Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - May 1, 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
- Buyers Not Willing to Forgo Quality for Local Produce, Study Shows
- USDA Releases Agroforestry Strategic Framework for 2019 to 2024
- Guide to Help Northeast Producers Considering Kiwiberry
- Organic Weed Control Video Series Launched
- Fact Sheet Highlights Organics in Farm to School
- Diversification in Sugar Bush Benefits Birds and Crop
- Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program
- Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund
- Grants for Iowa Farmers Impacted by Flooding
- Armed to Farm in Vermont
- Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA
- Specialty Crop Production at Whitton Farms
News & Resources
Buyers Not Willing to Forgo Quality for Local Produce, Study Shows
Lehigh University investigated how willing produce buyers would be to purchase local East-Coast broccoli that did not have the bud and head uniformity of California broccoli. Researchers surveyed 27 major regional wholesale and retail buyers and found that broccoli appearance was more important to them than being locally grown. They concluded that local growers should first approach the natural-food store market, which is less visually demanding, before attempting to sell to larger retailers.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Selling to Grocery Stores
USDA Releases Agroforestry Strategic Framework for 2019 to 2024
USDA has released the USDA Agroforestry Strategic Framework for fiscal years 2019 through 2024. To help agroforestry reach its full potential in the United States, USDA is encouraging widespread adoption of agroforestry practices on farms, ranches, and woodlands. The Framework provides a roadmap for advancing agroforestry through outreach, research, and agency integration.
Guide to Help Northeast Producers Considering Kiwiberry
New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station has released Growing Kiwiberries in New England: An Online Guide for Regional Producers. The resource includes a statewide market assessment, a detailed production manual, and an enterprise analysis for regional growers. Researchers say there is great potential for kiwiberry, citing consumer interest, the Northeast's established valuation of local produce and direct-market horticultural crops, and the extremely low level of regional production.
Related ATTRA Publication: Specialty Crops for Cold Climates
Organic Weed Control Video Series Launched
Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) has introduced a new video series on organic weed control in field-crop production. In the 12-minute first video, several PFI farmers share their knowledge on early-season tillage, seedbed preparation, and timing of planting. Additional episodes will explore crop rotations; early-season, light-tillage implements like rotary hoes, tine weeders, and harrows; an in-depth look at row crop cultivators; and more.
Related ATTRA Publication: Weed Management in Organic Small Grains
Fact Sheet Highlights Organics in Farm to School
A new, four-page fact sheet from National Farm to School Network shares keys to success for integrating organics in farm to school practices such as procurement, school gardens, and agricultural education. It also highlights three case studies of school districts finding success with organic practices. The fact sheet is free online in PDF.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Selling to Institutional Markets
Diversification in Sugar Bush Benefits Birds and Crop
Research at Cornell University is exploring how maple syrup producers can adjust management practices to foster bird habitat within their sugar bushes. Studies in Vermont found that a sugar bush that contains at least 25% non-maple trees supports a greater abundance and diversity of birds. In addition, producers are finding that these diverse forests experience shorter and less-intense insect outbreaks than maple monocultures.
Related ATTRA Publication: Maple Sugaring: An Introduction to Small-Scale Commercial Production
>>More Breaking News
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Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for Community Food Projects (CFP) and Planning Projects (PP). Examples of CFP include, but are not limited to, community gardens with market stands, value chain projects, food hubs, farmers markets, farm-to-institutions projects, and marketing and consumer cooperatives. Examples of PPs include community food assessments' coordination of collaboration development plan, GIS analysis, food sovereignty study, and farm-to-institution exploration. All projects must involve low-income participants. Approximately $4.8 million is available. CFP award maximum is $125,000 per year or $400,000 over four years. No single PP award will exceed $35,000.
Applications are due by June 3, 2019.
Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund
CCOF Foundation's Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund offers grants to help with tuition and educational expenses for higher-education and vocational students pursuing degrees or certificates in organic agriculture. Up to 33 students can receive grants of $2,500. Applicants must be enrolled in an educational program in the United States that will benefit their career in organic agriculture, including vocational training/certificate programs, junior college/two-year degree programs, and bachelor's/four-year undergraduate degrees.
Applications are due by May 6, 2019.
Grants for Iowa Farmers Impacted by Flooding
The Center for Rural Affairs is partnering with Farm Aid and Iowa Farmers Union to help farmers impacted by recent flooding in Iowa. If you are an Iowa farmer in an area damaged by the recent flooding, you may be eligible for a $500 grant to help with personal expenses. The grant is to be used for household expenses, including medical bills, and may not be used for professional expenses related to farm operation.
No deadline is specified.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Armed to Farm in Vermont
June 10-14, 2019
Craftsbury Common, Vermont
NCAT's week-long Armed to Farm training allows veterans and their spouses to experience sustainable, profitable, small-scale farming enterprises and explore agriculture as a viable career. Applications to participate are due by May 3, 2019.
Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA
June 22, 2019
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) offers this free, all-day opportunity to learn all you need to know and more about living in rural Maine. More than 40 unique, participatory workshops are offered, as well as a plant swap and potluck.
Specialty Crop Production at Whitton Farms
June 2, 2019
Join Heifer USA and New South Produce Cooperative at Whitton Farms. Tour specialty crop production, learn from successes (and failures!), engage in question-and-answer sessions, and learn how working with New South Produce Cooperative has benefited the farm.
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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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