Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - February 14, 2018
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.
Apply for 2018 Conservation Stewardship Program Funding by March 2
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced that farmers and ranchers have until March 2, 2018, to submit an initial application for the FY 2018 Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). ATTRA can help you with this application.
News & Resources
- Online Certification Program for Dairy Goat Producers Launched
- Montana State University to Host Western SARE
- Updated Midwest Vegetable Production Guide and Variety Trial Report Available
- Fertilized Soil Contributes to California's Nitrogen Oxide Pollution
- Nitrogen Balance Offers Simple Way to Track Conservation-Practice Success
- Study Finds Aquaculture and Livestock Feed Conversion Similar
- Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships
- Texas Young Farmer Grant
- Minnesota Good Food Access Program Technical Assistance Grant
- Louisiana Small Farmer Conference
- Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference
- Midwest School for Beginning Apple Growers
News & Resources
Online Certification Program for Dairy Goat Producers Launched
The Kika de la Garza Institute for Goat Research at Langston University has launched an online certification program for dairy goat producers and has updated its online certification program for meat goat producers. The dairy goat course takes 40 to 60 hours to complete. The instructional material is available free online, but a fee of $25 is required for processing the certification.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Dairy
Montana State University to Host Western SARE
Montana State University (MSU) has been selected as the next host institution of the Western Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE). Beginning in the fall of 2018, MSU will administer four of five grant programs through Western SARE: research and education grants, farmer-rancher grants, professional and producer grants, and graduate student grants. The University of Wyoming will administer Western SARE's professional development grant program.
Updated Midwest Vegetable Production Guide and Variety Trial Report Available
Purdue Extension has released its updated 2018 Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers. The guide is an annual summary of state-specific information on vegetable varieties, fertility, seeding rates, fertilizer rates, weed control, insect control, and disease management. The guide is for sale in print or available as a free download. A companion publication, Midwest Vegetable Trial Report, provides yield and quality data based on field test results under different cropping conditions for several crops.
Fertilized Soil Contributes to California's Nitrogen Oxide Pollution
Scientists at the University of California, Davis, found that heavily fertilized soils in California's Central Valley are contributing 25 to 41% of the NOx emissions in the state. However, if this farmland were converted to other uses, such as housing, scientists estimate that greenhouse-gas emissions from that land would be 70 times greater. This study suggests potential solutions for reducing NOx soil emissions from agriculture, including fertilizer management, conversion to perennial crops, and micro-irrigation.
Nitrogen Balance Offers Simple Way to Track Conservation-Practice Success
Researchers from EDF, University of Nebraska, and Cornell University found that nitrogen (N) balance is an effective proxy measure of nitrogen losses to the environment from agriculture. Improving N balance—through practices such as cover crops and crop rotation—reduces water pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions, while using fertilizer more efficiently for crop yield.
Study Finds Aquaculture and Livestock Feed Conversion Similar
A study published by Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future found that farmed fish and shrimp convert protein and calories in feed to edible seafood at rates similar to livestock. Researchers found that average protein and calorie retention across nine types of farmed fish and shrimp are lower than chickens and similar to pig and cattle production.
>>More Breaking News
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Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships
Undergraduate or graduate students studying organic and/or regenerative agriculture at an accredited two- or four-year college or graduate school in the United States can apply for a scholarship from Annie's. Applicants must focus on one of three tracks: building soil health, fostering above-ground biodiversity, or promoting resilient farm communities.
Applications are due by March 15, 2018.
Texas Young Farmer Grant
The Texas Young Farmer Grant program provides dollar-for-dollar matching grant funds to young agricultural producers. Individuals that are 18 to 46 and are engaged or will be engaged in creating or expanding agriculture in Texas may apply. Grant awards range from $5,000 to $20,000.
Applications must be received by March 22, 2018.
Minnesota Good Food Access Program Technical Assistance Grant
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for projects designed to improve access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, for underserved communities in low- and moderate-income areas. These grants will assist organizations providing needs-based technical assistance to new or existing for-profits, non-profits, public agencies, and cooperative self-service retail food establishments. Applicants may request between $5,000 and $75,000 and must contribute 25% of project costs.
Applications are due by March 14, 2018.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Louisiana Small Farmer Conference
March 15-17, 2018
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
"Transforming and Elevating Louisiana Small Family Farms" will highlight educational opportunities, USDA programs and services, and other resources. The event is designed for new and beginning farmers, small and urban farmers, and community members.
Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference
March 16-17, 2018
This conference is designed to advance the opportunities and address the barriers involved in cultivating a resilient and thriving Urban Farming sector. It includes interactive panels, demonstration workshops, expert discussions, and networking opportunities.
Midwest School for Beginning Apple Growers
March 16-18, 2018
The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems offers a realistic picture of what it takes to run a successful orchard operation. Topics include soil fertility, pest management, business planning, risk management, recordkeeping, marketing, and economics.
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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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