Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 5, 2019
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
- NCAT Accepting Applications for Armed to Farm Training in New York
- National Organic Program Publishes Memo on Organic Crop Container Systems
- New Crop Insurance Benefits Available for Farmer Veterans
- European Study Finds Perennial Flower Strips in Orchards Help with Pest Control
- Purdue Extension Appoints Hemp Production Specialist
- UK Students Develop Edible Bale Wrap to Reduce Farm Waste
- Northeast SARE Research and Education Grants Program
- Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program
- Oklahoma Conservation Partners
- Southern Cover Crop Conference
- Small Farm School
- Montana Organic Association 2019 Farm Tour
News & Resources
NCAT Accepting Applications for Armed to Farm Training in New York
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is accepting applications from military veterans enrolled in a New York State Veteran Affairs medical center who want to attend our week-long Armed to Farm training from July 29, 2019, through August 2, 2019. The free training program in the Victor, New York, area allows veterans and their spouses to experience sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and explore agriculture as a viable career. Applications are due by June 30, 2019.
National Organic Program Publishes Memo on Organic Crop Container Systems
A memo from the USDA National Organic Program summarizes the rules that organic certifiers must follow when determining the eligibility and compliance of container systems. It clarifies that Organic Food Production Act requirements related to the three-year transition period apply to all container systems built and maintained on land, such as hydroponic and other plant pot-based systems, with or without soil as growing media.
New Crop Insurance Benefits Available for Farmer Veterans
USDA Risk Management Agency announced provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill that will benefit military veterans who are seeking federal crop insurance coverage. The changes will allow veterans who are farming and ranching to have higher insurance coverages than if they relied upon county averages to establish their insurance guarantees. For the 2019 crop year, producers can access these benefits for crops with a sales closing date on or after December 20, 2018.
Related ATTRA Resources: Crop Insurance
European Study Finds Perennial Flower Strips in Orchards Help with Pest Control
European researchers have published a study in Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment that shows planting strips of perennial flowers between orchard rows can help with pest control. Trials in seven countries showed higher numbers of natural enemies in orchards with perennial flower strips, and reduced fruit damage in those orchards. The study also recommended flower-strip composition for different countries.
Related ATTRA Publication: Apples: Organic Production Guide
Purdue Extension Appoints Hemp Production Specialist
Purdue Extension has appointed its first hemp production specialist, Marguerite Bolt. Bolt plans to educate interested growers on how to get started with hemp, including how to obtain a permit and seeds for the crop, which cultivars are best for the region, and where to find reliable information. Bolt also plans to develop and release a series of webinars to address growers' questions, along with fact sheets and eventually a hemp production guide for Indiana.
UK Students Develop Edible Bale Wrap to Reduce Farm Waste
PhD students at Imperial College London have developed an edible biopolymer to wrap hay and silage, reports Farmers Weekly. The project is contending for the Venture Catalyst Challenge that could fund further development, such as lacing the edible plastic with nutrients or probiotics. The product could be available to farmers within three to five years, offering a way to reduce plastic waste and prevent livestock from consuming dangerous plastic scrap.
>>More Breaking News
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Northeast SARE Research and Education Grants Program
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) is accepting pre-proposals for its Research and Education Grants Program. This program funds applied research and farmer education projects on sustainable farming and food-system topics. Projects must engage farmers as cooperators; aim for specific, measurable change in farm practices; and have a plan to verify results. Awards typically range from $30,000 to $250,000. Projects must be conducted in the Northeast Region.
Pre-proposals are due online by June 25, 2019.
Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) requests applications for the Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program (SPMGP). AMS will award grants to at least one national entity whose mission is consistent with the purpose of the grant program. The SPMGP is designed to strengthen and enhance the production and marketing of sheep and sheep products in the United States through the improvement of infrastructure, business, and resource development, and the development of innovative approaches to solve long-term needs. Approximately $2 million will be available.
Applications are due by June 24, 2019.
Oklahoma Conservation Partners
USDA-NRCS Oklahoma State Office is seeking like-minded natural resource conservation partners. Partnerships should help enhance the implementation of key conservation objectives and priorities, as listed online. Approximately $1.5 million is available. Proposals are requested from eligible entities: nonprofits, governmental or non-governmental organizations, and institutions of higher learning, for competitive consideration of awards for one- to five-year projects.
Applications must be received by June 20, 2019.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Southern Cover Crop Conference
July 16-17, 2019
The 2019 Southern Cover Crop Conference will bring researchers, Extension personnel, farmers, and ag industry specialists together to discover the latest information related to cover crops in the South.
Small Farm School
July 18, 2019
Small Farm School is a collaboration between Oregon State University Extension, Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District, and Clackamas Community College. It is a full-day event with hands-on workshops and classroom sessions for beginning and small-scale commercial farmers.
Montana Organic Association 2019 Farm Tour
July 18, 2019
The 2019 Farm Tour, "In It for the Long Haul," will feature multiple stops, including Hard Red Spring Wheat and oats fields, with variety comparisons, information on inter-seeding clover, airseeder and harrow discussions, and input comparisons. The tour is free and open to the public.
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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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