Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 26, 2019
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
- Apply Now for Armed to Urban Farm in Ohio
- Improvements to Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Taking Effect for 2020 Crop Year
- Publication Explores Economics of Cover Crops for Row Crop Farmers
- European Research Finds Small Farms' Contribution to Food Production Undervalued
- Study Focuses on Addressing Challenges of Specialty Cut Flower Production
- Oregon Department of Agriculture Finds Pesticide Contamination in Organic Neem Products
- On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials
- Grow NY Food & Agriculture Competition
- Tennessee Conservation Agreements
- Grasstravaganza: Health & Resiliency from Soil to Table
- Soil and Water Conservation Society International Annual Conference
- Soil Health in Organic Practices & High Tunnel Production
News & Resources
Apply Now for Armed to Urban Farm in Ohio
In partnership with the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) and Holden Forests & Gardens, NCAT is bringing the week-long Armed to Farm (ATF) veterans training to Cleveland, Ohio, for a special event focused on urban farming. Armed to Urban Farm will give military veterans an opportunity to see sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and learn about urban farming as a career. Armed to Urban Farm is scheduled for September 9-13, 2019. Veterans from Northern Ohio will receive priority. The event is free for those chosen to attend. Applications are due by July 26, 2019.
Improvements to Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Taking Effect for 2020 Crop Year
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) has posted a summary of revisions to Whole-Farm Revenue Protection crop insurance that are set to take effect in the 2020 crop year, beginning in August 2019. Among the changes are raised coverage caps for livestock and nursery production, exclusion of disaster payments from revenue, and changes in the way that disaster years will be counted in a farm's historic revenue. Also, hemp is being added as a crop eligible for coverage, with restrictions.
Related ATTRA Publication: Crop Insurance Options for Specialty, Diversified, and Organic Farmers
Publication Explores Economics of Cover Crops for Row Crop Farmers
Cover Crop Economics, a new report published by the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, addresses economic returns that can be expected from cover crops under various management scenarios and as cover crops improve soil health over time. The report finds that planting a cover crop as a livestock grazing opportunity is one of the fastest avenues to profitability. The report's conclusions are based on five years of data from the National Cover Crop Survey.
Related ATTRA Publication: Cover Crop (340) in Organic Systems
European Research Finds Small Farms' Contribution to Food Production Undervalued
A study in the European Union and Africa by the SALSA consortium has found that food production from small farms is frequently underestimated in official statistics. Researchers believe the gap could stem from food used to feed family, friends, and animals on the farm. The study's authors say that because small farm production is undervalued, those small farms often don't receive the governmental support they deserve.
Study Focuses on Addressing Challenges of Specialty Cut Flower Production
A study published in HortTechnology shared the results of an industry survey of North American specialty cut flower producers. The main perceived production problem was insect management, with crop timing second, and disease management third. The main postharvest problems were temperature management, hydration, and flower-food management. The article provides a guide for how to best address those challenges, using 31 major crop species as a template.
Related ATTRA Resource: Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing
Oregon Department of Agriculture Finds Pesticide Contamination in Organic Neem Products
Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) reports that testing of six different commercial neem-oil products labeled for organic use showed that all tested positive for active ingredients not listed on the label. These included the synthetic pesticides Malathion, Chlorpyrifos, and Permethrin, as well as several other non-organic active ingredients. ODA has issued a statewide Stop Sale, Use, and Removal Order (SSURO) for the six neem-oil products. Manufacturers, products, and lot numbers are listed online.
>>More Breaking News
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On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting proposals for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials, a new sub-program created by the 2018 Farm Bill for the Conservation Innovation Grants program. Through On-Farm Trials, NRCS and partners will collaborate to encourage adoption of innovative practices and systems on agricultural lands. Funding goes directly to partners, which in turn provide technical assistance and incentive payments to producers to implement innovative approaches on their lands. Awards for 2019 range from $250,000 to $5 million.
Proposals are due by July 15, 2019.
Grow NY Food & Agriculture Competit ion
Grow-NY is a business competition focused on growing an enduring food and agriculture innovation cluster in the Finger Lakes region, Central New York, and the Southern Tier. The competition attracts innovative, high-growth food and agriculture startups from across the globe and engages them in the region's rapidly growing startup ecosystem. Finalists will pitch their business ideas for a chance to win a $1 million top prize, two $500,000 prizes, and four $250,000 prizes. High-growth food and agriculture startups from across the globe are encouraged to enter.
Applications close July 15, 2019.
Tennessee Conservation Agreements
USDA-NRCS has announced funding for cooperative, grant, and contribution agreements with the intent of leveraging NRCS resources, addressing local natural-resource issues/concerns, encouraging collaborative efforts, and developing state and local-level conservation leadership. Proposals will be accepted for projects located in Tennessee. Applicants must be a State or local government unit, non-governmental organization, or institution of higher learning. A total of $1 million is available; the maximum grant is $375,000.
Applications are due by July 15, 2019.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Grasstravaganza: Health & Resiliency from Soil to Table
July 25-27, 2019
Cobleskill, New York
This conference is hosted by SUNY Cobleskill, in cooperation with NRCS, Cornell University Cooperative Extension, the New York Grazing Coalition, and Soil and Water Conservation. Grasstravaganza features special guest Dr. Elaine Ingham, workshops, hands-on learning at the college farm, and local farm tours.
Soil and Water Conservation Society International Annual Conference
July 28-31, 2019
"Bridging the Divide: Uniting Rural and Urban Landscapes for Conservation" includes eight general conservation research and practice topics, as well as specialty tracks. The agenda includes workshops, concurrent and plenary sessions, and tours.
Soil Health in Organic Practices & High Tunnel Production
July 23, 2019
Pickens, South Carolina
In this full-day workshop from Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, participants will learn about both soil health principles and high tunnel production.
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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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