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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 1, 2015

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.

News & Resources

  • New Bean Varieties Withstand Extreme Heat
  • Studies to Help Bring Poultry Production Model to Scale
  • Urban Agriculture Website Offers Science-Based Information
  • Market Incentives May Help Boost Farm Income
  • Feeding Stimulants Increase Effectiveness of Beneficial Insect Virus
  • USDA, FWS Launch Ecosystem-Wide Riparian Habitat Effort

Funding Opportunities

  • Southern SARE Sustainable Community Innovation Grant
  • Northeast SARE Graduate Student Grant
  • Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program

Coming Events

  • Women Caring for the Land
  • Resilient Food Systems Conference
  • Women in Farming Risk Management Education Workshop

News & Resources

New Bean Varieties Withstand Extreme Heat
CGIAR bean breeders have announced the development of 30 new types of "heat-beater" beans. Many of the new heat-tolerant beans are crosses between the "common bean"—which includes pinto, white, black, and kidney beans—and the tepary bean. The new beans are a landmark result of urgent efforts by CGIAR to develop new crop varieties that can thrive in drastic weather extremes.

Studies to Help Bring Poultry Production Model to Scale
The University of Minnesota Southeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnership will support a series of studies to identify the best course of action to bring Main Street Project's ecologically restorative and sustainable poultry production model to scale. The production method is designed to produce a natural poultry product using the Label Rouge bird. It incorporates an alternative feeding system, aims to improve soil health, utilizes polycultures, and increases long-term overall production potential.The model creates an avenue into agricultural entrepreneurship for low-income immigrants.
Related ATTRA Publication: Label Rouge: Pasture-Based Poultry Production in France

Urban Agriculture Website Offers Science-Based Information
UC ANR has created a website with information about urban agriculture. The site offers science-based information and resources on small-scale production, including soil, planting, irrigation, pest management, and harvesting. It also provides information on the business of farming, such as how to market urban farm products.
Related ATTRA Publication: Start a Farm in the City

Market Incentives May Help Boost Farm Income
In California, rice grower Knaggs Ranch is managing land for conservation outcomes. By controlling the timing and volume of field flooding, Knaggs Ranch is able to support salmon nurseries and provide beneficial habitat for waterfowl and shore birds. These conservation outcomes can then be sold to public and private investors via the Central Valley Habitat Exchange.
Related ATTRA Publication: Agriculture, Climate Change and Carbon Sequestration

Feeding Stimulants Increase Effectiveness of Beneficial Insect Virus
USDA Agricultural Research Service entomologists have found that adding brewer's yeast and brown sugar to Cydia pomonella granulovirus can help increase its effectiveness in controlling codling moth. This natural insect pathogen has been commercially formulated to kill codling moth larvae. Scientists found that adding feeding stimulants to spray formulations increased pests' ingestion, killing 83% of larvae.

USDA, FWS Launch Ecosystem-Wide Riparian Habitat Effort
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have unveiled an ecosystem-wide model to aid riparian species and help western landowners. The model will enhance or restore habitat while supporting working lands in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. These efforts are part of the Working Lands for Wildlife partnership. Six new conservation practices are available: installation of a stream crossing, pumping plant, micro-irrigation system, or livestock shelter; mulching; and planting for species habitat.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Southern SARE Sustainable Community Innovation Grant
A special grant to fund research on local and regional food systems is available from the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) program and the Southern Rural Development Center. The grant is open to individuals, non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, governmental organizations, and/or educational organizations located in the Southern region.
Proposals are due May 4, 2015.

Northeast SARE Graduate Student Grant
Grants up to $15,000 are available for graduate students who are researching topics in sustainable agriculture that will serve the interests of farmers and agricultural service providers. This grant is open to graduate students enrolled at an accredited college, university, or veterinary school in the Northeast region.
Applications are due May 12, 2015.

Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program
This program provides matching funds to state Departments of Agriculture, state agricultural experiment stations, and other state agencies. These funds assist in exploring new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products and encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the marketing system. Approximately $1 million in matching funds is available.
Applications are due by May 14, 2015.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Women Caring for the Land
May 5, 6, or 7, 2015
Altoona, Medford, or Marshfield, Wisconsin

The Rural Women's Project and Women, Food, and Agriculture Network are offering free workshops that support women landowners in learning about land conservation and connecting with various state agencies for program and local resource information. Participants will learn to assess and improve the health of their soils through cover crops, no-till and strip-till, and other conservation practices.

Resilient Food Systems Conference
May 8-9, 2015
San Luis Obispo, California

Join Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for this free, public event. Learn from industry and community leaders from across the food and agricultural landscape who are helping to build a more resilient food system through their innovative enterprises.

Women in Farming Risk Management Education Workshop
May 9, 2015
Linn, Kansas

Kansas Rural Center's third "Women in Farming" workshop will focus on business, financial, and legal risk management during the morning. In the afternoon, a farm tour will focus on cover crops, no-till, and cattle management for women.

>> 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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© 2015 NCAT

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New ATTRA Resource
Scaling Up for Regional Markets Tutorial ~ Lessons and information for farmers who have success in smaller and more direct marketing channels and who are interested in expanding their operations to meet a growing demand for local food.

Question of the Week
How can I control Japanese beetle organically?

Upcoming Webinar
Texas Drought and Disaster Assistance Programs ~ April 9, 2015

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Submit questions to our professional staff online

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