Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 29, 2011
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.
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News & Resources
- Coalitions Protest Congressional Agriculture Budget Cuts
- Study Highlights Fruit and Nut Vulnerability to Climate Change
- California Study Finds Wild Pollinators Worth Up to $2.4 Billion to State Farmers
- Restaurant Chain Plans to Double Local Produce Use
- Farm Subsidy Database Updated
- "Farmageddon" Documentary Premieres in Washington, DC
- Value-Added Producer Grant
- Western SARE Professional Development Program Grants
- Phoenix Area Office Water Conservation Field Services Program
- Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer Conference with Northeast Animal-Power Field Days
- Conservation In Action Tour 2011
- Nebraska Grazing Conference
News & Resources
Coalitions Protest Agriculture Budget Cuts
On June 21 the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and 400 other organizations sent a letter to Congressional leaders, urging them to preserve funding for Federal conservation programs. Overall, the House reduced conservation spending on agriculture by $1 billion dollars for FY 2012.
Meanwhile, USAgNet reports that a coalition of 113 agriculture organizations wrote the three highest ranking U.S. officials to express strong opposition to disproportionate cuts to agriculture programs in the quest to reduce the country's debt load.
Study Highlights Fruit and Nut Vulnerability to Climate Change
Nuts and stone fruits might become much more costly and difficult to grow, because of rising winter temperatures, according to a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS One. Many fruit and nut trees need a certain number of hours at cold temperatures, and the authors' extensive climate change modeling shows achieving adequate winter chill will become increasingly more difficult in growing zones across the world.
California Study Finds Wild Pollinators Worth Up to $2.4 Billion to State Farmers
California agriculture reaps $937 million to $2.4 billion per year in economic value from wild, free-living bee species that serve the critical function of pollinating crops, according to a new study by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley.
Wild pollinators residing in California's natural habitats, chiefly rangelands, provide more than one-third of all pollination "services" to the state's crops.
Related ATTRA Publication: Alternative Pollinators: Native Bees
Restaurant Chain Plans to Double Local Produce Use
Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it expects to use more than 10 million pounds of produce from local farms this year, up from its 2010 goal of about 5 million pounds. Chipotle's local produce will be grown on farms within 350 miles of the restaurants where it will be served.
Farm Subsidy Database Updated
The Environmental Working Group has released the latest update of its widely referenced farm subsidy database.
From 1995-2010, just 10 percent of subsidized farms collected 76 percent of all commodity payments
from subsidies totaling $222.8 billion.
"Farmageddon" Documentary Premieres in Washington, DC
Slow Food D.C. hosted the sold-out world premiere of the documentary film Farmageddon: The Unseen War on American Family Farms.
The film moves on to Los Angeles and New York and will be shown on college campuses this fall.
>> More Breaking News
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Value-Added Producer Grant
USDA is accepting applications for grants to provide economic assistance to independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives and agricultural producer groups through the Value-Added Producer Grant Program.
The maximum grant amount for a planning grant is $100,000 and the maximum grant amount for a working capital grant is $300,000.
The application deadline is August 29, 2011.
Western SARE Professional Development Program Grants
PDP Grants of up to $60,000 for single-state proposals
focus on training agricultural professionals to help them spread knowledge about sustainable agriculture concepts and practices.
Proposals are due by November 4, 2011.
Phoenix Area Office Water Conservation Field Services Program
This Funding Opportunity Announcement invites irrigation and water districts, states, local governments, water providers, and other entities to cost share with the Bureau of Reclamation, Phoenix Area Office on projects/activities that make more efficient use of existing water supplies through water conservation and efficiency. Grant awards of up to $30,000 are available.
Applications are due by August 1, 2011.
>> More Funding Opportunities
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Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer Conference with Northeast Animal-Power Field Days
August 12-14, 2011
The 37th annual conference offers 225+ workshops on organic farming, gardening and land care, draft animals in farming and forestry, homesteading, sustainability, nutrition, food politics, activism, and more
Conservation In Action Tour 2011
August 9, 2011
Conservation Technology Information Center presents this annual tour, focusing
on agriculture's influence on the environmental and economic health of Maumee River and Bay, as well as Lake Erie, and featuring new and successful conservation technologies and practices.
Nebraska Grazing Conference
August 9-10, 2011
Beginning and experienced graziers and land managers as well as policy makers can all benefit from attending this conference designed for people who want to learn the most current information on grazing livestock systems and their impact on grazing lands.
>> More Events
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