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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - March 20, 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.

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We are inviting users of NCAT's ATTRA program to provide feedback on how you use its resources, how satisfied you are with those resources, and the impacts and benefits that you have seen from using these resources. Please complete this 10-minute, confidential, and anonymous online survey by March 23, 2019.

News & Resources

  • NCAT Accepting Applications for Armed to Farm Sustainable Agriculture Training in Indiana
  • USDA Seeks Nominees for National Organic Standards Board
  • Iowa Beef Center Compiles Flood-Related Resources
  • Report on Exploring Connections Between Soil Health and Human Health Released
  • Growing Grasses with Blueberries Corrects Iron Deficiency
  • Results Available from Michigan Chile Pepper Trial

Funding Opportunities

  • Northeast SARE Partnership Grant Program
  • Missouri Conservation Partners Grants
  • Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership TIE Grants

Coming Events

  • Mother Earth News Fair
  • Northern Nut Growers Association and Pennsylvania Nut Growers Association Spring Meeting
  • Spring Kentucky Grazing School

News & Resources

NCAT Accepting Applications for Armed to Farm Sustainable Agriculture Training in Indiana
The National Center for Appropriate Technology's (NCAT) Armed to Farm (ATF) program is accepting applications from military veterans to participate in a week-long sustainable agriculture training May 13-17, 2019, in Crawfordsville, Indiana. ATF's engaging blend of farm tours, hands-on experience, and interactive classroom instruction gives participants a strong foundation in the basic principles of operating a sustainable farm. The training is free for those chosen to participate. Applications are due by April 8, 2019. Veterans located in the Midwest region will receive priority.

USDA Seeks Nominees for National Organic Standards Board
USDA is accepting nominations of qualified individuals for five open seats on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). Current openings include one seat each for an environmental protection and resource conservation representative, organic farmer, and organic retailer, and two seats for organic handlers. Nominations are due by May 17, 2019. Each member serves a five-year term on the 15-member advisory board.

Iowa Beef Center Compiles Flood-Related Resources
The Iowa Beef Center has posted a web page of flood-related online resources to help agricultural producers impacted by recent flooding. These include resources on production, such as managing flooded crops and feeds, as well as a range of financial-assistance resources. There are also links to manure-management resources and information on alternative feeds for livestock.

Report on Exploring Connections Between Soil Health and Human Health Released
The Soil Health Institute has released a report on the Conference on Connections Between Soil Health and Human Health that was held in October 2018. The conference's top priorities for investigating soil health and human health connections are presented, along with summaries and links to each presentation.
Related ATTRA Tutorial: Soil Health

Growing Grasses with Blueberries Corrects Iron Deficiency
A study published in Frontiers in Plant Science showed that growing grasses with blueberry plants could correct signs of iron deficiency in the berries at less cost and risk than chemical treatment. The grass intercropping also increased the berries' yield and antioxidant content. Grasses, which are well-adapted to poor soils, can provide a sustainable, natural source of iron chelators when grown alongside fruiting plants including olives, grapes, citrus, and blueberries.
Related ATTRA Publication: Blueberries: Organic Production

Results Available from Michigan Chile Pepper Trial
Michigan State University Extension's Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center conducted a trial of chile peppers in 2018. They found that using earlier-maturing varieties was key to ripening chiles to maturity in Michigan's climate. Production results and notes for 12 commercial varieties are available online. The project also evaluated low-cost methods of drying the fruit.
Related ATTRA Publication: Local Foods No. 5 -- Hot Peppers (Chili Peppers)

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Northeast SARE Partnership Grant Program
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program is accepting applications for its Partnership Grant Program. The grant program funds projects conducted by researchers, educators, nonprofit staff, and other agricultural service providers working in direct partnership with farmers. Fundable projects seek innovative solutions to current challenges to the health of Northeast agriculture or strengthen working partnerships between farmers and agricultural service providers to advance sustainable agriculture. The grants are capped at $30,000.
Applications are due by April 23, 2019.

Missouri Conservation Partners Grants
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Missouri is offering $800,000 in grants for partners promoting public awareness and implementation of Farm Bill conservation activities. Areas of emphasis include outreach workshops and conferences, technical workshops and field days focused on soil health strategies or native plants, organic and specialty crop workshops, water-quality improvement, technical assistance implementation, and enhancement of climate data tools.
Proposals are due by April 15, 2019.

Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership TIE Grants
Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP) offers Technology, Innovation, and Excellence (TIE) grants to farmers in Bristol, Plymouth, and Norfolk counties of Massachusetts. The program encourages local farmers to trial new equipment, implement new farm systems, and address challenges farmers in the region collectively face. The program is intended to lower the economic barriers to innovation, with grants ranging from $500 to $3,000.
Applications are due March 31, 2019.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Mother Earth News Fair
April 27-28, 2019
Fletcher, North Carolina
The Mother Earth News Fair offers nationally-known speakers on organic gardening, homesteading, natural building, and more, as well as hands-on workshops, lectures, and exhibits that feature sustainable lifestyle products and services.

Northern Nut Growers Association and Pennsylvania Nut Growers Association Spring Meeting
April 27, 2019
Wrightstown, New Jersey
This Nut Growers Spring Meeting will feature presentations on black walnut, pawpaw, hazelnut trees for truffles, and the spotted lantern fly pest. After morning presentations, participants will visit a nut and fruit orchard.

Spring Kentucky Grazing School
April 23-24, 2019
Princeton, Kentucky
This course is designed to help producers learn the newest grazing methods with classroom and hands-on learning. The agenda includes expert presentations, farm demonstrations, a producer panel, group project, and field exercise.

>>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 Videos
High Tunnel Grapes Winter Pruning

High Tunnel Grapes – Cluster Thinning

Question of the Week
When should I prune Heritage and Carolina Red raspberries?

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Growing Edible Mushrooms
Fayetteville, Arkansas
April 2, 2019
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