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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - July 8, 2020

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

  • Study Compares Alternatives for Addressing Climate Change, Food Security, and Land Degradation
  • House Climate Committee Action Plan Addresses Agriculture
  • Report Highlights Benefits of Choosing Organic Meat
  • Field-Edge Flower Strips and Organic Fields Both Prove Beneficial for Bee Habitat
  • Auburn University Receives $3 Million Grant to Encourage Conservation for Row-Crop Farmers
  • Pasture Fly Control Tips Offered by Cornell Experts

Funding Opportunities

  • Northeast SARE's Research for Novel Approaches in Sustainable Agriculture
  • Southwest Rivers Program Headwaters 2020 Request for Proposals
  • Gaia Roots Small Grants Program

Coming Events

  • NOFA Summer Conference: Climate Solutions Are Grown In Soil
  • Grain Place Foundation Virtual Field Day
  • Beef Basics: Things to Consider Before Starting Your Small Herd

News & Resources

Study Compares Alternatives for Addressing Climate Change, Food Security, and Land Degradation
A study led by Rutgers University compared 40 options for tackling the interrelated problems of climate change, food security, and land degradation and looked for trade-offs or co-benefits with 18 categories of services provided by ecosystems. Study authors say that some potential options promise fewer trade-offs, such as integrated water management, reducing post-harvest losses in agriculture, improving fire management, agroforestry, and investing in disaster risk management.

House Climate Committee Action Plan Addresses Agriculture
The national action plan released by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis includes a chapter on agriculture, reports the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). NSAC highlighted recommendations in the plan that pertain to sustainable agriculture: increasing carbon sequestration and resilience, decreasing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, improving technical assistance and research, supporting on-farm renewable energy and energy efficiency, supporting the next generation of farmers, preserving farmland, and reducing food waste.

Report Highlights Benefits of Choosing Organic Meat
The Organic Center has released The Benefits of Organic Meat, a report that gathers scientific literature to show differences in the way organic meat is produced and why those differences are critical to the health of animals, consumers, and the soil, as well as climate change impacts. The report shows that organic meat provides greater nutritional benefits and fewer negative effects on the environment.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tipsheet: Organic Cattle, Sheep, and Goats for Meat Production

Field-Edge Flower Strips and Organic Fields Both Prove Beneficial for Bee Habitat
Research by agroecologists at the University of Göttingen, Germany, showed that flower strips and organic farming both encourage wild bee populations. The research team analyzed the wild bees and hoverflies at the edge of an organic wheat field, in a flower strip along conventional wheat, and at the edge of a conventional wheat field without flower strips. The study found the most pollinators in the flower strips, but large organic fields were also beneficial. Researchers concluded that flower strips offer a high local density of pollen and nectar, but organic fields provide increased area.

Auburn University Receives $3 Million Grant to Encourage Conservation for Row-Crop Farmers
Auburn University College of Agriculture was awarded a $3 million On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials grant through NRCS. The project will encourage the use of innovative conservation practices among Alabama row-crop farmers, such as cover crops and water-smart irrigation. The project also will help farmers evaluate nutrient losses and demonstrate the agronomic, economic, and environmental benefits of improved conservation practices.
Related ATTRA Publication: Cover Crop (340) in Organic Systems

Pasture Fly Control Tips Offered by Cornell Experts
A team of Cornell University experts recently offered tips on ecological controls for pasture flies. They stressed cleaning up the farm as the first step to preventing infestations of flies that breed in undisturbed manure piles and rotting organic matter. Managing these potential breeding areas helps to prevent fly problems from developing. Additional controls include non-chemical traps for horn flies, parasitic wasps for confined systems, and organic chemical controls as a last resort.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Northeast SARE's Research for Novel Approaches in Sustainable Agriculture
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Research for Novel Approaches in Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program funds "proof of concept" projects intended to confirm the benefit and/or feasibility of new practices and approaches that have high potential for adoption by farmers. These grants are open to personnel at colleges and universities, Cooperative Extension, agricultural and community nonprofit organizations, municipalities, state departments of agriculture and federal agencies, research farms and experiment stations, for-profit entities, and others who work with farmers and in food systems. Projects must take place within the Northeast region.
Preproposals are due July 23, 2020.

Southwest Rivers Program Headwaters 2020 Request for Proposals
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is requesting proposals to restore, protect, and enhance aquatic and riparian species of conservation concern and their habitats in the headwaters of the Rio Grande and Gila River watersheds. Up to $535,000 in funding is expected to be available. Eligible applicants include local, state, federal, and tribal governments and agencies, special districts, non-profit organizations, schools, and universities. Applicants must provide 1:1 non-federal matching funds.
Proposals are due July 30, 2020.

Gaia Roots Small Grants Program
Gaia Herbs' social impact program, Gaia Roots, is offering four grantees $5,000 for projects that are working to increase herbal access to drive community empowerment and health across the United States. The priority is on projects focused on underserved and marginalized communities. Project examples include herbal education programs, free clinics, mobile clinics, and herbal farming/community garden projects.
Submissions are due by July 31, 2020.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

NOFA Summer Conference: Climate Solutions Are Grown In Soil
July 20 - August 9, 2020
Online
Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) is moving its Summer Conference to an online experience spread out over three weeks. Full-access registration includes all 60 workshops, the keynote address, and post-conference access to video and audio recordings.

Grain Place Foundation Virtual Field Day
July 18, 2020
Online

The annual Grain Place Foundation Field Day goes virtual with a field tour that offers a first-hand view of the Vetter family's long-term experiment in organic farming and processing. The tour is followed by keynote speaker Brise Tencer, Executive Director of the Organic Farming Research Foundation.

Beef Basics: Things to Consider Before Starting Your Small Herd
July 22, 2020
Online
Mid-Atlantic Women in Agriculture's free Wednesday Webinar Series continues with this session that emphasizes defining end-product goals and using those goals to drive animal management decisions.

>>More Events

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