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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - May 20, 2020

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

  • USDA Announces Details of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
  • Next Cutoff for Conservation Stewardship Program Applications is June 12
  • Tutorials Help Farms with Legal Aspects of Launching CSA and Home Delivery
  • Multistate Grant Funds Study of Grazing Benefits for Organic Crop Systems
  • ARS Identifies Romaine Lettuce Varieties that Last Longer
  • California Family Farmer Emergency Fund Supports Farms Falling Through Aid Program Cracks

Funding Opportunities

  • Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program
  • Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction Pilot Project
  • Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network

Coming Events

  • Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting on the Farm in the Era of COVID-19
  • Ask the Experts—How Regenerative Organic Agriculture Can Improve Human Health
  • Innovation and Technology in Food & Farming

News & Resources

USDA Announces Details of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
USDA has announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). CFAP will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers who have suffered a 5%-or-greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs. Specialty crops, non-specialty crops, wool, dairy, and livestock are eligible. There is a payment limitation of $250,000. Additional information and application forms, as well as a payment calculator, can be found at farmers.gov/cfap. Applications begin May 26, 2020.

Next Cutoff for Conservation Stewardship Program Applications is June 12
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service announced that the next cutoff for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications is June 12, 2020. There are several program changes this year: enrollment based on dollars rather than acres, higher payment rates for some activities, support for organic and transitioning production, and a special grassland conservation initiative. Applications are accepted continuously, but the deadline for consideration for 2020 funding is June 12, 2020.

Related ATTRA Publication: Federal Conservation Resources for Sustainable Farming and Ranching

Tutorials Help Farms with Legal Aspects of Launching CSA and Home Delivery
Farm Commons is offering two free online tutorials to help farm businesses that are adjusting to new markets because of the COVID-19 pandemic. "Adding Home Delivery of Your Farm Goods Without Adding Legal Risks" covers the additional legal concerns that arise with home delivery, whether you are delivering your own farm products or working with your peers. Meanwhile, "Launching a CSA During COVID-19 with the Law on Your Side" addresses issues like insurance and liability, zoning, and customer sales.

Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Selling through CSAs—Community Supported Agriculture

Multistate Grant Funds Study of Grazing Benefits for Organic Crop Systems
University, government, and nonprofit partners led by the University of California, Davis, have received a Specialty Crop Multistate Program grant through USDA to explore benefits of livestock grazing in organic farming systems. The nearly $1 million project will study the impacts of livestock grazing of cover crops on food safety, soil building, and environmental health.
Related ATTRA Publication: Food Safety Considerations for Integrating Livestock into Produce Cropping Systems

ARS Identifies Romaine Lettuce Varieties that Last Longer
Scientists with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) identified five Romaine lettuce varieties that brown less quickly after fresh-cut processing and are slower to deteriorate postharvest. The best breeding lines for commercial production are Darkland, Green Towers, Hearts Delight, Parris Island Cos, and SM13-R2. In addition, researchers found the chromosome region that contains the genes for slow deterioration also contains genes that code for resistance to downy mildew.

California Family Farmer Emergency Fund Supports Farms Falling Through Aid Program Cracks
Community Alliance with Family Farmers announced the first round of emergency assistance grants to California farmers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The California Family Farmer Emergency Fund awarded 24 micro-grants totaling $60,000 and will award more in subsequent weeks. The fund prioritizes smaller operations with at least 50% of the funds committed to farmers of color, immigrant farmers, and undocumented farmers.
Related ATTRA Resource: ATTRA COVID-19 Response

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program
The Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program (AgVets) provides grants to nonprofits to increase the number of military veterans gaining knowledge and skills through comprehensive, hands-on, and immersive model farm and ranch programs offered regionally. The program encourages the development of training opportunities specifically designed for military veterans that lead to successful careers in the food and agricultural sector. Applicants must be nonprofit organizations. Approximately $9.595 million is available, with individual awards up to $250,000.
Applications are due June 26, 2020.

Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction Pilot Project
USDA's Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production announced $900,000 for local governments to host a Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) pilot project. Cooperative agreements support projects led by local governments that: 1) generate compost; 2) increase access to compost for agricultural producers; 3) reduce reliance on, and limit the use of, fertilizer; 4) improve soil quality; 5) encourage waste management and permaculture business development; 6) increase rainwater absorption; 7) reduce municipal food waste; and 8) divert food waste from landfills.
Applications are due by June 26, 2020.

Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) Competitive Grants Program. This program provides grants for programs to address farmer stress and suicide risk. The anticipated amount available is approximately $7.187 million. In FY20, NIFA is seeking applications from regional partnerships and collaborations that are led by or include nongovernmental organizations, state departments of agriculture, Cooperative Extension Services, and Indian tribes with expertise in providing professional agricultural behavioral health awareness, counseling as appropriate, education, training, and referral for other forms of assistance as necessary.
Applications are due by June 23, 2020.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting on the Farm in the Era of COVID-19
May 27, 2020
Online
University of Massachusetts Extension Vegetable Program is presenting a series of Weekly Virtual mini-Twilight Meetings for Commercial Vegetable Farmers. There are differences among cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting that are important to understand in developing new protocols for your farm during the pandemic and in general.

Ask the Experts—How Regenerative Organic Agriculture Can Improve Human Health
June 2, 2020
Online

Rodale Institute has invited a panel of experts to discuss its newest white paper, Regenerative Organic Agriculture & Human Health. The panel will look at the latest research, the connection between farming and health, and the case for regenerative organic agriculture to improve human health.

Innovation and Technology in Food & Farming
May 29, 2020
Online
This edition of Eco-Farm's Farmer-to-Farmer Dirt First Conversation Series showcases women entrepreneurs who are creating solutions to help farmers succeed. It will address achieving a balance between technology and human labor, how innovation can solve food supply chain issues, and the ways technology is creating a potential paradigm shift in agriculture.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Publication
SIFT 2019: Continuing Lessons from a Small-Scale Urban Intensive Farm

Question of the Week
How can the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program help producers?

Ask an Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Weekly Wednesday Workshop
Creating a Multi-Species Livestock Operation
May 20, 2020
Online or at 872-240-3311
Access Code: 881-172-909

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's Spanish-language e-newsletter

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