Home | Newsletter Archives

NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - February 15, 2012

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

News & Resources

  • UNEP Report Calls for Improved Soil Carbon Management
  • Herbicide-resistant Weeds Threaten Soil Conservation Gains, Says Publication
  • National Small Farm Conference Issues Call for Abstracts
  • Fifteen New AgrAbility Fact Sheets Online
  • NOP Accepting Comments on Proposed Synthetic Methionine Limit Reduction
  • New References for Vegetable Growers Published

Funding Opportunities

  • Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program
  • Nebraska Cooperative Business Development Grant
  • Montana Specialty Crop Grants

Coming Events

  • Good Food Festival and Conference
  • Tri-State Forestry Conference
  • Sustainable Agriculture Conference

News & Resources

UNEP Report Calls for Improved Soil Carbon Management
The United Nations Environment Program's (UNEP) Year Book 2012 reports that if existing patterns of land management continue, increasing amounts of carbon could be released to the atmosphere, aggravating global warming. UNEP notes that carbon stocks can be enhanced by ensuring that carbon inputs to the soil are greater than carbon losses. For example, integration of several crops in a field at the same time can increase organic material, soil biodiversity, and soil health, as well as increase food production. Improvements in grassland also offer significant global greenhouse gas mitigation potential.

Herbicide-resistant Weeds Threaten Soil Conservation Gains, Says Publication
The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) has released Issue Paper 49, Herbicide-resistant Weeds Threaten Soil Conservation Gains: Finding a Balance for Soil and Farm Sustainability. The publication can be accessed free online. This publication examines the impact of certain weed-management practices on soil-conservation objectives and addresses ways to mitigate negative effects.

National Small Farm Conference Issues Call for Abstracts
The 6th National Small Farm Conference, "Promoting the Successes of Small Farmers and Ranchers," is set for September 18 - 20, 2012, in Memphis, Tennessee. Successes in small farm activities will be shared, as well as innovative ideas in research, extension, and outreach to strengthen collaboration and partnership among state specialists. Conference organizers have issued a call for abstracts for oral and poster presentations and success stories to be submitted by February 29, 2012.

Fifteen New AgrAbility Fact Sheets Online
Farmers, growers, and any agriculture workers dealing with a disabling condition can find tips on how to cope with their condition while continuing to farm, thanks to 15 new fact sheets from the Ohio State University Extension's Ohio AgrAbility Program. Many of the fact sheets focus on helping farmers prevent injuries. Titles in this new series include "Secondary Injury Prevention: Repetitive Motion," "Injury Prevention: Working in Cold Weather," and "Initial Farm Injury Emergency Response."

NOP Accepting Comments on Proposed Synthetic Methionine Limit Reduction
USDA has published a proposed rule that would continue the allowance of synthetic methionine in organic poultry production, but at reduced levels. The current allowance for synthetic methionine expires on October 1, 2012. The proposed rule would permit organic poultry producers to use synthetic methionine after October 1 at the following maximum levels: laying and broiler chickens – 2 pounds per ton of feed; turkeys and all other poultry – 3 pounds per ton of feed. USDA's National Organic Program (NOP) invites comments on the proposed rule until April 6, 2012.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Poultry Production: Providing Adequate Methionine

New References for Vegetable Growers Published
The University of California's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources has recently published two new books for vegetable growers: Cover Cropping for Vegetable Production: A Grower's Handbook, and the Organic Vegetable Production Manual. Together, these books provide growers—organic and conventional alike—with valuable information about an array of sustainable practices for vegetable production. The books are each priced at $25 and may be ordered online.

>> More Breaking News

Back to top


Funding Opportunities

Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service is requesting proposals for matching grant funds under the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program. State departments of agriculture, state agricultural experiment stations, and other state agencies are invited to apply for approximately $1.2 million in grants to support research projects that help market, transport, and distribute U.S. agricultural products domestically and internationally.
Proposals must be submitted by March 23, 2012.

Nebraska Cooperative Business Development Grant
The UNL- Nebraska Cooperative Development Center's 2012 Cooperative Business Development Grants provide new and existing cooperatively owned businesses with funding to complete the critical stages in business development and expansion. Grants of up to $2,500 are available to cooperatives and groups who are in need of legal services, accounting, consulting, and other development services.
Application deadline is March 1, 2012.

Montana Specialty Crop Grants
The Montana Department of Agriculture is seeking proposals for projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Projects must qualify in one or more of the following areas: increasing nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops; improving efficiency and reducing distribution costs; investing in specialty crop research; enhancing food safety; developing new and improved varieties and specialty crops; pest and disease control; and development of organic and sustainable production practices. A non-profit organization, educational institution, or municipality may submit a proposal for up to $50,000.
Proposals must be submitted by March 21, 2012.

>> More Funding Opportunities

Back to top


Coming Events

Good Food Festival and Conference
March 15-17, 2012
Chicago, Illinois

At the Financing Conference on March 15, food producers and farmers interested in growing their businesses can learn about funding opportunities and connect with banks and investors interested in financing growth. March 16 features a tradeshow and a Policy Summit that brings together food advocates and policy makers to discuss local food systems and food access. On March 17, the Good Food Festival features artisan and farmer exhibitors, workshops, chef demos, family-friendly activities, and speakers.

Tri-State Forestry Conference
March 10, 2012
Dubuque, Iowa

This conference is designed specifically for landowners in the Midwest. Topics will range from traditional woodland management techniques, timber taxes, game and non-game wildlife management to soils and soil erosion in woodlands.

Sustainable Agriculture Conference
March 13-15, 2012
Fairbanks, Alaska

This eighth annual conference offers two pre-conference intensive workshops. Wide-ranging conference presentations will address livestock and crop production, marketing strategies, and local food efforts.

>> More Events

Back to top


Subscribe to the Weekly Harvest

Comments? Questions? Contact us

Weekly Harvest Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest newsletters are available online.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2012 NCAT

Back to top

New Publication
Organic Small Grain Production Overview

Question of the Week
What are appropriate ground covers for garden plots that are also suitable for grazing by pastured poultry?

Webinars
Our latest webinars are available for viewing in the Sustainable Agriculture Video Archive

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

Find Us on Facebook!
We feature breaking news on sustainable agriculture topics several times a week. Add us to your FaceBook friends list today!

Find us on Facebook

 



Home | Newsletter Archives