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Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 3, 2009

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.

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News & Resources
* Some States Still Accepting Organic EQIP Applications
* Organic Pricing Data Now Available
* Minnesota Conservation Funding Guide Available
* Iowans Can Register Crops For 'No Spray' Areas
* Soils Evaluated for Carbon Holding Potential
* USDA To Survey Goat Industry


Funding Opportunities
* Southern SARE Planning Research and Education Grant
* Rangeland Research Program
* U.S. EPA Region 8 Sustainable Practices and Regional Priorities Grant
  Program


Coming Events
* A National Conference on Farm and Ranch Access, Succession, Tenure and
  Stewardship
* 4-State Dairy Conference
* Putting Oilseeds & Grains into your Rotation - Organic No-till and Cover
  Cropping



News & Resources

Some States Still Accepting Organic EQIP Applications
USDA is allocating $50 million of funds through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to be set aside for a new Organics Initiative to assist organic farmers and those transitioning to organic. According to the NRCS, some states have extended the deadline to apply for the EQIP Organic Initiative past May 29th. States not listed will still continue to accept applications, but may not be able to fund them in 2009.
Related ATTRA Publication:   Accessing the (EQIP) Organic Initiative for Conversion or Expansion


Organic Pricing Data Now Available
The Economic Research Service released a data set that provides farmgate and wholesale prices for certain organic and conventional fruits and vegetables, wholesale prices of organic and conventional eggs and broilers, and f.o.b. and spot prices for organic grain and feedstuffs.

Minnesota Conservation Funding Guide Available
Minnesota farmers and landowners can now use a new online tool to get key information about financial assistance for conservation projects. Developed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), the new Minnesota Conservation Funding Guide is a "one-stop" resource for information about agricultural and natural resource conservation practices and payments. The guide provides quick access to overviews of more than 50 soil conservation, water quality, feedlot management, wildlife habitat and other practices, with side-by-side payment comparisons.
Related ATTRA Publication:   Federal Resources for Sustainable Farming and Ranching


Iowans Can Register Crops For 'No Spray' Areas
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey reminded Iowa's sensitive crops producers and apiarists that the aerial spray season will begin in June and encouraged them to register sites with pesticide sensitive crops on the Department's Sensitive Crops Registry. "The information you post to the Registry's website and the markers you place around your fields will help pesticide applicators locate your operations and minimize the chance of drift damage to your sensitive crops and hives," Northey said. Commercial fruit and vegetable growers, commercial vineyards and orchard owners, commercial organic crop producers or apiarists in the state of Iowa are eligible to register the locations of their hives or commercial crops or validate their 2008 information for the 2009 calendar year on the site.
Related ATTRA Publication:   Sources of "Spraying Prohibited" Signs for Organic Farms


Soils Evaluated for Carbon Holding Potential
Soils play a vital role in dealing with the environmental impacts of rising atmospheric carbon levels — primarily carbon dioxide — from natural and human activities. Clemson University soil scientists are studying soil types, ranking them on their ability to hold carbon and preventing it from returning to the atmosphere for eons. A team of Experiment Station scientists from Clemson University and Virginia Tech analyzed the 12 major soil groups in the continental United States, ranking them for their potential ability to form new soil inorganic carbon based on average annual atmospheric wet deposition of calcium, or the amount of ionic calcium present in rainfall. The soil orders receiving the highest area-normalized total wet deposition of ionic calcium were Alfisols and Mollisols, non-arid soils that typically are associated with the “bread-basket” regions of the United States.
Related ATTRA Publication:   Agriculture, Climate Change, and Carbon Sequestration


USDA To Survey Goat Industry
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is taking an in-depth look at the productivity and health management issues facing the meat, dairy, and fiber segments of the U.S. goat industry in an effort to help further the understanding of potential disease threats. Conducted through USDA's National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), the Goat 2009 Study marks the first time NAHMS has focused on goat operations. From July through mid-August, representatives from USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will survey selected goat operations in 21 states.

> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Southern SARE Planning Research and Education Grant
The Southern Region USDA Program on Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) funds systems research projects that are undertaken by interdisciplinary and often multi-institutional teams. Bringing together such teams takes both time and expense. To be effective, teams should use shared leadership and group process as the dominant mode of planning. The goal of a SSARE Planning Grant is to develop and submit a full sustainable agriculture systems research proposal to a funding institution, not necessarily Southern SARE.
Proposals are due August 15, 2009.

Rangeland Research Program
The goal of RRP is to contribute to the improvement of U.S. rangeland resources and the ecosystem services they provide. RRP supports the development of new and emerging rangeland science methodologies which specifically address the interrelationships between multiple disciplines. The primary purpose of RRP is to provide U.S. agricultural producers, rural landowners, and land managers with integrated science strategies to make informed land management decisions with an emphasis on enhancing the restoration and sustainable integrity of rangelands.
Proposals are due July 7, 2009.

U.S. EPA Region 8 Sustainable Practices and Regional Priorities Grant Program
Region 8 is competitively seeking project proposals that will achieve measurable environmental and public health results as these relate to Sustainable Practices within the Regional priority areas of:
  • Clean Air and Global Climate Change
  • Agriculture
  • Healthy Communities and Ecosystems
Proposals are due June 29, 2009.

> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

A National Conference on Farm and Ranch Access, Succession, Tenure and Stewardship
June 10-11, 2009
Denver, Colorado

How land is acquired, stewarded and passed on will shape the future of U.S. agriculture. This is the first national conference to address these critically important issues. The purpose of the conference is to gather, share and evaluate successful and new approaches and tools to address land access, succession and stewardship. The target audience is Extension and other educators, agricultural service professionals, agency staff, farm and other non-governmental groups, and policymakers.


4-State Dairy Conference
June 10-11, 2009
Dubuque, Iowa

Timely topics to improve dairy producer profitability will highlight the 2009 Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference June 10 and 11 at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa.


Putting Oilseeds & Grains into your Rotation - Organic No-till and Cover Cropping
June 13, 2009
Durham, New Hampshire

This workshop will feature farm tours and will cover topics including no-till and organic cropping systems, organic weed management, and cover crops.


> More Events

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