Home | Newsletter Archives

ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - March 13, 2013

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

News & Resources

  • IATP Shares Lessons from Small, Urban Farmers Markets
  • Farm Employment FAQ Available Online
  • Gene-Blocking Organic Corn Variety Prevents Cross-Pollination
  • Study Reveals New Avenues for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Agriculture
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Publishes Practice Paper on Ecological Sustainability in Food System
  • Loss of Wild Bees Greater Pollination Threat than Loss of Honeybees, Says Study

Funding Opportunities

  • Special Research Grants Program — Pest Management Alternatives (PMAP)
  • Missouri Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
  • California State Conservation Innovation Grant

Coming Events

  • Growing Green Spring Urban Agriculture Training
  • The Power of Our Regional Food Economy Conference
  • Food Sovereignty Summit

News & Resources

IATP Shares Lessons from Small, Urban Farmers Markets
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) has published two new resources related to its experience with mini markets in Minneapolis. Networking Small Urban Farmers Markets relates the role that IATP plays as the "umbrella organization" in a network of urban neighborhood markets with five or fewer vendors. Another publication, Managing Small Urban Farmers Markets, serves as a handbook for mini-farmers-market managers. Both publications are online as PDF files.

Farm Employment FAQ Available Online
Practical Farmers of Iowa has developed a new online resource, "Farm Employment FAQ," to help Iowa farmers and farm workers better understand their rights and responsibilities as employers and employees. The resource functions as a starting point for farmers and workers to find answers to common questions and links to other resources. The goal of the FAQ is to help farmers gain more insight into how to comply with state and federal labor laws.
Related ATTRA Resource: Beyond Basic Compensation

Gene-Blocking Organic Corn Variety Prevents Cross-Pollination
Three PuraMaize corn hybrids developed by Blue River Hybrids, an Iowa-based organic seed company, naturally impede fertilization/contamination from GMO and blue corn pollen, reports The Organic & Non-GMO Report. PuraMaize varieties contain a naturally occurring gene blocking trait that significantly reduces cross-pollination from genetically modified corn. Farmers from 11 states planted PuraMaize in 2012, and samples from the harvest were rated "GMO Not Detected."

Study Reveals New Avenues for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Agriculture
A study led by Technische Universität München has investigated factors that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural operations: namely, soil and climate conditions, the agricultural model, and the farming intensity on both organic and conventional holdings. Scientists investigated 40 organic and 40 conventional agricultural holdings across Germany's four agricultural regions, recording all relevant climate gas streams. The study showed that organic farming is more energy-efficient and produces less land-specific CO2 emissions. This advantage, however, is offset by the significantly lower yields achieved through organic farming practices. The investigations show that yields and greenhouse gas emissions fluctuate significantly between different organic farms, demonstrating that there is significant potential for improvement at individual farms.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Publishes Practice Paper on Ecological Sustainability in Food System
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has published a practice paper, Promoting Ecological Sustainability within the Food System, to help registered dietitians and dietetic technicians "meet the growing needs of those seeking guidance on food choices as they relate to ecological sustainability." This paper provides a brief overview of dietary guidance in support of ecological sustainability and highlights the importance of preserving biodiversity and protecting and conserving soil, water, and energy.

Loss of Wild Bees Greater Pollination Threat than Loss of Honeybees, Says Study
A worldwide study suggests that decline of wild bees and other pollinators may be an even more alarming threat to crop yields than the loss of honeybees, reports The Guardian. Scientists studied the pollination of more than 40 crops in 600 fields and found wild pollinators were twice as effective as honeybees in producing seeds and fruit on crops. The new research shows for the first time the huge contribution of wild insects and shows that honeybees cannot replace the wild insects lost as their habitat is destroyed.
Related ATTRA Publication: Alternative Pollinators: Native Bees

>> More Breaking News

Back to top


Funding Opportunities

Special Research Grants Program — Pest Management Alternatives (PMAP)
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) requests applications for approximately $1.4 million available through PMAP for fiscal year 2013. The primary goal of the PMAP program is to address needs in integrated pest management (IPM) for food, feed, fiber, forest, human and livestock health, bee health, and ornamental commodities. Applications may be submitted by State agricultural experiment stations, colleges and universities, other research institutions and organizations, Federal agencies, private organizations or corporations, and individuals.
Applications are due by April 1, 2013.

Missouri Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
Missouri Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funding. Funding priorities include expanding local, regional, and international markets and distribution channels for specialty crops, as well as facilitating education and marketing.
Concept papers are due by March 29, 2013.

California State Conservation Innovation Grant
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the availability of Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) funding to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. NRCS anticipates that the amount available for this program in FY 2013 will be $375,000. Applications are requested from eligible governmental or non-governmental organizations or individuals for grants up to $75,000.
Pre-proposals are due by March 22, 2013.

>> More Funding Opportunities

Back to top


Coming Events

Growing Green Spring Urban Agriculture Training
April 19-21, 2013
Buffalo, New York

The Massachusetts Avenue Project's Urban Agriculture Training features opportunities to learn from MAP's success with urban, youth-centered agriculture. In addition to witnessing the components of a functional urban farm first-hand, participants will be able to engage and observe many of the successful elements in MAP's youth training program, Growing Green.

The Power of Our Regional Food Economy Conference
April 19, 2013
Spokane, Washington

This conference invites businesses and community members to play an active role in improving the wealth and health of the community. This day-long collaboration will illustrate the business case for the development of a road map for area professionals interested in growing their bottom line, while at the same time fostering the regional food economy—a true systems approach to the food sector.

Food Sovereignty Summit
April 15-18, 2013
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Learn from Native nonprofits and Native nations as they share best practices in the area of food sovereignty and food system control. The professional tracks at the conference include Sustainable Agricultural Practices; Community Outreach and Development; and Business Management, Finance, and Marketing.

>> More Events

Back to top


Subscribe to the Weekly Harvest

Comments? Questions? Contact us

Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2013 NCAT

Back to top

New Publication
Marketing Tip Sheets

Question of the Week
I sell vegetables at my local farmers market but the short growing season where I live makes it challenging. How can I be more profitable?

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

ATTRA Webinars
The final webinar in a four-part series on becoming a Technical Service Provider for the Natural Resources Conservation Service is taking place on March 28, 2013. Register now!

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

ATTRA is 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

 

Follow us on Pinterest

 

 

Support the ATTRA Project


ATTRAs 25th Anniversary

Home | Newsletter Archives