Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - May 4, 2005
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the
Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site.
* USDA Offers Policy Statements on Controversial NOP Items
* Natural Meat Retailer Announces 'Eco-Project 2015'
* SARE Publishes 2005 Highlights
* Biofungicide Registered for Rust Control on Organic Soybeans
* Free Listings Available on New Agritourism Web Site
* Extension Agents Offer Forage Strategies
* North Dakota Farmers' Market Grants
* Food Quality Protection Act /Strategic Agricultural Initiative, Region 8
* Minnesota Sustainable Agriculture Loan Program
* Weed Control on Organic Farms Workshop
* Nebraska Ranch Practicum
* Tree Fruit Production and Eco-Tourism, Tour of Fieldstone Farms
News & Resources
USDA Offers Policy Statements on Controversial NOP Items
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program
(NOP) has responded publicly to several recommendations made by
the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) related to fishmeal,
inerts, antibiotics, and the NOP's scope of authority. The NOP
will allow fishmeal preserved with natural substances to be used
as a feed additive or feed supplement and will allow only approved
known inert ingredients in pesticide formulations. Antibiotics
will continue to be prohibited for use in organically produced
livestock. The NOP also determined that personal care products
may not use the USDA organic seal at this time, although individual
ingredients may be listed as NOP-certified. The Organic Consumers
Association has expressed concern that the new directive will reduce
the demand for organic ingredients and feed stocks from organic
farmers. Read the NOP's complete policy
response (PDF 45 kb).
Natural Meat Retailer Announces 'Eco-Project 2015'
Coleman Natural Foods, the largest natural meat company in the United
States, has announced the launch of a decade-long conservation program,
"The Coleman Eco-Project 2015," to address the critical need to protect U.S.
working farms and ranches and restore America's forests. Coleman is partnering
with American Farmland Trust, the U.S. Forest Service, and American Forests in
the effort. Coleman has made a commitment to plant 1 million trees and challenged
companies and individual citizens to help plant 9 million more. The
U.S. Forest Service will match each tree planted by Coleman, its retailers and
customers. In addition, The Coleman Eco-Project 2015 will work with American
Farmland Trust's Education and Outreach Project to undertake an education and
training program to protect 100 million acres of working farms and ranches. This
partnership will produce the Rocky Mountain Agricultural Landowners' Guide
to Conservation and Sustainability in Fall 2005.
SARE Publishes 2005 Highlights
Before adopting promising new agricultural strategies, producers want evidence of success. To that end, the 2005
SARE Highlights, a new 16-page publication from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, features a dozen practical, profit-enhancing ideas that have been researched and tested at universities and on farms and ranches across the nation. Implementing innovative pest management measures, raising meat for unique markets, developing niche agroforestry products, and demonstrating soil management techniques are just a few of the successful strategies highlighted in this publication.
Biofungicide Registered for Rust Control on Organic Soybeans
AgraQuest, Inc. has
announced the launch of Ballad™ Biofungicide for control
of Asian soybean rust on organic soybeans and other legumes, according
to a PR Newswire press release. Ballad is based on a naturally
occurring patented strain of the bacterial species Bacillus
pumilus, which produces natural pesticidal compounds that
destroy the cell walls of the rust pathogen. Ballad is AgraQuest's
first entry into the large-acreage row crops. To date, the company
has targeted high value fruits, nuts, vegetables, and home gardens.
While there are several chemicals that are approved or under emergency
exemption for control of soybean rust in conventional soybeans,
Ballad is currently the only product approved for organic soybeans.
Free Listings Available on New Agritourism Web Site
New York small farmer Chris Grant has launched a new Web site
that serves as a directory for agritourism farms. Agritourism
features free listings for farms, farmhouses, ranches, B&Bs,
wineries, vegetable or fruit farms, and other land-based enterprises.
The site also features agritourism news, an agritourism blog, and
a comprehensive search engine to help tourists find farms by keyword,
location, or a wide range of categories, including food production
type, animal type, amenities, activities, and more.
Related ATTRA Publication: Entertainment
Farming & Agri-Tourism
Extension Agents Offer Forage Strategies
Two University of Illinois Extension specialists recently discussed the
problem of winterkill in alfalfa fields and offered strategies to
mitigate the damage. According to Extension crops educator Jim
Morrison, "Factors that contribute to winterkill are lack of snow cover, lack
of crop residue, lack of winter-hardinesss, low soil fertility, and low soil
pH." Affected plants have soft, fibrous crowns and taproots, and a distinct brown
line is often visible across the taproot a few inches below the soil surface.
Dairy producers, in particular, need to understand the implications of winterkill.
If an alfalfa crop is damaged, sorghum-sudangrass hybrids, corn silage, red clover,
or small grains may be planted for forage, depending on the season.
more news and resources, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture
Information Service Web site's Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.
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North Dakota Farmers' Market Grants
Three grant programs to promote farmers' markets within the state are now available through the North Dakota Farmers' Market and Growers Association (NDFMGA). Established farmers' markets can apply for a $100 grant for advertising, entertainment and point-of-sale materials to promote a specific event. They can also apply for a $200 grant to purchase signage. Farmers' markets in their first year of operation can apply for a $300 market development grant. The grant can be used for advertising, permanent signage, printing, licenses and permits, and canopies. Grants are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The deadline for applications is May 31, 2005. More information and application forms are available from Donna Thronson at the North Dakota Department of Agriculture at (800) 242-7535 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food Quality Protection Act /Strategic Agricultural Initiative, Region 8
EPA Region 8 is soliciting proposals to help implement the Food Quality
Protection Act (FQPA) and to support efforts by the agricultural
community to “transition” to using less pesticides and lower risk
pesticides in food production. The program supports grants for education, extension,
demonstration, and implementation projects for FQPA transition and reduced-risk
practices for pest management in agriculture. The EPA Region 8 Strategic Agricultural
Initiative anticipates having approximately $92,000 in 2005 to award to eligible
applicants. Projects up to $60,000 will be considered for funding. Grant funds
are available to public and private non-profit organizations, including commodity
groups/associations, farmers groups, individual farmers, State agencies, Tribes,
local governments, universities and colleges. All proposals must be postmarked
on or before June 24, 2005.
Minnesota Sustainable Agriculture Loan Program
The purpose of the Minnesota Sustainable Agriculture Loan Program is to enable
farmers to adopt practices that will lead them to a more sustainable farming
system. The loans are for capital purchases, which enhance the environmental
and economic viability of the farm. Eligible purchases may include: rotational
grazing systems, tree plantings, on-farm energy production, composting equipment,
solar-powered equipment, low-cost livestock housing, hoop buildings, breeding
livestock, processing equipment, no herbicide weed control, equipment to handle
cover crops, alternative fertilizer management equipment, soil conserving equipment,
and more. The maximum loan per farm family is $25,000. Applications are accepted
and reviewed throughout the year.
additional funding opportunities, visit: http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.
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Weed Control on Organic Farms Workshop
May 26, 2005
The challenge of controlling weeds on organic row crop operations is
the subject of this workshop, "The War on Weeds." The presenters will provide
information and options for organic and sustainable farmers to battle the ongoing
struggle of weed control in organic operations. The workshop will include demonstrations
of flaming and other mechanized weed control tactics. The workshop will be held
in the field at Star Route Farms.
Nebraska Ranch Practicum
June 14-15, July 14, September 7-8, November 10, 2005
and January 4-5, 2006
The Nebraska Ranch Practicum is a three-season, hands-on educational
program designed to give participants the skills and education needed
in today’s complex ranching industry. By attending the Practicum, participants
will: improve their decision-making skills needed to manage more efficiently;
enhance stewardship of natural resources; improve critical thinking skills. Participants
must attend at least 7 of 8 sessions.
Tree Fruit Production and Eco-Tourism, Tour of Fieldstone Farms
August 1, 2005
This evening event is part of the Growing Growers series of workshops. For more
information, contact 913-488-1270 or email@example.com.
events at: http://attra.ncat.org/calendar/index.php.
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Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives Available Online
Digital versions of recent Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters
are now available online. ATTRAnews is the bi-monthly newsletter
of ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is the Web
site of the ATTRA project created and managed by the National
Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), and funded under a grant
from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural
Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT
Web site for more information on our sustainable agriculture
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