Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - March 23, 2005
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the
Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site.
* USDA Launches Soybean Rust Web Site
* Farmer Expo Events Feature Local Food Suppliers
* Value-added Agriculture Web Site Redesigned
* WSU Launches Drought Alert Web Site
* University of Arkansas Starts Farming Program for Indian Women
* Scientists Document Problems Associated with Herbicide-Resistant Crops
* Conservation Innovation Grants for Nebraska
* California Exotic/Invasive Pests and Diseases Research
* Kansas Clean Water Farms--River Friendly Farm Plan WRAPS Focus
* Effective Microorganisms in Agriculture Workshop
* Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Tour
* Income Opportunities from Field & Forest Conference
News & Resources
USDA Launches Soybean Rust Web Site
USDA has developed an interactive soybean rust Web site as part of a
national soybean rust plant disease surveillance and monitoring
network. The one-stop federal resource, http://www.usda.gov/soybeanrust,
provides timely information on the extent and severity of soybean rust outbreaks
in the United States, Caribbean basin and Central America. It will give users
up-to-date forecasts on where soybean rust is likely to appear in the United
States, and reports where the disease exists by county, refers growers to county
extension agents nationwide, lists the National Plant Diagnostic Networks laboratories
and links to other Web sites to give producers effective disease management options.
Farmer Expo Events Feature Local Food Suppliers
Consumers in the Kansas City area will have two opportunities to meet
local farmers at Farmer Expos that celebrate local food, says Missouri
Ag Connection. The Food Circles Networking Project and numerous other
sponsors are presenting a Farmer Expo March 26 in Shawnee, Kansas, and
one April 2 in North Kansas City, Missouri. Participants can meet
farmers who retail organic produce and free-range meat, purchase CSA
memberships, take in demonstrations by chefs, and enjoy music and
workshops during the two events.
Value-added Agriculture Web Site Redesigned
AgMRC, the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, has released a
redesigned Web site with new content. In addition to reporting on AgMRC
research, the site now features sections on Commodities and
Products--such as Agri Tourism--and a section on the energy industry.
Business development information is also offered. The center,
administered by Iowa State University, is an electronic, national
resource for producers interested in value-added agriculture.
WSU Launches Drought Alert Web Site
Washington State University (WSU) has launched a Web
site to help Northwest citizens deal with the region's deepening drought.
The WSU Web site provides links to experts in agriculture, agricultural water
policy, economic impacts of drought, landscape and gardens, home water conservation,
and related topics. The site also includes numerous publications on how to manage
livestock, crops, and irrigation during times of drought.
Related ATTRA Publication: Drought
University of Arkansas Starts Farming Program for Indian Women
Using a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, two University
of Arkansas professors hope to unite American Indian women farmers
across the U.S., says an AP article carried by the High Plains Journal.
Janie Hipp, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, and Jennie Popp have
created the Native Women in Agriculture group because they believe
American Indian nations need a stronger emphasis on farming. The group
was formed in partnership with the Intertribal Agriculture Council, a
Billings, Montana-based group that promotes the preservation and
development of Indian farming among the more than 500 federally
recognized tribal governments and Alaskan villages. According to the
2002 Census of Agriculture, there are about 12,000 Indian women
operating farms in the U.S.
Scientists Document Problems Associated with Herbicide-Resistant Crops
A recent comprehensive study published in the March 2005 issue of the
journal Pest Management Science shows that approximately four-fifths of
all genetically modified (GM) crops, covering approximately 41 million
hectares, are herbicide-resistant crops, including soybeans, maize,
canola, and cotton. Authors Michael Owen and Ian Zelaya of Iowa State
University found that there are many risks associated with GM and
herbicide-resistant crops, including problems with market acceptance,
grain contamination, segregation and introgression of
herbicide-resistant traits, and an increased reliance on herbicides for
weed control. Weed population shifts and the evolution of
herbicide-resistant weed populations, in particular, are two problems
resulting from the increased use of herbicides. The abstract of
the article, “Herbicide-resistant crops and weed resistance to herbicides,” is
available free online:
more news and resources, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture
Information Service Web site's Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.
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Conservation Innovation Grants for Nebraska
The USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Nebraska is accepting applications for Conservation Innovation Grants. The purpose of the grants is to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production. CIG projects are expected to lead to the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches (such as market-based systems) into NRCS technical manuals or guides, or to the private sector. Applications are due May 11, 2005.
California Exotic/Invasive Pests and Diseases Research
The University of California Statewide IPM Program and the UC Riverside
Center for Invasive Species Research (CISR) are soliciting new
proposals for developing and promoting basic and applied research
programs linked to extension that address exotic pests and diseases
found in agricultural, urban, and natural environments in California.
The Exotic/Invasive Pests and Diseases Research Program will solicit
proposals from scientists affiliated with public research institutions,
both within and outside of California.
It is anticipated that approximately $1.7 million will be provided by
USDA/CSREES for distribution to projects under this program. All
proposals must be received by April 15, 2005.
Kansas Clean Water Farms--River Friendly Farm Plan WRAPS Focus
"Clean Water Farms--River Friendly Farm Plan WRAPS Focus" is funded through the
Kansas Department of Health and Environment, with funds from U.S. EPA Section
319 Nonpoint Source Funds. The project will work statewide in high priority watersheds
but will also focus on WRAPS (Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy)
areas. The project is based on farmer completion of the River Friendly Farm environmental
assessment. Farmers who complete the assessment receive an incentive payment,
and set priorities for management changes they want to make. These changes, such
as exclusion from riparian zones, development of alternative watering areas,
and establishment of buffer zones, may then be eligible for Clean Water Farms
cost share funding of up to $5,000, in addition to applicable federal funding
programs. The Spring 2005 deadline for applications is March 31, 2005.
additional funding opportunities, visit: http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.
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Effective Microorganisms in Agriculture Workshop
April 2, 2005
This full day workshop features ATTRA Agriculture Specialist Steve Diver and
Vinny Pinto on how to use inexpensive farm-made microbial ferments to boost soil
fertility and control disease in farm and garden crops and to increase the available
nutrition in livestock feeds and control common livestock odors. This is a workshop
for farmers, ranchers, gardeners, ag professionals, resource specialists, conservationists,
soil scientists, nutrient management specialists, students, educators, livestock
managers and anyone interested in the health and nutritional benefits of microbial
Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Tour
May 25, 2005
The Agroecology/Sustainable Agriculture Program at the University of Illinois is sponsoring six sustainable agriculture tours this summer. This first tour is entitled "A Closer Look at Sustainability," and will visit the Center for Sustainable Community. The tour will include a look at the community's solar powered telephone company that also provides high speed wireless internet service; the windmill-supported potable water treatment facility; organic and permaculture oriented gardens; and a lunch prepared with some of Stelle's organically raised foods.
Income Opportunities from Field & Forest Conference
June 3-5, 2005
Rural Action's 7th Annual Landowners Conference offers 50 workshops & demonstrations and over 40 presenters, with introductory and advanced sessions. Topics include forest management, holistic resource management, sustainable agriculture, herbs and other income opportunities, and many more.
events at: http://attra.ncat.org/calendar/index.php.
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