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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 26, 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

  • USDA Releases Cover Crop Fact Sheet Clarifying Termination Dates
  • USDA Approves Non-GMO Label for Meat
  • ERS Releases Local Meat and Poultry Processing Report
  • NOP Releases Economic Impact Analysis of Proposed Regulations for Living Conditions for Organic Poultry
  • MOSES Accepting Nominations for Organic Farmer of the Year
  • APHIS Invites Comment on EIS for Dow AgroSciences Herbicide-Resistant Corn and Soybeans

Funding Opportunities

  • National Water Quality Initiative
  • Specialty Crop Block Grant–Farm Bill
  • Maryland Cover Crop Program

Coming Events

  • Student Organic Seed Symposium
  • Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference
  • Pennsylvania Organic FarmFest

News & Resources

USDA Releases Cover Crop Fact Sheet Clarifying Termination Dates
USDA Risk Management Agency has issued Cover Crops, a new two-page fact sheet that helps to resolve confusion over allowable deadlines for termination of cover crops to qualify the subsequent crop in the field for crop insurance. The deadlines that RMA will now use are located in NRCS' Cover Crop Termination Guidelines for Non-Irrigated Cropland.

USDA Approves Non-GMO Label for Meat
USDA has approved the first label for meat and liquid egg products that includes a claim about the absence of genetically engineered products, reports The New York Times. The label claim attests that meat certified by the Non-GMO Project came from animals that never ate feed containing genetically engineered ingredients.

ERS Releases Local Meat and Poultry Processing Report
USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) has released Local Meat and Poultry Processing: The Importance of Business Commitments for Long-Term Viability. This 50-page report explores the multi-faceted issue of long-term viability for meat processors and identifies fundamental causes for lack of processing capacity.

NOP Releases Economic Impact Analysis of Proposed Regulations for Living Conditions for Organic Poultry
USDA National Organic Program (NOP) contracted with a third party to prepare an economic impact analysis on potential changes to the living conditions requirements for organic poultry, as recommended by NOSB. The results have been published in a 23-page report, Economic Impact Analysis of Proposed Regulations for Living Conditions for Organic Poultry, available online as a PDF file.

MOSES Accepting Nominations for Organic Farmer of the Year
The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) is seeking nominations for its 2014 Organic Farmer of the Year award. Nominees must be certified organic farmers currently farming in a midwestern state. Nomination forms are available online and must be submitted by September 15, 2013.

APHIS Invites Comment on EIS for Dow AgroSciences Herbicide-Resistant Corn and Soybeans
USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is extending the comment period on its decision to complete an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the potential determinations of nonregulated status for certain cultivars of corn and soybeans. These cultivars, produced by Dow AgroSciences LLC, are resistant to certain broadleaf herbicides, particularly the herbicide 2,4-D. The comment period has been extended by 30 days and will include virtual public meetings on June 26 and June 27.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

National Water Quality Initiative
Through the National Water Quality Initiative, the Natural Resources Conservation Service will work with farmers and ranchers in 165 small watersheds to improve water quality. In 2013, NRCS will provide nearly $35 million in financial assistance to help farmers and ranchers implement conservation systems to reduce nitrogen, phosphorous, sediment, and pathogen contributions from agricultural land.
Applications for funding consideration during fiscal year 2013 must be received by July 12, 2013.

Specialty Crop Block Grant–Farm Bill
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announces the availability of approximately $52 million in grant funds for fiscal year 2013, to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. State departments of agriculture interested in obtaining grant program funds are invited to submit applications to USDA.
Applications must be received by July 10, 2013.

Maryland Cover Crop Program
The Maryland Department of Agriculture has announced that approximately $20 million has been allocated for the 2013-2014 Cover Crop Program, which provides grants of up to $55/acre to farmers who agree to plant cover crops on their fields in the fall to conserve nutrients, reduce soil erosion, and protect water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
Enrollment closes July 15, 2013.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Student Organic Seed Symposium
August 4-7, 2013
Mt. Vernon, Washington

Washington State University will host the second annual Student Organic Seed Symposium, titled "Breeding and Advocating for Resilient Organic Seed Systems." The event includes presentations and an extensive agenda of field-trial and farm visits.

Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference
August 2-4, 2013
Kissimmee, Florida

Through concurrent educational sessions led by industry experts and researchers, this annual conference provides opportunities to learn about groundbreaking research and access educational support . Topics include operating sustainable and profitable enterprises, integrating cost-effective methods to meet state regulations, and applying the latest research to real-world problems.

Pennsylvania Organic FarmFest
August 2-3, 2013
Centre Hall, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Certified Organic presents a fun, free, community-building event that fosters knowledge of organic agriculture and sustainable living through educational opportunities, local foods, lively entertainment, and interactive family activities.

>> More Events

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Question of the Week
I am starting an organic peach orchard. What are the disease and pest concerns associated with growing peaches? Is it acceptable to paint the trunk with white latex paint mixed with copper sulfate to prevent fungus from infecting the tree?

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ATTRA Webinars
Integrating Pastured Poultry Production into Farming Operations and Marketing, by Janie Burns. This webinar was the keynote of a pastured poultry workshop in April.

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