Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - March 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.
Registration Deadline Approaching for Our Farms, Our Future
This once-in-a-decade national conference Our Farms, Our Future looks at the progress of sustainability in agriculture and helps to understand our trajectory for the future. Register by March 27, 2018, to participate in the conference April 3-5, 2018, in St. Louis. It is hosted by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and NCAT's ATTRA program. Learn more.
News & Resources
- Ag Apprenticeship Toolkit Available
- USDA Withdraws Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule
- Farmland Access Legal Toolkit Launched
- Return on Investment a Hurdle to Wider Cover Crop Adoption
- Wind Farms Impact Crops Positively, Reseach Finds
- Food from Discarded Ingredients Has Strong Potential for Consumer Acceptance
- Farm Business Management and Benchmarking Competitive Grants Program
- Supplemental and Alternative Crops Competitive Grants Program
- Minnesota AGRI Urban Agriculture Grant
- Cultivating Accessible Opportunities for Veterans in Agriculture
- UC ANR Urban Ag Workshop: Marketing & Business Management for Urban Farmers
- Integration of Row Crops, Cover Crops, Cattle
News & Resources
Ag Apprenticeship Toolkit Available
The Ag Apprenticeship Learning Network has relased the Ag Apprenticeship Toolkit, a comprehensive guide to establishing or improving an agricultural apprenticeship on your farm or ranch. The resources include tools, suggestions, and external links to supplementary resources. The 94-page toolkit is available free online in PDF.
Related ATTRA Resource: Sustainable Farming Internships and Apprenticeships
USDA Withdraws Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule
USDA has announced its decision to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule published on January 19, 2017. The rule would have increased federal regulation of livestock and poultry for certified organic producers and handlers. The withdrawal becomes effective May 13, 2018.
Farmland Access Legal Toolkit Launched
The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School has launched a new online resource, the Farmland Access Legal Toolkit, to help farmers and landowners affordably access, transfer, and conserve farmland. The free, online toolkit explains legal arrangements that provide more affordable and equitable farmland access and help landowners balance earning income with making their land affordable to the next generation. Tools range from creative leasing to affirmative agricultural easements.
Return on Investment a Hurdle to Wider Cover Crop Adoption
A study by Iowa State University compared farmers' costs and revenues from fields where they used cover crops and fields without cover crops. They found that cost-share payments were insufficient to cover all costs of cover crops. However, farmers who grazed livestock on cover crops or harvested their cover crops for forage or biomass generated sufficient additional revenue or cost savings to result in overall positive returns.
Wind Farms Impact Crops Positively, Reseach Finds
Iowa State University researchers have found that wind turbines located in agricultural fields appear to have positive overall effects for crops growing around them. Turbines increase wind turbulence in the field, possibly increasing evaporation from the crop or moving carbon dioxide down into the crop.
Related ATTRA Publication: Small-Scale Wind Energy on the Farm
Food from Discarded Ingredients Has Strong Potential for Consumer Acceptance
Research by Drexel University found strong potential for consumer acceptance of foods created from surplus ingredients that would otherwise have been wasted, or "value-added surplus products." The researchers tested different product labels and found that "upcycled" was the most-preferred label. This study concluded that value-added surplus foods could be promoted as a new category of foods offering benefits to society and, if communicated properly, could even fetch a price premium.
>>More Breaking News
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Farm Business Management and Benchmarking Competitive Grants Program
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for a program that provides funding to improve the farm management knowledge and skills of agricultural producers and maintain the national, publicly available farm financial management database. The program also funds projects that improve the profitability and competitiveness of small and medium-sized farms and ranches by providing access to high-quality, uniform farm business-management benchmarking information, as well as projects that improve producers' ability to successfully manage their agricultural operations through periods of high risk, volatility, and financial stress. Approximately $1.3 million is available for grants in FY 18.
Applications are due by April 20, 2018.
Supplemental and Alternative Crops Competitive Grants Program
This program administered by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture supports the development of canola as a viable supplemental and alternative crop. The program increases crop production and/or acreage by developing and testing superior germplasm, improving methods of planting, cultivation, and harvesting, and transferring new knowledge to producers. Applications may only be submitted by colleges and universities, other Federal agencies, and private-sector entities.
Applications are due by April 18, 2018.
Minnesota AGRI Urban Agriculture Grant
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has announced $250,000 in grant funding for urban youth agricultural education or urban agriculture community development. The grant program is available to for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations, schools, Native American tribal communities, and local government entities. Applicants may request up to $50,000 per project.
Applications are due April 19, 2018.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Cultivating Accessible Opportunities for Veterans in Agriculture
April 14, 2018
The Kentucky AgrAbility Project is partnering with the National Center for Appropriate Technology to present this full-day program. Expert presenters will cover farm planning, water quality, proper tool usage, practical demonstrations of adaptive technologies, and how these fit into a farm enterprise.
UC ANR Urban Ag Workshop: Marketing & Business Management for Urban Farmers
April 19, 2018
San Diego, California
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Urban Agriculture program presents this third in a series of four San Diego County urban agriculture workshops.
Integration of Row Crops, Cover Crops, Cattle
April 12, 2018
Farmers and beef producers interested in learning more about cover crops and successfully integrating them as a forage resource are invited to a free field day at Iowa State University's Allee Demonstration Farm.
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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.
Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.
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