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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 24, 2013

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

Planning to Apply for the 2013 Conservation Stewardship Program? ATTRA Can Help!
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will soon be announcing the cut-off date for farmer applications to the 2013 Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). The sign-up period is expected to start in late April and last for only 30 days.
If you need help accessing this program or want to learn how it can help your farming and ranching operation, contact ATTRA.

News & Resources

  • Comment Period Extended for Proposed Food Safety Rules
  • Report Presents Local Meat Processing Solutions
  • Adjusted Gross Revenue-Lite Wizard Ready for 2014 Crop Year
  • Hudson Valley Food Hubs Report Released
  • National Geographic Feature Explores Use and Overuse of Fertilizer
  • Guide for Establishing Game-Bird Preserves Accessible Online

Funding Opportunities

  • Southern SARE Research and Education Grant
  • New Mexico Agricultural Development and Promotion Funds
  • Iowa Conservation Innovation Grant

Coming Events

  • First International Symposium on Elderberry
  • Slow Living Summit and Strolling of the Heifers
  • Pastured-Poultry Product Diversification and Branding

News & Resources

Comment Period Extended for Proposed Food Safety Rules
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition reports that the Food and Drug Administration will extend the public comment period on two proposed food safety regulations by 120 days, until mid-September. The two proposed rules are part of the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act. They set standards for produce safety and for facilities that process food for human consumption. NSAC is providing more information about the rules and how to comment on them on its FSMA Action Center website.

Report Presents Local Meat Processing Solutions
The Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network is making available the results of recent research in From Convenience to Commitment: Securing the Long-Term Viability of Local Meat and Poultry Processing. The report concludes that business commitments between processors and farmers are critical to mutual success. Case studies of successful local and regional processors illustrate strategies and solutions.

Adjusted Gross Revenue-Lite Wizard Ready for 2014 Crop Year
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has announced the update of its nationally recognized Web-based whole-farm-revenue crop insurance assessment tool, known as the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR)-Lite Wizard, for the 2014 crop year. The AGR-Lite Wizard helps producers determine if they are likely to be eligible for AGR-Lite insurance, estimates premium costs, and estimates what payments producers would receive if eligible losses were sustained.
Related ATTRA Publication: Crop Insurance Options for Specialty, Diversified, and Organic Farmers

Hudson Valley Food Hubs Report Released
Hudson Valley Food Hubs Initiative: Research Findings and Recommendations focuses on infrastructure issues for regional food systems, with a particular focus on the emerging interest in Food Hubs as a way to strengthen regional food systems. The study analyzes how to build capacity and infrastructure for the benefit of the Hudson Valley Region's farmers, citizens, and communities.

National Geographic Feature Explores Use and Overuse of Fertilizer
A feature article in the May 2013 issue of National Geographic warns that overuse of nitrogen fertilizer in agriculture worldwide is environmentally costly. The article showcases efforts to reduce the nitrogen consumption—and pollution—of agriculture, including organic farming and the low-input agriculture research being conducted by Michigan State University's Kellogg Biological Station.
Related ATTRA Resource: Reducing Nitrogen Fertilizer and Indirect Energy Usage

Guide for Establishing Game-Bird Preserves Accessible Online
Hunting preserves provide a way for landowners to transition from row-crops into seasonal grasses while still generating income from the land. A new publication, the Game-Bird Preserve Business Development Guide, is available for landowners interested in establishing a profitable hunting preserve.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Southern SARE Research and Education Grant
The Southern Region USDA Program on Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) is requesting preproposals for systems research and education activities that address issues of sustainable agriculture that are of current and potential importance to the region and nation. Priority funding areas are listed online; project proposals must fall within one of these areas.
Preproposals are due by June 3, 2013.

New Mexico Agricultural Development and Promotion Funds
New Mexicans involved in agricultural development and promotional projects are invited to apply for funds through New Mexico Department of Agriculture. Funds may be applied toward projects involving livestock, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and nursery crops, among others. Generally, award amounts range from $500 to $10,000 for individual applicants and up to $30,000 for groups working on a joint initiative.
The application deadline is May 1, 2013.

Iowa Conservation Innovation Grant
NRCS has announced $800,000 available through the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program in Iowa. Project proposals should demonstrate the use of innovative technologies or approaches to address soil health/quality, nutrient management strategies, grassland management, drought mitigation, or technology related to establishing cover crops.
Applications are due by May 3, 2013.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

First International Symposium on Elderberry
June 9-14, 2013
Columbia, Missouri

The First International Symposium on Elderberry (Sambucus) will gather scientists studying all aspects of the elderberry plant and fruit and elderberry's use as a food and dietary supplement. Following the scientific portion of the Symposium (June 9 12) is the Elderberry Producers Symposium (June 13 14).

Slow Living Summit and Strolling of the Heifers
June 5-9, 2013
Brattleboro, Vermont

The third annual Slow Living Summit, about sustainable living, resilient communities, and the inner transformations necessary for living slow, takes place June 5-7. The Strolling of the Heifers Weekend features the parade on Saturday, followed by the Slow Living Expo, which highlights local food producers and craftspeople. On Sunday, the Tour de Heifer offers farm-to-farm cycling rides.

Pastured-Poultry Product Diversification and Branding
June 5, 2013
Ronan, Montana
This workshop is the fourth and final in a series on pastured poultry being offered in Montana by NCAT, the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center, and Salish-Kootenai College. The keynote speaker will be NCAT Organic Program Specialist Ann Baier of Soquel, California.

>> More Events

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Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

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New Publication
Consejos para vender a través de Agroturismo y "Coseche-Usted-Mismo"

Question of the Week
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