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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - February 27, 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.

Last chance to register for Armed to Farm in Montana this April!
NCAT is accepting applications until February 28, 2019, from military veterans who want to attend Armed to Farm training in Bozeman, Montana, April 8-12, 2019. The training gives veterans and their spouses an opportunity to see sustainable, profitable, small-scale farming enterprises and examine farming as a viable career. Learn more.

News & Resources

  • Organic Grain Report Outlines How to Increase U.S. Production
  • Slide Hammer Seeder Offers Controlled Planting for Small Seeds
  • Ecosystem Services Market Consortium Formed
  • Midwest Vegetable Production Guide Updated for 2019
  • Community Orchard Development Guidelines Released
  • Published Review Examines U.S. Strawberry Production

Funding Opportunities

  • California Healthy Soils Program
  • Farm Business Management and Benchmarking Competitive Grants Program
  • Delaware Conservation Partnership Projects

Coming Events

  • Resilience for Land and Livestock Conference
  • Poultry Farmer Workshop: Disease Prevention & Pastured Poultry Welfare
  • New and Small Farm Conference and Trade Show

News & Resources

Organic Grain Report Outlines How to Increase U.S. Production
The U.S. Organic Grain Collaboration and the Organic Trade Association have released U.S. Organic Grain–How to Keep It Growing. The report identifies key barriers to expanding domestic organic grain production and suggests specific industry solutions. The report recommends new contracting mechanisms, development of markets for rotation crops, and more organic coaching and technical assistance for growers.
Related ATTRA Publication
: Organic Small Grain Production Overview

Slide Hammer Seeder Offers Controlled Planting for Small Seeds
An article published in HortTechnology by USDA Agricultural Research Service scientist Eric Brennan describes how to construct and use a low-cost, jab-style, Slide Hammer Seeder that allows controlled planting of small seeds. The tool can be built in two to four hours with parts from a local hardware store. A one-hour video describes how to make and use the tool.

Ecosystem Services Market Consortium Formed
Ten private-sector companies and nonprofit organizations have announced their intent to form the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium to advance the development of a market-based approach to promoting land stewardship. The planned market focuses on enabling and encouraging farmers and ranchers to adopt and sustain conservation management practices to improve soil health, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, improve related water quality, and reduce water use.

Midwest Vegetable Production Guide Updated for 2019
The 2019 edition of the Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers is available in PDF. The annual guide is produced through a collaboration of land-grant universities from eight states. It provides growers with vegetable production information including fertility, variety, cultural, and pest-management recommendations. Crop recommendations include a wide variety of specific crops.
Related ATTRA Publication: Resource Guide to Organic and Sustainable Vegetable Production

Community Orchard Development Guidelines Released
A Southern SARE-funded Research & Education Grant project has released Guideline for the Development of Community-Based Urban Orchards in Puerto Rico. Researchers found that urban community gardens, specifically orchards, serve important social, economic, and environmental functions. The publication provides recommendations for policymakers, municipalities, and other local officials on how to work more effectively with small urban farmers to strengthen urban agriculture.
Related ATTRA Publication: Community Orchards

Published Review Examines U.S. Strawberry Production
Findings of a comprehensive review of U.S. strawberry production have been published in HortTechnology. Jayesh Samtani of Virginia Tech and Curt Rom of the University of Arkansas led a team that investigated the challenges, needs, and opportunities of strawberry growers. The study looked at eight distinct geographic regions and also considered controlled-environment culture, with an aim of enabling the development of educational and production tools.
Related ATTRA Publication: Strawberries: Organic Production

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

California Healthy Soils Program
The Healthy Soils Program provides $15 million for implementation of conservation management. The Incentives Program will award grants to farmers and ranchers for implementation of agricultural management practices that improve soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Demonstration Projects offers funding for monitoring and demonstrating specific management practices that improve soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce greenhouse gases.
Applications are due by March 8, 2019.

Farm Business Management and Benchmarking Competitive Grants Program
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for the Farm Business Management and Benchmarking (FBMB) Competitive Grants Program. FBMB provides grants up to $500,000 to improve farm management knowledge and skills of individuals directly involved in production agriculture. Specifically, this involves maintaining and expanding the farm financial management database and expanding farm management and producer-association partnerships, as well as funding projects that demonstrate data collection, data sharing, improving information access, or improving producers' abilities to successfully manage their agricultural operations through periods of high risk, volatility, and financial stress.
Applications are due by April 9, 2019.

Delaware Conservation Partnership Projects
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Delaware is seeking proposals for collaborative conservation grants to help address Delaware's most pressing natural resource concerns. Up to $500,000 in grants will be made available statewide. NRCS will select proposals that leverage USDA and partner resources to effectively implement projects. Project priorities are listed online.
Proposals are due by April 5, 2019.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Resilience for Land and Livestock Conference
March 27-28, 2019
Pendleton, Oregon
Presented by Roots of Resilience, this conference includes keynote speakers Temple Grandin and Gabe Brown, a panel discussion with producers and scientists, a low-stress animal-handling demonstration, and presentations from ag professionals.

Poultry Farmer Workshop: Disease Prevention & Pastured Poultry Welfare
March 27, 2019
Davis, California, and online

University of California Cooperative Extension and partners including NCAT present this event in a series of pastured poultry workshops for beginning farmers. A webinar version is offered for those unable to attend in person.

New and Small Farm Conference and Trade Show
March 29-30, 2019
Piketon, Ohio
This conference from Ohio State University Extension is designed for small farm owners wanting to learn more about how to make their farms work better for them. There will be a full-day Food Safety and Modernization Act training Friday, with a full-day conference and tradeshow on Saturday.

>>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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New ATTRA Podcast
Poultry Processing

Question of the Week
Is peanut a good choice as a cover crop in Hawaii?

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Don't Let the Barber Pole Worm Ravage Your Flock
Free one-hour webinar led by Dave Scott on March 13, 2019. Register now.

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