New ATTRA Publication
Apple Insect Pests Identification Sheet

Question of the Week
How can I thresh small grains by hand?

Ask a Sustainable Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online

ATTRA Webinars
Last chance to register! Managing Risks on an Urban Farm ~ January 15, 2015

New Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Policy ~January 21, 2015

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's Spanish-language e-newsletter

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