Home | Newsletter Archives

ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 12, 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.

News & Resources

  • Carbon Management Tool Released by USDA
  • Updated Crop Budgets Offered
  • Switchgrass Succeeding as Dual-Purpose Crop
  • Research Reassesses Urban Garden Soil Sampling to Detect Lead
  • MSU Project to Focus on Curbing Farm Nitrogen Pollution
  • Website and Blog Report Research on Increasing Resilience in the Corn Belt

Funding Opportunities

  • Risk Management Education Partnerships Program
  • Community Economic Development Healthy Food Financing Initiative Projects
  • Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Grants Program

Coming Events

  • Soil and Water Conservation Society Annual Conference: Resilient Landscapes
  • Kneading Conference
  • Organic Row Crops with MOSES Farmer of the Year

News & Resources

Carbon Management Tool Released by USDA
USDA has announced the release of a new "Carbon Management and Evaluation Tool" known as COMET-FARM. This free, online tool will help producers calculate how much carbon their conservation actions can remove from the atmosphere. COMET-FARM will also help producers calculate and understand how land-management decisions impact energy use and carbon emissions.

Updated Crop Budgets Offered
University of Wisconsin Extension offers field crop, vegetable, and pasture budgets online to help producers in making cropping decisions. The budgets, which have been updated for 2013, calculate the costs associated with using tractors, implements, and durables. The costs calculated are energy use, labor, repairs, ownership interest cost, and depreciation charge. Eleven different field crop and four pasture budgets are available, as well as budgets for 15 commercial vegetables and 23 fresh-market vegetables.
Related ATTRA Resource: Planning for Profit in Sustainable Farming

Switchgrass Succeeding as Dual-Purpose Crop
A multi-year University of Kentucky research project looking at the biomass potential of switchgrass has yielded recommendations for establishing switchgrass as forage, an economic spreadsheet that farmers can utilize to determine if switchgrass would be a good option for their operation, and documentation of the environmental benefits of the crop. Among other results, researchers found that producers could take an early cutting of switchgrass for hay and still harvest the switchgrass in late fall for a biomass crop without a significant yield loss.
Related ATTRA Publication: Switchgrass as a Bioenergy Crop

Research Reassesses Urban Garden Soil Sampling to Detect Lead
Researchers from Wayne State University analyzed the lead content in soil across a local urban garden plot and evaluated the results of several sampling strategies, some of which failed to detect a lead "hotspot" in one corner of the plot. The research was published in the journal Risk Analysis. Given the varied nature of soils and the potential for multiple sources of lead contamination, the researchers concluded that the current two-sample standard might not be sufficient to detect lead-contaminated hotspots.
Related ATTRA Publication: Start a Farm in the City

MSU Project to Focus on Curbing Farm Nitrogen Pollution
Half of the nitrogen-based fertilizer used on U.S. crops seeps into the environment, prompting an interdisciplinary team of Michigan State University scientists to investigate ways to curb pollution. The team will analyze soil, crop, and climate conditions at 75 Midwestern corn farms and conduct surveys and interviews with farmers. The goal of the project is to obtain a better understanding of how human action and climate change influence the amount of nitrogen lost through air and water.

Website and Blog Report Research on Increasing Resilience in the Corn Belt
Farmers in the Corn Belt have two new Internet portals to the latest research findings on how to increase the resiliency of corn-based cropping systems under variable weather conditions. The new "Sustainable Corn" website and blog are part of a USDA-funded project that seeks to identify and advance farm practices and public policies that increase Midwestern crop resilience while minimizing environmental impacts.

>> More Breaking News

Back to top


Funding Opportunities

Risk Management Education Partnerships Program
The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, operating through the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA), has announced its intent to award approximately $3 million through the Risk Management Education Partnerships Program. Awards of $20,000 to $99,999 are offered for projects that deliver crop insurance education and risk management training to U.S. agricultural producers to assist them in identifying and managing production, marketing, legal, financial, and human risk.
Applications must be received by July 22, 2013.

Community Economic Development Healthy Food Financing Initiative Projects
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Community Services seeks projects that will implement innovative strategies for eliminating food deserts while achieving sustainable employment and business opportunities for recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and other low-income individuals. Applicants must be qualified Community Development Corporations.
Applications are due by July 2, 2013.

Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Grants Program
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is accepting pre-proposals for research and project grants under its annual grants program. Investigators representing any Iowa nonprofit organization/agency and/or educational institution are eligible to apply. Focus areas for 2013 are soil health, food hubs, and identifying and managing vulnerabilities.
Pre-proposals are due by July 19, 2013.

>> More Funding Opportunities

Back to top


Coming Events

Soil and Water Conservation Society Annual Conference: Resilient Landscapes
July 21-24, 2013
Reno, Nevada

This conference focuses on how landscapes can be resilient by planning for drought, flood, and fire. The agenda features workshops, presentations, numerous concurrent sessions featuring research results and case studies, and tours.

Kneading Conference
July 25-26, 2013
Skowhegan, Maine

The Kneading Conference addresses wheat production as an important cornerstone of a growing local food movement. The conference brings together diverse stakeholders who collectively can rebuild lost infrastructure and create demand for local and regional grain systems—farmers, millers, bakers, chefs, and wheat researchers. The event includes speakers, workshops, tours, and an artisan bread fair.

Organic Row Crops with MOSES Farmer of the Year
July 25, 2013
Madison, South Dakota
Charlie Johnson, MOSES Farmer of the Year, will host a free tour of his farm, which includes 2,800 acres of corn, soybeans, oats, and alfalfa. Johnson will explain how the farm's simple, yet successful, systems for crop rotations and cultivation have created clean fields and good yields for many years.

>> More Events

Back to top


Subscribe to the Weekly Harvest

Comments? Questions? Contact us

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

Back to top

Updated Publication
Bringing Local Food to Local Institutions

Question of the Week
I am interested in micro-hydro on my farm. What do I need to know?

Ask a Sustainable Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online

ATTRA Webinars
Our recent webinars are available for viewing in the Sustainable Agriculture Video Archive.

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

ATTRA is on Facebook!
We feature breaking news on sustainable agriculture topics several times a week. Add us to your FaceBook friends list today!

Find us on Facebook

 

Follow us on Pinterest

 

 

Support the ATTRA Project


ATTRAs 25th Anniversary

Home | Newsletter Archives