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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 24, 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

  • International Effort Mapping Global Phosphorus Flow
  • Guide to Help Financial Institutions Assess Natural Capital Risk In Agriculture
  • Seaweed Diet Could Help Combat Methane Emissions from Cattle
  • White Paper Focuses on Food System Access to Capital
  • Southern SARE Announces Award of Producer and On-Farm Research Grants
  • Banana Crisis an Example of Agricultural System Lacking Diversity

Funding Opportunities

  • Conservation Innovation Grants in Arkansas
  • North Dakota Honey Bee Research and Promotion
  • Ohio Specialty Crop Promotion Program

Coming Events

  • North American Agroforestry Conference
  • Comprehensive Elderberry Workshop
  • ASAP's Farm Tour

News & Resources

International Effort Mapping Global Phosphorus Flow
Stevens Institute of Technology is spearheading an international project to map the global flow of phosphorus, as the first step in an effort to recapture and recycle this valuable and limited nutrient. The map reveals potential for phosphorus recapture for 72% of croplands that have manure production nearby and for 68% of croplands with significant human populations nearby.

Guide to Help Financial Institutions Assess Natural Capital Risk In Agriculture
The Natural Capital Finance Alliance has released Natural Capital Credit Risk Assessment in Agricultural Lending, a new template that enables financial institutions to conduct risk assessment across different agricultural sectors and geographies. Lenders should recognize that short-term performance can be improved in an unsustainable way, but this can create medium-term risks such as degradation of land and water. The new approach outlined in this guide takes into account water availability, use and quality; soil health; biodiversity; energy use, and greenhouse-gas emissions.

Seaweed Diet Could Help Combat Methane Emissions from Cattle
Scientists at the University of California have found a red algae seaweed that reduces bovine methane production by as much as 50% when small amounts are added to cattle feed. Now scientists are exploring how they might be able to cultivate Asparagopsis taxiformis on a large scale, and how they might increase its concentration of bromoform, the chemical responsible for halting methane production in cattle.

White Paper Focuses on Food System Access to Capital
The Council of Development Finance Agencies has released the second white paper in its Food Finance series, Food Systems and Access to Capital. This paper focuses on small businesses, micro-enterprises, and entrepreneurs, arguing that food-related businesses are no different than other small businesses. It shows how small businesses can access and utilize different types of financing tools.

Southern SARE Announces Award of Producer and On-Farm Research Grants
The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) program is awarding more than $79,500 to farmers to further sustainable agriculture production and marketing practices. Grant recipients will share their results with fellow farmers. Southern SARE will also award $116,154 for eight on-farm research grants. A complete list of funded projects is available online.

Banana Crisis an Example of Agricultural System Lacking Diversity
The global banana industry is facing devastation by a Fusarium wilt, writes University of Westminster's Stuart Thompson. Options range from quarantines to genetic engineering and conventional plant breeding, but these are expensive and would leave bananas vulnerable to new diseases. Thompson argues that an agricultural system with more diversity, crop rotation, and companion planting is a better long-term solution, not just for bananas, but for food production in general.
Related ATTRA Publication: Companion Planting & Botanical Pesticides: Concepts & Resources

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Conservation Innovation Grants in Arkansas
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for Conservation Innovation Grants in Arkansas. Approximately $300,000 is available to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. For FY 2019, Arkansas NRCS will consider offering grants in the following areas: nutrient and sediment reduction in impaired watersheds, high tunnels, organic, irrigation, soil health, and adoption of cover crops in rice rotations. Individual matching grant awards may not exceed $75,000.
Applications must be submitted by May 31, 2019.

North Dakota Honey Bee Research and Promotion
North Dakota Department of Agriculture is seeking grant proposals for research into honey bee health issues and for honey promotion and outreach. Approximately $130,000 is available. Research priorities are Varroa mite control, understanding honey bee viruses and effects on honey bee health, correlating pathogen presence to management practices, and other problem-solving ideas of interest to the beekeeping industry.
Grant applications must be received by May 31, 2019.

Ohio Specialty Crop Promotion Program
Ohio Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for funding to enhance the competitiveness of Ohio specialty crops. Grant awards will range from a minimum of $25,000 to a maximum of $150,000. Food and agricultural nonprofit organizations, cooperatives, associations or commodity groups, universities, and research institutions that represent specific specialty crop sectors are eligible to apply.
Applications must be submitted online by May 3, 2019.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

North American Agroforestry Conference
June 24-27, 2019
Corvallis, Oregon
The Association for Temperate Agroforestry will convene for "Agroforestry for Sustainable Production and Resilient Landscapes." The agenda includes multiple tours, keynote speakers, concurrent sessions, and working group meetings.

Comprehensive Elderberry Workshop
June 13-15, 2019
Jefferson City, Missouri
The Comprehensive Elderberry Workshop & Field Tour offers an opportunity to learn from expert researchers and successful growers about elderberry, its introduction into the modern market, early research, and how to propagate and handle.

ASAP's Farm Tour
June 22-23, 2019
Western North Carolina
Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) offers an opportunity to connect with the region's farmers and get a behind-the-scenes look at local food. Enjoy guided tours, demonstrations, hands-on activities, and tastings.

>>More Events

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CSA Beginner and CSA Veteran

Question of the Week
How can I minimize the impact of pesticides on native bees?

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