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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - May 8, 2013

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.

You Can Still Register for Farm Foundations: Planning for Success 
USDA Risk Management Agency and the National Center for Appropriate Technology are sponsoring a Sustainable Livestock Production Risk-Management Training for Beginning Farmers in Marshall, Arkansas, on May 18-19. Join us for a two-day workshop focused on business planning, identifying markets, and online marketing for sustainable livestock production.

News & Resources

  • USDA Announces Value-Added Producer Grant Recipients
  • Online Tool Helps Midwest Growers with Transplant Production
  • Conservation Stewardship Program Applications Due by May 31
  • Season Extension Topic Room Created by SARE
  • NOP Requests Comments on Sunset 2013 Proposed Rule
  • U.S. Composting Council Takes Position Against Persistent Herbicides

Funding Opportunities

  • New Belgium's Environmental Stewardship Grants Program
  • Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program
  • USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants—Deadline Extended

Coming Events

  • North American Agroforesty Conference
  • Organic Grain Production Workshop
  • Iowa Grazing Conference

News & Resources

USDA Announces Value-Added Producer Grant Recipients
USDA has announced 110 Rural Development Value-Added Producer Grants that will help agricultural producers increase their incomes by expanding marketing opportunities, creating new products, or developing new uses for existing products. The awards include several grants for bio-based products and a number for projects involving locally produced and marketed foods. A complete list of award recipients is available online.

Online Tool Helps Midwest Growers with Transplant Production
A new online tool compiled by the Iowa Organic Association provides information to growers in the Upper Midwest about the methods and equipment available for transplant production. The online tool provides information about options, challenges, and costs for every step of the transplant-production process.
Related ATTRA Publication: Plug and Transplant Production for Organic Systems

Conservation Stewardship Program Applications Due by May 31
USDA has announced that the Natural Resources Conservation Service's Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) will provide nearly $175 million in funding for up to 12.6 million additional acres of enrollment this year. Although applications are accepted all year, farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners interested in CSP should submit applications by May 31 to their local NRCS office to ensure they are considered for this year's funding.
If you need help accessing this program or want to learn how it can help your farming or ranching operation, contact ATTRA .

Season Extension Topic Room Created by SARE
SARE's new Season Extension Topic Room is a one-stop collection of dozens of guidebooks, curricula, webinars, bulletins, and other how-to materials to help implement effective season-extension strategies. Information is organized by topic area: Overview; Types and Construction; Variety Trials and Selection; Fertility Management; Pest Management; Water Management; Energy; and Marketing and Economics.
Related ATTRA Publication: Sustainable Season Extension: Considerations for Design

NOP Requests Comments on Sunset 2013 Proposed Rule
USDA National Organic Program (NOP) requests comments on the Sunset 2013 proposed rule. Consistent with recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board, the proposed rule would continue the allowed uses of multiple synthetic and nonsynthetic substances and would continue to prohibit one nonsynthetic substance. This proposed rule would also remove one synthetic substance from the National List. Comments can be submitted online or by mail until June 3, 2013.

U.S. Composting Council Takes Position Against Persistent Herbicides
The U.S. Composting Council (USCC) has issued a position paper calling on EPA to take significant steps to prevent the tainting of compost with herbicides that persist through the composting process. USCC calls on chemical manufacturers to withdraw herbicides known to persist in soil and compost with phytotoxic plant effects and to take responsibility for the damage these persistent herbicides cause.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

New Belgium's Environmental Stewardship Grants Program
New Belgium Brewing will donate $760,000 in 2013 to programs in 30 states through its Environmental Stewardship Grants Program. One of the topic areas the program will support is sustainable agriculture. Grants range from $5,000 to $25,000.
Applications are accepted from April 1 - May 31, 2013.

Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program
The Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program provides matching funds to assist in exploring new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the marketing system. Grants for state departments of agriculture, agricultural experiment stations, and other state agencies average $50,000 each.
Application deadline is May 28, 2013.

USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants—Deadline Extended
REAP is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the nation's critical energy needs. The program funds grants and grant-and-loan combinations for renewable-energy systems and energy-efficiency improvements, and grants for renewable-energy system feasibility studies.
The application deadline has been extended until May 31, 2013.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

North American Agroforesty Conference
June 19-21, 2013
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

The 13th North American Agroforestry Conference will consist of two days of plenary and concurrent sessions (June 19 and 21) that will address many aspects of agroforestry. A conference field tour will occur on June 20. A pre-conference tour is offered June 17-18.

Organic Grain Production Workshop
June 27, 2013
Tifton, Georgia

This all-day workshop will feature experts in various types of organic grain production and will include classroom and field presentations. The workshop is co-sponsored by SARE and Georgia Organics and will be open to extension agents and farmers.

Iowa Grazing Conference
June 25-26, 2013
Creston, Iowa
Improving grazing management, cover crops, using annual forage crops for hay and pasture, using grazing to improve wildlife habitat, and environmental impacts of grazing are topics on the agenda. Speakers, breakout sessions, a producer panel, and a pasture walk are planned.

>> 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.

© 2013 NCAT

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Featured Publication
Biorationals: Ecological Pest Management Database

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I plan on pasturing pigs and then following up with rye and no-till corn next year. Which cover crops would work best for pig pasture?

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