Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - May 30, 2018
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
- Honey Bee Colony Losses Increase
- Livestock Growers Test Natural Fly Controls
- Farmers Using Social Media to Connect with Customers
- Florida Research Finds Flowering Plants Benefit Strawberries
- Farm Aid Introduces Farm Bill Hub
- Video Emphasizes Recovery Period in Grazing Cycle
- Northeast SARE Professional Development Grants
- Conservation Agreements for Implementing Key Conservation Objectives in Delaware
- Scholarships for Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) Stakeholders Conference
- Slow Food Nations
- Organic Produce Summit
- Three Steps That Will Make Your Farm Profitable
News & Resources
Honey Bee Colony Losses Increase
The twelfth annual survey of managed honey bee colony losses in the United States by the Bee Informed Partnership showed that during the 2017-2018 winter, an estimated 30.7% of managed colonies in the United States were lost. This represents a loss increase of 9.5 percentage points over the previous year.
Livestock Growers Test Natural Fly Controls
South Dakota cattle and sheep producers collaborated to test various natural methods of fly control with funding from North Central SARE, reports Successful Farming. Producer Linda Simmons found that management practices such as rotational grazing and preserving dung beetles helped control flies, as did walk-through fly traps.
Related ATTRA Publication: Dung Beetle Benefits in the Pasture Ecosystem
Farmers Using Social Media to Connect with Customers
Some Texas farmers are finding that social media provides a key tool for connecting with prospective customers, reports The Dallas Morning News. For example, two new pick-your-own strawberry operations were nearly overwhelmed with interest after announcing their products via social media. Other farmers are using social media to advertise their products and the farmers markets they attend. Additionally, connected farmers have the option of learning from other farmers via podcasts, videos, and webinars.
Related ATTRA Webinar: Using Social Media to Grow Your Farm Business
Florida Research Finds Flowering Plants Benefit Strawberries
Working under a Southern SARE grant, researchers at the University of Florida found that thrips were reduced and minute pirate bugs were increased in the strawberry row next to wildflower plantings. The number and diversity of natural enemies and pollinators was also increased. However, the beneficial effects were only observed in the strawberry row closest to the flowering plantings.
Related ATTRA Publication: Companion Planting & Botanical Pesticides: Concepts & Resources
Farm Aid Introduces Farm Bill Hub
Farm Aid has introduced a new online resource to help people understand what's actually in the Farm Bill and take action. The Farm Bill Hub includes "A Farm Bill 101," which lays out the past, present, and future of this enormous and important piece of legislation. There's also a news section that provides the latest updates on the 2018 Farm Bill. Additional resources are provided for taking action.
Video Emphasizes Recovery Period in Grazing Cycle
A seven-minute video with Dave Pratt, of Ranch Management Consultants, explains how moving stock through a grazing rotation prematurely results in a cumulative shortening of recovery periods for forage. Pratt explains that producers who give in to "Impatient Cow Syndrome" lose potential forage with each early paddock move. When an early move triggers additional early moves, recovery time decreases significantly.
Related ATTRA Publication: Grazier's One-Stop Resource Packet
>>More Breaking News
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Northeast SARE Professional Development Grants
The Professional Development grant program funds projects in the Northeast region that train agricultural service providers such as Cooperative Extension, State department of agriculture personnel, crop consultants, veterinarians, farm advisors with private businesses, and nonprofit organizations about sustainable practices and approaches so that they, in turn, can educate farmers. Reviewers prefer projects in the $30,000 to $150,000 range.
The deadline for preproposals is July 10, 2018.
Conservation Agreements for Implementing Key Conservation Objectives in Delaware
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Delaware Office is seeking proposals for a total of $500,000 in collaborative conservation grants to help address Delaware's most pressing natural resource concerns. Successful proposals will address at least one of the following: improving soil health on cropland, providing technical and financial assistance to farmers/landowners in Delaware, providing habitat for local wildlife species of concern as identified in the Delaware Wildlife Action Plan, or supporting the Delaware Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
Proposals are due by June 22, 2018.
Scholarships for Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) Stakeholders Conference
Farmer veterans who would like to attend this year's Farmer Veteran Coalition Stakeholders Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, from November 14 -17, 2018, may apply for a scholarship for travel and lodging. Individual scholarships are available to FVC Veteran Members only. The number and value of individual awards will be based on available funding.
Apply by September 1, 2018.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Slow Food Nations
July 13-15, 2018
This event is a festival of flavor, culture, and exploration, with opportunities to connect with farmers and artisans, chefs, and food lovers. The Farming for the Future summit will discuss sustainable agriculture, rural communities, land management, and the next generation of farmers.
Organic Produce Summit
July 11-12, 2018
This event brings together organic fresh produce growers, shippers and processors, and retailer and buying organizations. More than 1,200 attendees will meet to exchange ideas, information, and insight of the organic fresh-produce industry.
Three Steps That Will Make Your Farm Profitable
June 1, 2018
On Pasture is hosting a free webinar with dairy farmer and expert in farm marketing Charlotte Smith. Learn why you are losing customers, the most effective marketing strategy, how to build long-lasting relationships with ideal customers, and more.
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ATTRA was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
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