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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 20, 2016

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

  • USDA Launches Survey of Locally Grown and Sold Foods
  • New Guide Helps Farmers Apply for Value-Added Grants
  • Study Explores How Far Airborne Bacteria Travel from Manure Application Sites
  • Fruit Growers Asked to Participate in Spotted Wing Drosophila Survey
  • Brazilian Study Finds Copper Sulfate Toxic to Native Bee Pollinators
  • Tulane Expands Nitrogen Reduction Grand Challenge

Funding Opportunities

  • Western SARE Graduate Student Grants in Sustainable Agriculture
  • Methyl Bromide Transition Program
  • Conservation Innovation Grants in Ohio

Coming Events

  • Farm Foundations: Planning for Success
  • Pastured Poultry and Pig Production
  • Small-scale Commercial Mushroom Production

News & Resources

USDA Launches Survey of Locally Grown and Sold Foods
USDA has launched its first-ever Local Food Marketing Practices survey, asking producers for information on their production and local marketing of foods during 2015. Information being collected includes the value of food sales by marketing channel, value of crop and livestock sales, marketing practices, expenses, Federal farm program participation, and more. The National Agricultural Statistics Service mailed surveys to a random sample of producers that grow and sell foods locally.

New Guide Helps Farmers Apply for Value-Added Grants
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) has released an updated version of its annual Farmers' Guide to Applying for the Value-Added Producer Grant Program, a unique resource that walks farmers through the program's application requirements, including a step-by-step description of the application and ranking processes. The guide is available for free download at the NSAC website.

Study Explores How Far Airborne Bacteria Travel from Manure Application Sites
Research from Clarkson University explored how far common bacteria—including Salmonella and E. coli—are likely to travel downwind from manure application sites, reports the American Society of Agronomy. For three years, researchers took samples at several distances from manure application sites and measured the presence of illness-causing bacteria. The team found that produce fields should be set back from areas of manure application by at least 160 meters.
Related ATTRA Publication: Manures for Organic Crop Production

Fruit Growers Asked to Participate in Spotted Wing Drosophila Survey
The national Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) Specialty Crop Research Initiative project is conducting a survey of growers who produce small fruit. The survey will quantify impacts of SWD throughout the United States and guide the project through its next four years. The project is collecting information on the impacts of SWD, current management practices and preferences, and requirements for better management. In addition, there is a corresponding online survey specifically for growers of organic fruit crops.

Brazilian Study Finds Copper Sulfate Toxic to Native Bee Pollinators
A new study from the Federal University of Vicosa in Brazil, reported by Entomology Today, found that copper sulfate, when used as a leaf fertilizer, is lethal to a native Brazilian bee that is the prevailing wild pollinator in the region. In the United States, copper sulfate is primarily used as a fungicide, including in organic agriculture. The researchers found that, under oral exposure, the copper sulfate fertilizer killed all the test bees within 72 hours, and was more lethal than the spinosad control.

Tulane Expands Nitrogen Reduction Grand Challenge
The Tulane Nitrogen Reduction Challenge is seeking innovative in-field solutions that will reduce crop fertilizers and runoff, with the goal of combating hypoxia and global "Dead Zones" in the world's lakes and oceans. Tulane University offers worldwide entrepreneurs, researchers, and inventors a new and expanded $1 million Grand Challenge. The registration deadline is June 30, 2016.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Western SARE Graduate Student Grants in Sustainable Agriculture
Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program is accepting applications from masters or Ph.D. students enrolled full time at accredited colleges or universities in the Western region. Proposals must address issues in sustainable agriculture of importance to the region. Grants provide a maximum of $25,000.
Submission deadline is May 11, 2016.

Methyl Bromide Transition Program
This program addresses the immediate needs and costs of transition that have resulted from the scheduled phase-out of the pesticide methyl bromide. The program focuses on integrated commercial-scale research on methyl bromide alternatives and associated extension activity that will foster the adoption of these solutions. Applications may be submitted by colleges and universities for matching funds up to $500,000.
Applications are due by May 31, 2016.

Conservation Innovation Grants in Ohio
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced the availability of up to $150,000 in matching Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) in Ohio. CIG grants stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies, while leveraging the Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection in conjunction with agricultural production.
Applications are due May 1, 2016.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Farm Foundations: Planning for Success
May 21, 2016
St. Catharine, Kentucky
The National Center for Appropriate Technology is partnering with Growing Warriors and the Berry Farming Program at St. Catharine College to host a three-part beginning farmer workshop series for military veterans and socially disadvantaged farmers. The first workshop will focus on whole-farm planning, business management, and starting a sustainable farming operation. There is no cost, but space is limited.

Pastured Poultry and Pig Production
May 21-22, 2016
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Across the Creek Farm is hosting this workshop for the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association. The first day will cover pastured poultry production, and the second day features pastured pig production. Participants can attend either or both days.

Small-scale Commercial Mushroom Production
May 20 or 21, 2016
Fallon or Carson City, Nevada
This event is geared toward small-scale production of edible and medicinal mushrooms for commercial use. It will focus on controlled-environment production-management strategies while touching on land management for outdoor production. The event is being offered at two locations on different dates.

>> 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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© 2016 NCAT

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Updated ATTRA Publication
Companion Planting & Botanical Pesticides: Concepts & Resources

Question of the Week
From a business standpoint, how can I get started in market gardening?

Ask an Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Armed to Farm
Attend our free sustainable agriculture training for veterans, June 6-10 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Apply by April 29.

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