Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 4, 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.
News & Resources
- Guide to Hedgerows and Farmscaping Released
- Updated Exemptions for FSMA Published
- Reintegrating Livestock a Potential Solution for Regenerative Agriculture
- Researchers Surveying Commercial Vegetable Farmers on Crop Rotations
- Rye Cover Crop Helps Control Weeds in Edamame
- International Agroecology Symposium a Call for Healthier, More Sustainable Food Systems
- Local Food Promotion Program
- California Healthy Soils Program Second Solicitation
- King Conservation District Regional Food System Grant Program
- International Heritage Breeds Week
- Organic Confluences
- Pastured and Free-Range Poultry Course
News & Resources
Guide to Hedgerows and Farmscaping Released
Community Alliance with Family Farmers has updated its publication on hedgerows for California. The second edition of Hedgerows and Farmscaping for California Agriculture is available free online in PDF. It highlights the multiple benefits of hedgerows, windbreaks, filter strips, grassed waterways, riparian areas, and beetle banks.
Related ATTRA Publication: A Pictorial Guide to Hedgerow Plants for Beneficial Insects
Updated Exemptions for FSMA Published
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has published updated information regarding exemptions from the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Several FSMA rules have provisions in which a value is adjusted for inflation and averaged over three years. NSAC explains that this means that the Produce Rule qualified exemption applies this year to farms with less than $539,982 in three-year-average food sales. Meanwhile, the de minimis exemption cutoff this year is a $26,999 three-year average.
Related ATTRA Resource: Food Safety
Reintegrating Livestock a Potential Solution for Regenerative Agriculture
Reintegrating livestock can help make regenerative farming more profitable and more attainable, reports the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Livestock can profitably terminate cover crops, as well as build soil health by providing fertilizer. The UCS report Reintegrating Land and Livestock illustrates the economic benefits of diverse farming systems, and a UCS blog post highlights practitioners of livestock-integrated farming who are proving its value in the field.
Related ATTRA Publication: Integrating Livestock and Crops: Improving Soil, Solving Problems, Increasing Income
Researchers Surveying Commercial Vegetable Farmers on Crop Rotations
Researchers in the Departments of Entomology at Penn State and Purdue University are collaborating to explore how crop-species relatedness and adjacent-planting relatedness influence insect-pest populations in crop rotations. They are studying the scientific basis for crop rotations and farm layouts. The researchers want to collect feedback from as many commercial vegetable farmers as possible, through a five-minute online survey.
Rye Cover Crop Helps Control Weeds in Edamame
The University of Illinois reports that early-killed cereal rye shows promise for edamame growers as a cover crop that offers weed control. Growers have been looking for alternative weed controls, given the increase in herbicide-resistant weeds. Edamame are difficult to establish and may have difficulty sprouting through cover-crop residue, but in testing the early-killed cereal rye offered the right conditions.
Related ATTRA Publication: Edamame: Vegetable Soybean
International Agroecology Symposium a Call for Healthier, More Sustainable Food Systems
At the 2nd International Agroecology Symposium in Rome, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said that agroecology can contribute to healthier and more sustainable food systems. As defined by FAO, agroecology applies ecological and social approaches to agricultural systems, focusing on the rich interactions between plants, animals, humans, and the environment. Graziano da Silva urged national policy makers to provide greater support for agroecology.
>>More Breaking News
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Local Food Promotion Program
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service is accepting applications for the Local Food Promotion Program. This program increases domestic consumption of and access to locally and regionally produced agricultural products and develops new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets. Approximately $13.4 million will be available. LFPP planning grant awards range from $25,000 to $100,000. LFPP implementation grant awards range from $100,000 to $500,000. A 25% funding match is required.
Applications are due by May 7, 2018.
California Healthy Soils Program Second Solicitation
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)'s Healthy Soils Program (HSP) provides financial assistance for incentivizing and demonstrating conservation agricultural management practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases, and improve soil health. CDFA is accepting applications for both the HSP Incentives Program and Demonstration Projects. California farmers, ranchers, and Native American Indian Tribes are eligible to apply. The maximum grant award is $50,000, with matching funds required.
Applications are due by April 13, 2018.
King Conservation District Regional Food System Grant Program
This program was initiated to provide a catalyst for making local food production more ecologically and economically sustainable. The program funds projects that contribute to the economic viability of local farmers, encourage new farmers, expand acreage in food production, improve food access, and increase demand for King County, Washington, farm products. The maximum award is $100,000 and match is required.
Pre-proposals are due April 23, 2018.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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International Heritage Breeds Week
May 20-26, 2018
International Heritage Breeds Week aims to raise global awareness about endangered heritage breeds of livestock and poultry. Event ideas and promotional materials are available online.
May 21-22, 2018
The Organic Confluences Summit brings together farmers, scientists, extension agents, industry members and key policy influencers to address large-scale challenges that the organic sector is facing.
Pastured and Free-Range Poultry Course
May 18, 2018
Santa Rosa, California
UC Davis and partners, including NCAT, present this course for beginning free-range and pastured poultry farmers, with information on husbandry practices, housing, records maintenance, biosecurity, and more.
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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.
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