Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - May 7, 2008
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
News & Resources
* Industrial Farm Animal Production Report Released
Share The Harvest: Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who might be interested in the latest sustainable agriculture news, funding opportunities, and events.
* Ohio State University Releases Organic Transition Guide
* IPM Quick Tips for Common Pests
* Conservation Tillage Monitored Via Satellite
* Website Aims to Help Producers Manage Cattle Feed Costs
* Dee River Ranch Awarded NRCS Excellence in Conservation Award
* North Central Region SARE Research and Education Grant
* Critical Agricultural Materials
* Western SARE Professional Development Program
* Horse Progress Days
* Intro to Grazing Workshop and Pasture Assessment
* Connecticut NOFA Organic Farms Tour
News & Resources
Industrial Farm Animal Production Report Released
Beginning in 2006, The Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production (PCIFAP) undertook an exhaustive examination on the impacts to humans, animals and the environment of intensive food animal production. Areas studied by the Commission included the spread of zoonotic diseases and other public health threats, environmental degradation, animal welfare concerns, and socioeconomic effects on rural communities. The final report, Putting Meat on The Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America (PDF/6.2MB) is now available. The report offers practical recommendations designed to address public health, environmental, and animal welfare concerns; ensure a safe, abundant food supply; and foster sustainable and economically viable models of animal agriculture.
Ohio State University Releases Organic Transition Guide
Ohio State University's Organic Food and Farming Education and Research (OFFER) Program has released A Transition Guide to Certified Organic Crop Management, says Ohio Ag Connection. The 74-page guide is designed to explain the rules and realities of organic farming of grains, fruits and vegetables. Topics include steps in the organic certification process, plus Midwest certification agencies; Seed, land use, planting stock, crop rotation and harvesting/handling standards; Pest, weed, disease, crop nutrient and soil fertility management standards; Exemptions, exclusions, record keeping, and allowed and prohibited substances. Copies are $15 each, with checks made payable to OSU/OFFER sent to OFFER Program, 201 Thorne Hall, OSU/OARDC, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691.
Related ATTRA Publication: National Organic Program Compliance Checklist for Producers
IPM Quick Tips for Common Pests
The University of California IPM Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program released several new titles in its "Quick Tips" series of references in April. The new fact sheets, which are available online, address a variety of insect and disease pests. Titles include "Mosquitoes," "Peach Leaf Curl," "Powdery Mildew," "Spider Mites" and "Thrips."
Conservation Tillage Monitored Via Satellite
The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is using satellites to determine how much acreage is being farmed using conservation tillage. A group of scientists and researchers have created and evaluated conservation tillage maps using Landsat TM 5 imagery. This satellite mapping technique shows promise for streamlining national efforts to monitor changes in conservation tillage adoption over time. The method may be able to evaluate the efficacy of conservation tillage placement, and reduce the need for time-consuming field surveys to ensure compliance with federal cost-sharing programs.
Related ATTRA Publication: Conservation Tillage
Website Aims to Help Producers Manage Cattle Feed Costs
This past winter cattle producers experienced record high prices on the spot market for supplemental feed. There is now a new website that will provide decision making tools for contracting feed this fall. FeedsandFeeding.com is designed to help cattlemen decide on which feed, byproduct or commodity is most nutritional and cost effective. Producers can check spot prices and compare cost from month-to-month. The site also addresses feeding cost and provides suggestions for reducing those costs.
Dee River Ranch Awarded NRCS Excellence in Conservation Award
On April 30 NRCS presented the 2008 Excellence in Conservation Award to Mike and Annie Dee of Dee River Ranch, Aliceville, Alabama. Brother and sister Mike and Annie Dee have gone the extra mile to ensure that their farming operation on the 10,000-acre ranch is not only profitable but also environmentally sound. They have incorporated conservation practices into their farming operation that have enhanced the productivity of the farm, reduced soil erosion, improved moisture retention in the soil, and provided wildlife habitat. The NRCS Excellence in Conservation Award is the highest award the agency gives to honor those outside the Federal government for their work in conservation.
> More Breaking News
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North Central Region SARE Research and Education Grant
Pre-proposals are being accepted for North Central Region SARE Research and Education Grants (R&E). The R&E Grant Program provides funds to collaborative teams of scientists, farmers, institutions, organizations, and educators who are exploring sustainable agriculture through in-depth research projects or education/demonstration projects. Projects should focus on improving the profitability of farmers and associated agricultural businesses; sustaining and improving the environmental quality and natural resource base on which agriculture depends; and enhancing the quality of life for farmers/ranchers, rural communities, and society as a whole. NCR-SARE is also interested in preproposals that address the sustainability of various energy alternatives.
Proposals are due June 10, 2008.
Critical Agricultural Materials
CSREES announces the availability of grant funds and requests applications for the Critical Agricultural Materials Program for fiscal year 2008 to develop and demonstrate industrial polymers that are manufactured from domestically produced crop materials. In FY 2008, the Critical Agricultural Materials Program will support the development and demonstration of novel, environmentally friendly technologies for use in paints and coatings, and adhesives for composites. The amount available for support of this program in FY 2008 is approximately $1,000,000.
Proposals are due May 30, 2008.
Western SARE Professional Development Program
Professional Development Program (PDP) Grants are aimed at helping Cooperative Extension Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service and other agricultural professionals in the Western Region increase their understanding and proficiency in sustainable agriculture. The grants are designed to help university and other agricultural professionals spread knowledge to producers about sustainable concepts and practices. Applicants may seek up to $30,000 for one-year projects and $60,000 for two-year projects in a single state or locale.
Proposals are due November 3, 2008.
> More Funding Opportunities
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Horse Progress Days
July 4-5, 2008
Mt. Hope, Ohio
The 15th annual Horse Progress Days is a showcase event for newly manufactured and modified horse drawn equipment. It features field demonstrations, educational seminars, a parade of breeds and something for everyone in the heavy horse industry. More information is available online at www.horseprogressdays.com.
Intro to Grazing Workshop and Pasture Assessment
June 21, 2008
The Land Stewardship Project is opening this Farm Beginnings event to public participation. During the morning Howard Moechnig, Midwest Grasslands, will discuss issues important in preparing a grazing plan. During the afternoon session, participants will visit the 200-acre Lyle Kruse Farm, to join Howard and Lyle for a pasture assessment of the rotational grazing system.
Connecticut NOFA Organic Farms Tour
June 22, 2008
Fairfield County, Connecticut
Tour three organic farms in Fairfield County with the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut.
> More Events
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