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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - July 11, 2018

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

  • Natural and Working Lands Initiative Offers Learning Lab for States
  • French Study Considers Landscape Effects of Organic Farming in Vineyards
  • Analysis Predicts Growth in Global Animal-Feed Phytogenics Market
  • Resource Pool of Experienced Farm Labor Available in Western Montana
  • Rhode Island Program Helps New Farmers Access Farmland
  • Corn Yields in Southern Reaches of the Northeast Threatened by Mid-Century

Funding Opportunities

  • Simply Organic Giving Fund
  • Mississippi NRCS Conservation Technical Assistance
  • Iowa Conservation Cost Share Program

Coming Events

  • NOFA Summer Conference: Honoring Our Roots, Tending Our Future
  • Xerces Society & WFAN Pollinator Field Day
  • Grass-Fed Beef Workshop

News & Resources

Natural and Working Lands Initiative Offers Learning Lab for States
The new Natural and Working Lands Initiative of the United States Climate Alliance will identify best practices for land conservation, management, and restoration in order to develop a carbon-storage policy framework for implementation. States in the Alliance will work with leading non-governmental-organization partners to better grasp natural and working lands carbon sequestration and emission-reduction opportunities and learn how to capture them through policy and financial measures.

French Study Considers Landscape Effects of Organic Farming in Vineyards
A study by researchers at the University of Bordeaux concluded that organic farming at a landscape scale maintains low pest infestation and high crop-productivity levels. A study of 42 vineyards found that increasing the area under organic farming did not increase pest infestation, even though organic vineyards had much lower treatment intensities. Meanwhile, the organic vineyards had very similar levels of pest control and equal crop-productivity levels.
Related ATTRA Publication: Grapes: Organic Production

Analysis Predicts Growth in Global Animal-Feed Phytogenics Market
A global analysis published by Frost & Sullivan, Animal Feed Phytogenics Market, Forecast to 2021, predicts that the global animal-feed phytogenics market will reach $776.9 million. The analysis notes that traditional knowledge of the efficacy of herbs in animal husbandry, new technologies driving growth in the production of compound feed, bans on antibiotic growth promoters in Europe, and the natural-products trend are key factors driving double-digit growth in this market.

Resource Pool of Experienced Farm Labor Available in Western Montana
The Community Food and Agriculture Coalition (CFAC) is introducing Freelance Farmhands, a Western Montana listing of experienced farm workers who have been recommended by a previous employer. These workers can be contacted about short-term work opportunities on farms and ranches in the region. CFAC hopes to build a management guide for this tool to share with other farm regions after the 2018 season.
Related ATTRA Publication: California Guide to Labor Laws for Small Farms

Rhode Island Program Helps New Farmers Access Farmland
Rhode Island has the most expensive farmland in the country, reports National Public Radio's The Salt. This makes it difficult for farmers to obtain land to start farming, and it means more farmland is being developed for other uses. State officials interested in seeing the state produce more of its own food have come up with a program to help new farmers access land. The State buys land for its appraised value and then sells the land at a lower agricultural rate, retaining development rights.
Related ATTRA Publication: Finding Land to Farm: Six Ways to Secure Farmland

Corn Yields in Southern Reaches of the Northeast Threatened by Mid-Century
Penn State research shows that rising temperatures in the Northeast will threaten corn production in the southern reaches of the region by 2050, with implications for regional dairy producers who grow their own feed. Although warming can mean fewer spring and fall freezes and a faster rate of growing-degree-day accumulation, it can also lead to a water deficit during corn's reproductive stages that threatens yield. Farmers may have to shift planting dates and use irrigation.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Simply Organic Giving Fund
The Simply Organic Giving Fund strives to nourish the millions who are food insecure by providing them access to healthy, organic food. Domestic, nonprofit tax-exempt organizations or grassroots groups serving the food insecure are encouraged to apply. Successful grant applications should meet one or more of the following program priorities: promote access to organic food options, utilize and distribute organic food/meals, and provide nutrition counseling and food-preparation education.
Applications are due by October 31, 2018.

Mississippi NRCS Conservation Technical Assistance
The Mississippi State Office of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is seeking proposals from natural-resource conservation partners. These proposals will provide technical assistance for outreach, education, technology, and/or engineering. They should focus on the newest technology and most up-to-date methods for implementing best management practices; developing novel, cutting-edge proposals to meet conservation goals; and delivering service in the most efficient, economical way. Cooperative agreements range from $75,000 to $275,000.
Applications are due by July 30, 2018.

Iowa Conservation Cost Share Program
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is offering $7.8 million through the state conservation cost share program to help farmers and landowners install conservation practices. Farmers can contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District offices to apply for assistance with up to 50% of the project cost. Conservation practices eligible for assistance through this program include terraces, waterways, ponds, buffers, cover crops, and several others.
Contact local offices for application details.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

NOFA Summer Conference: Honoring Our Roots, Tending Our Future
August 10-12, 2018
Amherst, Massachusetts

This immersive annual gathering is an opportunity for the regional organic community from the seven NOFA states to come together. The conference is packed with educational programming for adults and children and will celebrate the wisdom of the rich indigenous agricultural past.

Xerces Society & WFAN Pollinator Field Day
August 11, 2018
St. Charles, Iowa

This free, women-only field day includes hands-on demonstration and discussion about installing native plantings for pollinators and beneficial insects in agricultural areas. Activities include group discussions, a learning circle, and a farm visit.

Grass-Fed Beef Workshop
August 14, 2018
Trenton, Tennessee

University of Tennessee Extension will offer producers an opportunity to learn about producing and marketing grass-fed and pasture-raised beef in this full-day workshop.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Publication
Simple Genetic-Selection Strategies to Manage the Barber Pole Worm

Question of the Week
When is the best time to plant garlic?

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Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Produce Grower Training Workshop
Bentonville, Arkansas
July 24, 2018
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