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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 21, 2017

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

  • New Program Certifies Bee-Friendly Farms
  • Rice Farmers Sell First Carbon Credits
  • Audubon's Conservation Ranching Program Building Specialty Beef Market
  • Organic Onions Higher in Flavonoids and Antioxidants
  • Free Fecal Egg Counts Offered for Northeast Small-Ruminant Producers
  • Weed Scientists Caution about Auxin Herbicide Drift

Funding Opportunities

  • Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grants
  • National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety Mini-Grant Program
  • Water Bank Program in South Dakota

Coming Events

  • Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems First Fifty Celebration
  • American Community Gardening Association Annual Conference
  • Third Thursday Thing Sustainable Agriculture Field Day

News & Resources

New Program Certifies Bee-Friendly Farms
The Bee Better Certified program is a new, nationwide certification that enables agricultural producers to let consumers know they are farming in ways that benefit bees. The program was developed by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation in partnership with Oregon Tilth, with Conservation Innovation Grant funding from USDA. Interested farmers submit an application to Oregon Tilth, which inspects the farm and certifies it if it meets standards. Certified farmers are able to use the Bee Better seal.

Rice Farmers Sell First Carbon Credits
Seven rice farmers who implemented conservation measures that reduced methane emissions generated carbon credits that were sold to Microsoft. The process is featured in an NRCS interactive online story, "Nature's Stewards." The voluntary conservation practices implemented by the California, Arkansas, and Mississippi farmers not only generated carbon credits but also reduced energy consumption and water use.

Audubon's Conservation Ranching Program Building Specialty Beef Market
Audubon's Conservation Ranching Program pairs livestock producers with local ecologists who guide them through sustainable grazing practices and other land-management systems that create vital habitats for birds. The program includes a "Grazed on Bird-Friendly Land" label that participants can use. So far, 40 ranchers covering 600,000 acres in seven states are participating in the program.
Related ATTRA Resource: Managed Grazing Tutorial

Organic Onions Higher in Flavonoids and Antioxidants
Research published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that flavonoid levels and antioxidant activity in organic onions are higher than in conventional onions. The six-year study tested two varieties of onions and showed that antioxidant activity was higher for both varieties in organic onions. Also, flavonols in organic onions were as much as 20% higher.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Allium Production

Free Fecal Egg Counts Offered for Northeast Small-Ruminant Producers
Through a SARE project on parasite control, the University of Rhode Island is offering free Fecal Egg Count analysis for Northeastern small-ruminant producers and National Sheep Improvement Program members marketing animals to Northeast producers. The counts will assist with selective breeding for resistance to gastrointestinal nematodes.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tools for Managing Internal Parasites in Small Ruminants: Animal Selection

Weed Scientists Caution about Auxin Herbicide Drift
Scientists with the Weed Science Society of America say special precautions are necessary to prevent off-target plant damage from dicamba and 2,4-D drift. The Take Action on Weeds program has produced a fact sheet with best management practices for auxin herbicides, which warns that many ornamental, vegetable, and tree species are sensitive to auxins at 1/30,000 of the labeled rate. It also cautions that vapor drift of auxin herbicides can occur up to three days after application.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grants
USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service announces the availability of $3 million in competitive grant funds to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Eligible applicants include Cooperatives, Groups of Cooperatives, Cooperative Development Centers, and Native American tribal governments.
Electronic applications are due July 25, 2017. Paper applications must be postmarked by August 1, 2017.

National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety Mini-Grant Program
The National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety is accepting proposals for mini-grants up to $20,000 to support small-scale projects and pilot studies that address prevention of childhood agricultural disease and injury.
Application deadline is August 16, 2017.

Water Bank Program in South Dakota
USDA NRCS has opened applications to the Water Bank Program (WBP) in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. WBP contracts are non-renewable, 10-year rental agreements for cropland, pastureland, and forestland impacted by flooding.
Applications for 2017 funding are accepted in South Dakota until June 30, 2017.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems First Fifty Celebration
July 28-30, 2017
Santa Cruz, California

The Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Three days of events combine speakers, workshops, tours, and music with great local food and mingling with the sustainable agriculture community.

American Community Gardening Association Annual Conference
July 27-30, 2017
Hartford, Massachusetts
This conference includes workshops covering cutting-edge horticulture practices, community gardening start-up and sustainability, school/youth gardening curricula, and innovative health and workplace programs. There will also be speakers and tours.

Third Thursday Thing Sustainable Agriculture Field Day
July 20, 2017
Frankfort, Kentucky

Join Kentucky State University to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Third Thursday Thing sustainable agriculture field day. At this full-day event there will be 35 educational workshops and demonstrations.

>>More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page 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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© 2017 NCAT

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New ATTRA Podcast
Ocean Farming: a Conversation with Bren Smith

Question of the Week
What is the best climate for plum production?

Ask an Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Armed to Farm Training for Veterans
Application deadlines for our week-long trainings:
New York ~ June 23, 2017
Maine~ July 12, 2017

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

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