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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - May 4, 2011

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.

Our sustainable agriculture information service, ATTRA, was cut from the federal budget as part of deficit reduction efforts. We cannot maintain this project unless we can find a way to raise operating funds. You can help as we explore our options. First, make your tax-deductible donation today. You can access our online donation form at https://attra.ncat.org/donate.html. For more information, visit NCAT's website to read the most current postings about our efforts to keep this service open.

News & Resources

  • New USDA Rule Encourages Local Agricultural Products for Nutrition Programs
  • "America's Favorite Farmers' Markets" Competition Registering Entries
  • Cornell's New Organic Corn Variety Licensed for Sale
  • Local Food Distribution Partnership to Serve Massachusetts
  • AMS Proposes Leafy Green Marketing Agreement
  • Mobile High Tunnels Offered for Selected Study Participants

Funding Opportunities

  • Biomass Crop Assistance Program
  • Supplemental and Alternative Crops Competitive Grants Program
  • Upper Republican Agricultural Water Enhancement Program

Coming Events

  • Pollinator Week
  • National Rural Gathering: Water, Land, Energy and Food
  • Farm Management During Tough Economic Times

News & Resources

New USDA Rule Encourages Local Agricultural Products for Nutrition Programs
USDA's child nutrition programs are implementing new rules designed to encourage use of local farm products in school meals. The final rule, published in the Federal Register, will let schools and other providers give preference to unprocessed locally grown and locally raised agricultural products as they purchase food.

"America's Favorite Farmers Markets" Competition Registering Entries
American Farmland Trust has announced the third annual competition for "America’s Favorite Farmers Markets," a nationwide contest that gives farmers market customers the chance to vote for their favorite markets online from June 1 through August 31.

Cornell's New Organic Corn Variety Licensed for Sale
Cornell professor Margaret Smith has developed a new "workhorse" organic corn bred to thrive in Northeast growing conditions. One of the first licenses for the new corn, D2901, was granted to Iowa-based Blue River Hybrids, which distributes organic seeds nationwide.

Local Food Distribution Partnership to Serve Massachusetts
Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP) and FoodEx are cooperating in local food distribution in southeastern Massachusetts. FoodEx will offer a virtual marketplace with full warehousing and logistics support, allowing buyers to browse, select and purchase from a large variety of regional growers.

AMS Proposes Leafy Green Marketing Agreement
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recommends establishing a national marketing agreement to regulate the handling of leafy green vegetables to minimize the potential for microbial contamination. All interested parties, including small, organic, and diversified operations, are encouraged to submit comments by July 28, concerning USDA’s Recommended Decision to establish the National Leafy Green Marketing Agreement.

Mobile High Tunnels Offered for Selected Study Participants
Resilient Northern Habitats seeks qualitative and quantitative research data on how mobile high tunnels impact small to medium size organic food producers in northern growing zones 3 and 4. Organic growers with at least three years of organic food production sales, who do not currently own and utilize a mobile high tunnel, and who meet other requirements for participation may apply to the study.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Biomass Crop Assistance Program
BCAP was authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill and provides incentives to eligible farmers, ranchers and forest landowners for the establishment and production of biomass crops for heat, power, bio-based products and biofuels.
Project area proposals must be submitted to the applicable state office by close of business, May 27, 2011.

Supplemental and Alternative Crops Competitive Grants Program
NIFA announces the availability of funding and requests applications for the Supplemental and Alternative Crops Competitive Grants Program, supporting the development of canola as a viable supplemental and alternative crop. In FY 2011, approximately $800,000 is available to support the SACC program.
Applications are due by May 31, 2011.

Upper Republican Agricultural Water Enhancement Program
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide $1 million to farmers and ranchers with land located in the Upper Republican AWEP project area of Nebraska, to convert irrigated cropland acres to dryland through the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP).
Applications are due by May 15, 2011.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Pollinator Week
June 20-26, 2011
National and international

Pollinator Week has grown to be an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles. A list of events in states across the country is posted online.

National Rural Gathering: Water, Land, Energy and Food
June 22-26, 2011
Shawenee and Wewoka, Oklahoma

Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural invites you to a historic gathering of the people of the land – farmworkers, small farmers and ranchers, and rural, acequia, land grant, and tribal communities from the US and beyond – standing together at the crossroads of past and future in the midst of transformation and change.

Farm Management During Tough Economic Times
June 20-21, 2011
Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania

Extension educators and specialists are invited to participate in an agricultural risk and business management training opportunity in the Northeast.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
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.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2011 NCAT

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New & Updated Publications
Agroforestry: An Overview

Organic and Grass-finished Beef Cattle Production

Farmer Profiles: Two Organic Grain Farm Case Studies

Question of the Week
What information can you give me on control methods for cutworms?

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