Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - June 15, 2005
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the
Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site.
* Small and Mid-size Farms Play Role in Food Security
* Greenhouse Biocontrol Manual Published
* Research Sheds Light on Reproductive Attitudes of Chickens
* Heritage Pigs Raised on Forage
* Michigan 'Buy Local' Campaign Flourishes
* Farm Children Threatened by Pesticides, Charges Lawsuit
* Western IPM Center Integrated Pest Management
* Western Integrated Pest Management Center Information Networks
* National Forest Foundation Matching Grants
* Opportunities and Challenges in Farmstead/Artisan Cheese Making
* Pastured Pork Tour and Raising Pastured Pork Workshop
* Upper Midwest Grazing Conference
News & Resources
Small and Mid-size Farms Play Role in Food Security
Strong small and mid-size farms may be key to preventing food supply disruptions,
according to conference proceedings that were covered by a story in the Poughkeepsie
Journal. The nonprofit Glynwood Center hosted a conference in November, called New
Perspectives on Food Security, and has now made the proceedings available
online. The proceedings report that a dispersed system, where more food would
be grown locally, is less vulnerable to contamination than big farms with concentrated
production facilities, where disease could spread rapidly. The report encourages
the development and support of stronger regional and local food production and
Greenhouse Biocontrol Manual Published
The Pennsylvania Integrated Pest Management Program has published a new manual designed to help greenhouse growers implement biological control and Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Greenhouse
IPM with an Emphasis on Biocontrols begins with an introduction to IPM and its principles, includes information on starting an IPM/biocontrol program, and addresses many of the most common greenhouse pests and their biocontrols. The manual is designed to educate commercial greenhouse operators, crop consultants, and IPM scouts to develop biocontrol systems for greenhouses that will maximize yields while reducing pesticide usage. It is available online or as a hard copy.
Research Sheds Light on Reproductive Attitudes of Chickens
Research from the University of Alberta is revealing why some chickens may be
better mothers than others, according to a press release. Chickens have a "reproductive
attitude" that determines whether they channel nutrients to their own bodies
or to egg production. Those that shift nutrients to themselves are poor egg
producers, while those that shift too many nutrients to egg production are
prone to burnout. The University of Alberta study of 300 high-performance broiler
breeder hens explores the relationship between the hens' growth and reproductive
performance. The study has identified some 'super-hens' that have an incredible
growth potential and are also capable of producing many more chicks than usual.
If they pass this trait along to their offspring, it could be a boon for the
broiler industry. The researchers will go on to study links between reproductive
attitude and broiler quality.
Related ATTRA publication: Poultry Genetics for Pastured Production
Heritage Pigs Raised on Forage
The State.com recently ran a feature on Emile DeFelice, a South Carolina pig
farmer and director of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. DeFelice, a
former organic herb and produce grower, has focused on hogs for the past two
years. He raises heritage breeds of hogs that forage well in the forest, grow
slowly to maturity, and produce meat higher in oleic fat. He supplements the
pigs' foraging with leftover organic dairy products but doesn't raise organic
meat because he can't find enough local organic feed. DeFelice has opted for
pigs raised completely from local feeds, rather than certified organic meat that
requires certified feed to be shipped in from outside the state. DeFelice's pork
has found favor from restaurant chefs in the local area and across the country.
DeFelice markets pork by the quarter, saying that responsible meat purchasers
should find ways to use all the cuts, rather than taking only the premium cuts
and leaving the rest as waste.
Michigan 'Buy Local' Campaign Flourishes
The Michigan Land Use Institute has expanded its successful "Taste the Local
Difference" campaign. One element of the campaign is a free, pocket-sized guide
listing about 160 regional farms that engage in direct sales; the organization
will increase distribution of the guide to 25,000 copies in eight counties in
northwest Lower Michigan. This year's campaign will also include about 55 food
retailers, as well as marketing materials such as menu cards, posters, and a
the Local Difference Web site. The farms featured in the guide represent
approximately $5 million in annual sales, about 320 full- and part-time jobs,
and nearly 23,000 acres of farmland. Given the success and the economic value
of the program, local businesses are taking notice and providing additional financial
support for the project.
Farm Children Threatened by Pesticides, Charges Lawsuit
A coalition of farm workers and environmental and public health groups have filed
a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), charging that
the agency is failing to protect children of farmers and farm workers from
toxic chemicals used on farms. According to the lawsuit, children who live
near farms are exposed to pesticides in soil, air, food, water, and on their
parents' clothes. The lawsuit alleges that EPA failed to consider those elevated
exposure levels when determining allowable pesticide standards for food.
more news and resources, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture
Information Service Web site's Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.
Back to top
IPM Center Integrated Pest Management Issues
The Western Integrated Pest Management Center announces the availability of funds and requests proposals for projects that address important issues in IPM and support the goals of the Western Integrated Pest Management Center. Priority will be given to applications that address priorities announced by the Center, including research on invasive weeds, development and implementation of integrated approaches of management practices and their impacts on pests, integrating new reduced risk tactics into whole farm systems, and research on tracheal mites and pollinator bees, among others. Approximately $200,000 is available for this competitive program. Applications from private individuals and institutions, businesses, commodity organizations, and governmental and non-governmental organizations are invited. The primary project director must be from within the Western Region. Applications are due August 4, 2005.
Western Integrated Pest Management Center Information Networks
The Western Integrated Pest Management Center (WIPMC) announces the availability of funds and requests proposals for Information Networks that support the Western Integrated Pest Management Center. Funding in the amount of approximately $200,000 is available for this competitive subcontracts program. Proposals are limited to the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Networks are to serve as a resource for information about the importance of pesticides and other pest management tactics in local production systems covered by the network, respond to information requests, maintain a web site for the network, and aid in identification of appropriate individuals to address IPM tactics use surveys, crop profiles and Pest Management Strategic Plans. Applications are due July 20, 2005.
National Forest Foundation Matching Grants
The National Forest Foundation matches federal funds (provided under a cooperative agreement with the Forest Service) to non-federal dollars to implement projects that directly benefit our National Forests and Grasslands. A common thread connecting NFF’s four program areas – community-based forestry, watershed health & restoration, wildlife habitat improvement, and recreation – is an interest in action-oriented projects that enhance the viability of natural resources while considering benefits to, and the involvement of, surrounding communities. During 2005, NFF will concentrate its efforts in five geographic focus areas: Southern Appalachians (TN, NC, SC, GA), Oregon Coast and Central Cascades, the Selway-Bitterroot (MT, ID), Central Colorado Rockies, and Central Sierra (CA). The NFF will accept applications from non-governmental, nonprofit organizations working on or adjacent to National Forests and Grasslands. Pre-proposals for Round 2 funding in 2005 are due by July 29, 2005.
additional funding opportunities, visit: http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.
Back to top
Opportunities and Challenges in Farmstead/Artisan Cheese Making
July 7-8, 2005
This event is sponsored by the Cascade Harvest Coalition and Washington State Department of Agriculture through a grant from USDA Risk Management Agency. The agenda includes presentations, hands-on experiments, and cheesemaking activity.
Pastured Pork Tour and Raising Pastured Pork Workshop
July 7 and 8, 2005
Jackson Center, Pennsylvania
PASA sponsors an afternoon tour of Wil-Den Farms, a pastured pork producer with
a meat CSA, on July 7. The tour will look at pastures, farrowing huts, a certified
kitchen, and farm store. On July 8, a full-day Intensive Learning Program is
offered on Raising Pork for Direct Sales. During this intensive "hands-on" field
day, participants will get a detailed look at this unique pastured pork operation.
This day is designed for the experienced farmer transitioning to pastured production
and the novice farmer looking for a comprehensive introduction to pastured pork
production and direct marketing.
Upper Midwest Grazing Conference
August 2-4, 2005
This summer grazing conference will feature speakers from the Upper Midwest and will include farm tours, a trade show and an abundance of networking opportunities. The conference focuses on production issues facing graziers.
events at: http://attra.ncat.org/calendar/index.php.
Back to top
to the Weekly Harvest
Email the Weekly Harvest Newsletter editor Megan Schuknecht at
Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives Available Online
Digital versions of recent Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters
are now available online. ATTRAnews is the bi-monthly newsletter
of ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is the Web
site of the ATTRA project created and managed by the National
Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), and funded under a grant
from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural
Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT
Web site for more information on our sustainable agriculture
Back to top