Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - July 5, 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
- Farmer Case Studies Share Resilience Strategies
- Input from Agricultural Technical Assistance Providers Needed for Study
- Webinar Series Helps Farmers with Business Decision-Making
- Penn State Research Evaluates Malting Barley Varieties for Craft Brewers
- Toolbox Helps Early Childhood Programs with Local Food Purchasing
- Deep Winter Greenhouse Construction Documents Available Online
- Specialty Crop Multi-State Program
- Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program
- Ephemeral Gully Control Initiative in Nebraska
- Produce Safety Workshop
- Organic Breeding and Seed Intensive
- Silvopasture Workshop
News & Resources
Farmer Case Studies Share Resilience Strategies
A Northwest project by Regional Approaches to Climate Change (REACCH) is sharing case studies of innovative ways that regional farmers manage climate-change risk, in the hope of inspiring other farmers to improve resiliency and sustainability. A series of 13 case studies featuring dryland, irrigated, rangeland, and dairy farmers has been compiled and is featured online in text, PDF, and video.
Input from Agricultural Technical Assistance Providers Needed for Study
A study led by Syracuse University, Pennsylvania State University, New York University, and the National Center for Appropriate Technology is looking for input from agricultural technical assistance providers. The study seeks to examine local and regional agricultural production and intermediated markets, and will examine the opportunities and risks of four main marketing opportunities for farmers. Through a survey, researchers are collecting information on organizations that provide technical assistance in these areas.
Webinar Series Helps Farmers with Business Decision-Making
The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group has developed a series of webinars to help farmers track and analyze financial data and make sound business decisions for increased farm profitability. The series includes five titles: Record Keeping for Profit Management for Vegetable Growers, Cost-Benefit Analysis for Vegetable Equipment Purchasing Decisions, Schedule F vs. Profitability Accounting for Vegetable Farming, Depreciation and Profitability Management, and Preparing Farmers to Meet with Lenders.
Related ATTRA Publication: Basic Accounting: Guidance for Beginning Farmers
Penn State Research Evaluates Malting Barley Varieties for Craft Brewers
Pennsylvania State University has been conducting research into the best-performing malting barley varieties for the Northeast over the past several years. Researchers tested about 30 varieties and identified five standouts. They created an online factsheet with comprehensive study information—including varieties, seeding, crop rotations, weed and insect control, and disease management.
Toolbox Helps Early Childhood Programs with Local Food Purchasing
Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems is making available Local Food for Little Eaters: A Purchasing Toolbox for the Child and Adult Care Food Program. The tools included in this resource provide step-by-step instructions for purchasing from a variety of local food sources and feature highlights from successful early-childhood local-purchasing initiatives throughout the country.
Deep Winter Greenhouse Construction Documents Available Online
On its Deep Winter Greenhouse (DWG) resource page, University of Minnesota is offering access to construction documents for its 2.2 prototype DWG. A DWG is a passive solar greenhouse for growing crops in northern latitudes. DWGs can be used to grow cold-hardy crops that thrive with minimal light, providing year-round production capacity for small scale farmers and gardeners.
>>More Breaking News
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Specialty Crop Multi-State Program
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) requests applications for the fiscal year 2017 Specialty Crop Multi-State Program. AMS will award funds to State departments of agriculture to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops through collaborative, multi-state projects that address the following regional- or national-level specialty crop issues: food safety; plant pests and disease; research; crop-specific projects addressing common issues; and marketing and promotion. Approximately $7 million may be available to State departments of agriculture that agree to participate in the program.
States must inform AMS of their intent to participate by July 11, 2017. Applications must be submitted to participating State departments of agriculture by September 25, 2017.
Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is seeking applications for funding under the new Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program, which is dedicated to restoring and sustaining healthy forests, rivers, and streams for native bird and freshwater fish populations. Grants will be awarded in two categories: habitat restoration and focal geography. Up to $1.3 million is available for grants in the Appalachian region of Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Applications are due July 27, 2017.
Ephemeral Gully Control Initiative in Nebraska
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has funding available through a special Ephemeral Gully Control Initiative under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. The funding can help Nebraska's farmers control erosion on their cropland with conservation practices such as cover crops and grassed waterways.
Applications are due by July 21, 2017.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Produce Safety Workshop
August 10, 2017
The National Young Farmers Coalition, the National Farmers Union, National Center for Appropriate Technology, and Northwest Arkansas Young Farmers Coalition present an approved Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule training. NCAT's Luke Freeman will be a presenter.
Organic Breeding and Seed Intensive
August 10, 2017
Learn how to develop new varieties and produce commercial-quality seed. This class will include planning, harvesting and cleaning seed, managing population size and isolation distances, conducting variety trials, and understanding on-farm breeding techniques.
August 4-5, 2017
La Crescent, Minnesota
The University of Minnesota Extension, University of Wisconsin Extension, and the Savanna Institute present a tour on Friday afternoon of a silvopasture trial. The workshop will continue on Saturday with presentations on silvopasture establishment and management and several silvoculture-operation tours.
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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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