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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - July 11, 2012

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.

Planning for Profit: Marketing and Financial Management for New Farmers
USDA Risk Management Agency and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) will present a workshop in numerous locations for returning veterans and others interested in starting a career in farming. Participants will learn how to develop the business side of starting an entrepreneurial, diversified farm. Wisconsin and Minnesota workshops include a farm tour.
July 13 -14 — East Troy, Wisconsin
July 15 — Farmington, Minnesota
July 22 — Farmington, Minnesota
July 23 — Decorah, Iowa
July 24 — Council Bluffs, Iowa

News & Resources

  • ERS Report Examines Agricultural Adaptation to a Changing Climate
  • Penn State Sustainable Dairy Cropping Systems Research Project Underway
  • Nitrogen Management Protocol Adopted
  • New Publication Illustrates Energy Used in Row Crop Production
  • USDA to Release New Version of Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass
  • Bayer CropScience Acquires AgraQuest

Funding Opportunities

  • Rodale Institute Your 2 Cents Fund
  • Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Request for Pre-proposals
  • New York Energy Management and Bioenergy Program

Coming Events

  • NOFA Summer Conference
  • American Community Gardening Association National Conference
  • Oklahoma Dollars & Sense Workshop

News & Resources

ERS Report Examines Agricultural Adaptation to a Changing Climate
An 84-page report from the USDA Economic Research Service, Agricultural Adaptation to a Changing Climate: Economic and Environmental Implications Vary by U.S. Region, suggests that farmers have considerable flexibility to adapt to changes in local weather, resource conditions, and price signals by adjusting crops, rotations, and production practices. Such adaptation can partially mitigate the impacts of climate change on national agricultural markets but may have significant implications for both regional land use and environmental quality.

Penn State Sustainable Dairy Cropping Systems Research Project Underway
Begun in 2010, the Sustainable Dairy Cropping Systems research project at Penn State is seeking to design and identify management practices that will increase farm sustainability by minimizing off-farm inputs and reducing environmental impacts. The two years of research conducted so far have shown that producing all of the feed for the farm, including both grain and forage crops, is economically successful. The conservation practices used are being promoted across Pennsylvania and applied on demonstration farms.

Nitrogen Management Project Protocol Adopted
The Climate Action Reserve, North America's premier carbon offset registry, adopted its Nitrogen Management Project Protocol June 28. The protocol provides opportunities for farmers in 12 midwestern states to generate carbon offsets by implementing agricultural management practices that reduce the application of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer to corn crops.

New Publication Illustrates Energy Used in Row Crop Production
A new two-page PDF publication from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach shows the proportions of energy used to grow a typical corn or soybean crop in Iowa. Energy Consumption for Row Crop Production gives an overview of annual energy consumption in three categories: field operations, fertilizers and pesticides, and artificial drying.
Related ATTRA Publication: Farm Energy Calculators: Tools for saving money on the farm

USDA to Release New Version of Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass
On July 17, USDA will release version 2.0 of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass with new features and local food infrastructure data. The new Compass will also have a better map search function. A launch event has been planned for Google + Hangout at 3 pm ET on July 17. The event will showcase the new Compass map and feature women leaders from around the country engaged in local food systems. Tune in at http://www.whitehouse.gov/live or via the White House Google+ page.

Bayer CropScience Acquires AgraQuest
Bayer CropScience has announced that it has signed an agreement to purchase AgraQuest, Inc. for $425 million. AgraQuest, headquartered in Davis, California, is a global supplier of innovative biological pest management solutions based on natural microorganisms, including brands such as Serenade®, Rhapsody®, Sonata® and Ballad® fungicides and Requiem® insecticides.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Rodale Institute Your 2 Cents Fund
Rodale Institute's Your 2 Cents Fund provides support for highly motivated
individuals and well-managed non-profit organizations that address significant
issues within the organic community. Only certified organic farms and farmers are eligible. Requests for support must fit into one of four categories: 1) Scholarships to students of organic agriculture; 2) Support for new organic farmers; 3) Help veterans establish new careers in organic farming; 4) Research projects on organic agriculture. Award amounts range from $1,000 to $10,000.
Applications are considered quarterly; the next deadline is October 3, 2012.

Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Request for Pre-proposals
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is accepting pre-proposals in four initiative areas: ecology, marketing and food systems, cross-cutting (water, energy, soil and alternative farming systems), and policy. Pre-proposals may be submitted by investigators representing any Iowa nonprofit organization or educational institution.
Deadline for submitting concept papers is August 10, 2012.

New York Energy Management & Bioenergy Program
New York Farm Viability Institute is accepting proposals to the Energy Management & Bioenergy program. Proposals should focus on practical, applied research and outreach education on energy issues from the farmer's perspective, including topics of on-farm energy conservation, bioenergy feedstock production, balance and integration of energy systems and animal agriculture, integrated food and energy systems, and bioenergy systems optimization. Eligible applicants include farmers, producer groups, researchers, educators, organizations, agencies, and businesses.
Applications are due by August 12, 2012.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

NOFA Summer Conference
August 10-12, 2012
Amherst, Massachusetts

This annual conference offers more than 200 workshops on organic farming, gardening, land care, draft animals, homesteading, sustainability, nutrition, food politics, and activism, as well as keynote speakers, workshops for kids, and family entertainment.

American Community Gardening Association National Conference
August 9-12, 2012
San Francisco, California

"Community Gardening On the Cutting Edge" is the theme for an inspiring conference that includes state-of-the-art, hands-on workshops, provocative keynote speakers, cooking classes, networking opportunities, and guided visits to cutting-edge urban community gardens.

Oklahoma Dollars & Sense Workshop
August 9-10, 2012
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Holistic Management International and Oklahoma Land Stewardship Alliance present a two-day workshop on the Holistic Management Whole Farm/Ranch Planning System. This course for farmers, ranchers, and land stewards of all levels of experience helps them better manage agricultural resources in order to reap sustainable environmental, economic, and social benefits.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2012 NCAT

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Biodiesel: Do-it-yourself Production Basics

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Register now for Pest Management for Organic Production Systems II, a free webinar on July 26.

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