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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 10, 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.

News & Resources

  • NCAT Accepting Applications for Armed to Farm Veteran Training in Vermont
  • USDA Announces Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-Up Period
  • Small-Scale Agricultural Landscapes Provide Ecological Services
  • Hmong-language Videos Help Farmers Learn Food Safety
  • Sorghum Compounds Could Be Used as Insect Deterrent
  • Growing Ginger as a Market Crop Possible in Northern Climates

Funding Opportunities

  • Northeast SARE Grad Student Grants
  • Acer Access and Development Program
  • Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund

Coming Events

  • Begin a Farmstead Micro-Creamery
  • Southwest Center Grazing School
  • Growing Cut Flowers for Profit, Pollinators or Just for Fun

News & Resources

NCAT Accepting Applications for Armed to Farm Veteran Training in Vermont
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is accepting applications from military veterans who want to attend our week-long Armed to Farm (ATF) training June 10-14, 2019, in Craftsbury Common, Vermont. ATF allows veterans and their spouses to experience sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and explore agriculture as a viable career. Selection priority will be given to residents of the Northeast region. Applications are due by May 3, 2019.

USDA Announces Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-Up Period
USDA has announced that producers interested in enrolling in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) should submit applications by May 10, 2019, to ensure they are considered for 2019 funding. NRCS plans to invest up to $700 million for new enrollments and contract extensions in fiscal year 2019. Applicants should be aware that the 2018 Farm Bill made several changes to this program.

Related ATTRA Publication: Federal Conservation Resources for Sustainable Farming and Ranching

Small-Scale Agricultural Landscapes Provide Ecological Service
Researchers at the University of Würzburg published a study that illustrates the value of breaking up agricultural landscapes into small habitats. When small-scale cropland is alternated with non-crop habitat, biodiversity, pollination, and pest control are all improved. The study of 1,515 agricultural landscapes in Europe showed more beneficial insects and spiders with small-scale land use, as well as increased pollination and natural pest control.
Related ATTRA Publication: Farmscaping to Enhance Biological Control

Hmong-language Videos Help Farmers Learn Food Safety
University of Minnesota Extension and Hmong-American farmers have developed four Hmong-language videos to help farmers scale up for wholesale production. The videos are part of a peer-to-peer learning project, and Hmong-American farmers helped develop the scripts and acted in the videos. Topics include cleaning and sanitizing tools, keeping things clean on the farm, washing vegetables, and mixing sanitizers.
Related ATTRA Publication: The Organic Chronicles No. 1: Mysteries of Organic Farming Revealed (Hmong language version)

Sorghum Compounds Could Be Used as Insect Deterrent
Research at Penn State University, published online in the Journal of Chemical Ecology, has shown that chemicals called flavonoids help provide sorghum plants resistance against corn leaf aphid. Scientists say the findings suggest that flavonoids could be developed into non-toxic insecticides to protect crops.
Related ATTRA Resource: Biorationals: Ecological Pest Management Database

Growing Ginger as a Market Crop Possible in Northern Climates
Ginger can be grown as a market crop in northern climates, said Minnesota organic grower Melissa Driscoll at the MOSES Organic Conference in February. Keys to growing the tropical crop are sprouting it in a dark, warm, and moist place for six weeks, then planting it in fertile soil with temperatures above 55° F. Ginger is transplanted to a low tunnel in May. It takes 10 months to produce a crop, but the ginger can be a profitable local crop when the whole plant is marketed.
Related ATTRA Publication: Specialty Crops for Cold Climates

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Northeast SARE Grad Student Grants
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) is accepting proposals for Graduate Student Grants. The program funds projects that explore one or more of the sustainable agriculture themes of environmental stewardship, farm profitability, and quality of life for farmers and the farm community. Successful applicants will receive up to $15,000. The grant program is open to any graduate student enrolled at an accredited college, university, or veterinary school located in the Northeast region.
Proposals are due by May 7, 2019.

Acer Access and Development Program
USDA has $4 million available through the Acer Access and Development Program to support the efforts of states, tribal governments, and research institutions to promote the domestic maple syrup industry. The program also supports producer and landowner education projects to advance producer knowledge, awareness, and understanding of research, educational resources, or natural-resource sustainability practices affecting the maple syrup industry and its products.
Applications are due by May 10, 2019.

Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is soliciting proposals through the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund to protect, conserve, and increase habitat for the monarch butterfly and other pollinators. The Pollinator Fund will award up to $1.2 million for Technical Assistance for Private Working Lands and up to $440,000 for Habitat Improvement.
Pre-proposals are due by May 9, 2019.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Begin a Farmstead Micro-Creamery
May 23, 2019
Clear Lake, Wisconsin
This free, mid-day MOSES Organic Field Day visits Cosmic Wheel Creamery located at Turnip Rock Farm, a micro-dairy that processes the milk from 20 grass-fed cows into artisan cheese that is direct-marketed via CSA and farmers markets.

Southwest Center Grazing School
May 7-9, 2019
Mt. Vernon, Missouri
University of Missouri—Southwest Research Center is hosting a seminar on management-intensive grazing for economic and environmental sustainability, applicable to all types of livestock. Topics include resource management, grazing, fencing, planning, and outdoor field exercises.

Growing Cut Flowers for Profit, Pollinators, or Just for Fun
May 18, 2019
Ridgeland, Mississippi
Flower Growers of Mississippi hosts a day-long workshop where you can learn what flowers to grow, when to plant, and how to grow, harvest, condition, and market locally grown cut flowers.

>>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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Hipbillies: Deep Revolution in the Arkansas Ozarks

Question of the Week
How can I improve the efficiency of electric motors in my irrigation system?

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Beginning Farmer Workshop
April 20, 2019
Gulfport, Mississippi
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April 22, 2019
Bentonville, Arkansas
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