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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

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Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - March 23, 2005

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site.

News & Resources
* 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

Funding Opportunities
* Conservation Innovation Grants for Nebraska
* California Exotic/Invasive Pests and Diseases Research
* Kansas Clean Water Farms--River Friendly Farm Plan WRAPS Focus

Coming Events
* Effective Microorganisms in Agriculture Workshop
* Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Tour
* Income Opportunities from Field & Forest Conference

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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.
URL: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/...

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.
URL: http://www.missouriagconnection.com/
story-state.cfm?Id=159&yr=2005

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.
URL: http://www.agmrc.org/agmrc/

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.
URL: http://cahenews.wsu.edu/RELEASES/2005/05011.htm
Related ATTRA Publication: Drought Presentations

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.
URL: http://www.hpj.com/edit4/UniversityofArkansasstartsf.CFM

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:
URL: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/
109876159/ABSTRACT

For 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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Funding Opportunities

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.
URL: http://fedgrants.gov/Applicants/USDA/NRCS/Nebraska/NRCS-NE-05-
001/Grant.html

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.
URL: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/EXOTIC/cisrrfp.html

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.
URL: http://www.kansasruralcenter.org/news.html#CWF

For additional funding opportunities, visit: http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.

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Coming Events

Effective Microorganisms in Agriculture Workshop
April 2, 2005
Shepherdstown, Maryland

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 diversity.
URL: http://www.gardeningforthefuture.com/

Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Tour
May 25, 2005
Stelle, Illinois

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.
URL: http://www.aces.uiuc.edu/asap/topics/tours.html

Income Opportunities from Field & Forest Conference
June 3-5, 2005
Ohio

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.
URL: http://www.ruralaction.org/conference.html

More events at: http://attra.ncat.org/calendar/index.php.

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Digital versions of recent Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are now available online. ATTRAnews is the bi-monthly newsletter of ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
URL: http://attra.ncat.org/newsletter/archives.html

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home pageThe National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is the Web site of the ATTRA project created and managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), and funded under a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT Web site for more information on our sustainable agriculture projects.

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