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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 19, 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

  • Agroforestry Information Sheets Released
  • Research Report on Local Food Movement Available Online
  • Annual Survey Shows Bee Losses of 31 Percent over Winter
  • Researchers Explore Pest Resistance to Genetically Modified Crops
  • Video Highlights Benefits of Anaerobic Digestion Systems
  • Farm Aid Announces Saratoga as 2013 Concert Venue

Funding Opportunities

  • Risk Management Education in Targeted States
  • Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grant
  • Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program Funding for Targeted Habitat Types in Western Washington

Coming Events

  • From We-Feeders to Weed-Eaters: Controlling Weeds Through Animal Grazing
  • Texas Grazingland Conference
  • NCSU Organic Grain Field Day

News & Resources

Agroforestry Information Sheets Released
The USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC) has released two new information sheets: What is Silvopasture? and Mitigating Heat Stress in Cattle. The titles join NAC's series of single-page publications created to help communicate the value of agroforestry.

Research Report on Local Food Movement Available Online
Communications consultant Charleston Orwig has posted a research report, Locally Sourced Food Movement: A Study of Brands, Opportunity, and Trust. Issues surveyed included differences in local food perception between older and younger consumers and operators' food-safety concerns with local food. The report also identified hurdles to purchasing and serving local items.
Related ATTRA Resource: Tips for Selling to Restaurants

Annual Survey Shows Bee Losses of 31 Percent over Winter
The annual survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership and the Apiary Inspectors of America, funded by USDA, showed losses of honey bee colonies nationwide were 31.1% from all causes for the 2012/2013 winter. One difference from previous years was that more colonies dwindled away, rather than suffering from the onset of Colony Collapse Disorder. Beekeepers who took honey bees to California to pollinate almonds reported higher losses, with nearly 20% losing 50% or more of their colonies.

Researchers Explore Pest Resistance to Genetically Modified Crops
A University of Arizona team scrutinized 77 studies of 13 pest species to test predictions about pests developing resistance to genetically modified corn and cotton and to figure out why pests became resistant quickly in some cases, but not others. The researchers found well-documented cases of field-evolved resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crops in five major pests as of 2010. Their report indicates that in the worst cases, resistance evolved in two to three years, but in the best cases, effectiveness of Bt crops has been sustained more than 15 years.

Video Highlights Benefits of Anaerobic Digestion Systems
The Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources (CSANR) at Washington State University has produced a new 7.5-minute video, Anaerobic Digestion: Beyond Waste Management. The video shows how state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion systems can offer multiple benefits, including not only renewable energy, but also improved air and water quality, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and job creation.

Farm Aid Announces Saratoga as 2013 Concert Venue
Farm Aid announced that its annual benefit concert will be September 21 in Saratoga Springs, New York. Farm Aid 2013 will feature Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Dave Matthews, along with additional artists. The concert benefits and promotes Farm Aid's mission to keep family farmers on the land, strengthen and revitalize America's food system, and support the growth of the Good Food Movement. Farm Aid 2013 will be an all-day music and food festival.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Risk Management Education in Targeted States
The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, operating through USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA), intends to award approximately $5 million under the Risk Management Education in Targeted States Program. The purpose of this program is to deliver crop insurance education and information to producers in states where there is traditionally and presently a low level of Federal crop insurance participation and availability, and producers are underserved by the Federal crop insurance program. These states are Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Applications must be submitted by July 22, 2013.

Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grant
USDA has announced the availability of $2,855,222 in competitive grant funds for the FY 2013 Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grants program. USDA is requesting applications from cooperatives, groups of cooperatives, and Cooperative Development Centers proposing to provide technical assistance to small, socially-disadvantaged agricultural producers in rural areas. The maximum award is $200,000.
Applications are due by July 15; online submissions are due July 10, 2013.

WHIP Funding for Targeted Habitat Types in Western Washington
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced a funding opportunity for the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) that will assist with restoration and enhancement of wildlife habitat on working lands. Up to $320,000 is available for individual landowner contracts in western Washington. Targeted habitat types and their locations vary.
NRCS is accepting applications until June 24, 2013.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

From We-Feeders to Weed-Eaters: Controlling Weeds Through Animal Grazing
July 16, 17, or 18, 2013
Jamestown, Rhode Island; Litchfield, Connecticut; or South Deerfield, Massachusetts

The Grass Fed All Year Long project is offering half-day workshops in three states. Each event features Darrell Emmick presenting on animal behavior, experts from the respective states giving presentations on weeds and forage, and a presentation about the Grass Fed All Year Long project.

Texas Grazingland Conference
July 15-17, 2013
Fort Worth, Texas

This event will feature keynote speakers Temple Grandin and Kit Pharo. In addition, there will be four concurrent sessions with Texas ranchers speaking on successful management: profitable grazing management; managing wildlife with livestock; risk management; and marketing strategies.

NCSU Organic Grain Field Day
July 30, 2013
Goldsboro, North Carolina
This event will be held at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems. From organic no-till to organic soybeans, corn trials, and equipment demos, the event will cover nearly all organic grain research and production ideas in the state.

>> More Events

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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.

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© 2013 NCAT

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Bringing Local Food to Local Institutions

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