Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - July 27, 2005
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the
Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site.
* ARS Develops Pesticide-free Method to Kill Insects in Stored Fruit
* Wisconsin Budget Includes Focus on Organic Agriculture and Renewable Energy
* Groups Petition Public Television Not to Broadcast Agriculture Series
* Leaders in Pesticide Stewardship Recognized by EPA
* Blackberry Rust Found in Oregon
* UC Extension Offers Tips for Farmworkers on Preventing Heat Stress
* Guaranteed Loan Funds for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
* Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation Grants
* Country Choice Organic 10th Anniversary Grant Program
* Buy Local Campaigns & Institutional Purchasing Field Day
* Third International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture for Food, Energy & Industry
* 15th IFOAM Organic World Congress: Shaping Sustainable Systems
News & Resources
ARS Develops Pesticide-free Method to Kill Insects in Stored Fruit
A new technology developed by entomologist Lisa Neven and colleagues at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) may provide a pesticide-free way to kill insects infesting apples, peaches, cherries, or nectarines in fruit destined for international markets. The technology is called Controlled Atmosphere/Temperature Treatment System, or CATTS, according to a story in the July 2005 issue of Agricultural Research. The technology uses a deadly combination of rising temperature and mixtures of low oxygen and high carbon dioxide to kill codling moths, oriental fruit moths, and other insect pests found in stored fruit. Neven has completed confirmatory tests on CATTS ability to kill codling moths in organic apples, and ARS will now present the results to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and seek CATTS approval as a quarantine pest-control measure.
Wisconsin Budget Includes Focus on Organic Agriculture and Renewable Energy
Wisconsin's Governor Jim Doyle is set to sign a state budget that contains funding for several agricultural initiatives under the "Grow Wisconsin" plan, according to Brownfield. The budget includes an ag sector specialist position focused on organic farming, to help support the growing number of organic producers in the state. Two major grant programs will support biobased product development and biofuels, respectively. In addition, a new Livestock Investment Tax Credit contained in the budget will provide producers up to $50,000 each to modernize their operations. “Many people called the last session of the Legislature the most productive for agriculture in 25 years and on Monday, when I sign the budget, we're going to build even further on that tremendous success,” said Governor Doyle.
Groups Petition Public Television Not to Broadcast Agriculture Series
Over 40 environmental, food safety, farming, responsible investment and other groups sent a letter to the heads of American Public Television (APT) and Sacramento PBS station KVIE requesting that they pull from distribution a new series on farming in America. The series is being underwritten by Monsanto, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Cotton Council, United Soybean Board and U.S. Grains Council. According to a press release from the Center for Food Safety, appearing on Natural Newswire, the groups called on APT and local PBS stations to withhold the “America's Heartland” series, noting that Monsanto's involvement in this series violates APT's and public television's own conflict-of-interest guidelines. Co-signers to the letter include Friends of the Earth, U.S. PIRG, The Campaign to Label GE Foods, Chefs Collaborative, Animal Welfare Institute, 500 Farms Alliance, Grassroots International, and Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.
Leaders in Pesticide Stewardship Recognized by EPA
Sixteen members of the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP) were recognized for their efforts in preventing pollution and reducing pesticide risk at a ceremony July 15 in Arlington, Virginia. Sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, PESP is a voluntary public/private partnership to reduce pesticide risk. The 2005 "PESP Champions" used most or all of the following integrated pest management (IPM) strategies to reduce the human health and environmental risks associated with pesticide use: (1) sampling to accurately determine pest population levels; (2) training and demonstrating IPM practices; (3) employing cultural practices such as crop rotation or removing food and habitat for structural pests; (4) controlling or managing pests through biologically based technologies; (5) applying less toxic or reduced-risk pesticides such as insect growth regulators; and (6) using conventional pesticides only when absolutely necessary. More details on the program and the 2005 winners are available on EPA's PESP Web site.
Blackberry Rust Found in Oregon
A fungus deadly to blackberries has shown up for the first time in the United States, reports Associated Press on Environmental News Network. The fungus has spread to seven counties in Oregon, and apparently also into Washington state. In Oregon the fungus has particularly affected commercial fields of evergreen blackberry, the second most popular blackberry grown in the state, and responsible for 9% of Oregon's $30 million blackberry industry. So far damage from the fungus has been limited, even on infected fields, though one grower reported losing his entire crop. The fungus has been used as a biocontrol to prevent the spread of wild blackberries abroad.
UC Extension Offers Tips for Farmworkers on Preventing Heat Stress
In response to the recent heat-related death of a farmworker in Kern County, the University of California Cooperative Extension has produced a heat-stress information card for farmworkers that explains in English and Spanish how heat-related illnesses develop and how to avoid them. Although the advice is directed at farmworkers, it is useful to anyone who works in the heat. The card is being produced in cooperation with California Farm Bureau Federation, California Grape and Tree Fruit League, and California Association of Winegrape Growers, with additional USDA support through its Western Center for Risk Management Education. To order free copies of the bilingual heat-stress education cards for farmworkers, contact Elisa Noble at email@example.com or (916) 561-5598.
more news and resources, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture
Information Service Web site's Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.
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Guaranteed Loan Funds for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
USDA Rural Development has announced that up to an estimated $200 million in guaranteed loan funds are now available for investments in renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements by agriculture producers and rural small businesses. The funds will be available to support a wide range of technologies encompassing biomass (including anaerobic digesters), geothermal, hydrogen, solar, and wind energy, as well as energy efficiency improvements. These funds will be set aside through August 31, 2005 for renewable energy and energy efficiency guaranteed loans. Details on how to apply for these funds were published in the Federal Register on July 18, 2005.
Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation Grants
The mission of the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation is to protect and improve the quality of life through support of programs in the environment, human health, education and the arts. Under its Management of Resources program the foundation will support initiatives for sustainable agriculture, and for promoting the long-term viability of communities and regions. The foundation gives priority to proposals from California organizations, and offers grants from $5,000 to $600,000. The foundation's board meets three times a year, typically in March, June and October. Letters of inquiry are accepted at any time.
Country Choice Organic 10th Anniversary Grant Program
To mark its 10th anniversary, Country Choice announces a grant program to recognize organizations that share its charter of "making it easy to eat organic." Nonprofit organizations that support a commitment to the environmental benefits of sustainable agriculture and organic farming practices, as well as supporting the family farm as an important business entity and lifestyle choice, are encouraged to submit proposals for the ten $1,000 grants. Proposals are due July 31, 2005.
additional funding opportunities, visit: http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.
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Buy Local Campaigns & Institutional Purchasing Field Day
August 16, 2005
This event, presented by PASA, seeks to further advance the understanding of Buy Local Campaigns & Institutional Purchasing projects for cooperative extension educators and other agricultural professionals by visiting restaurants and institutions participating in these projects. Presenters will share an abundance of ideas and strategies to stimulate citizen demand for locally produced food through 'buy local' campaigns."
Third International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture for Food, Energy & Industry
August 22-27, 2005
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
The International Council for Sustainable Agriculture hosts this event on the theme "Food, Feed, Fiber, Water, Energy: Science, Technologies, and Global Strategies." The conference will focus on the issues of Security, Safety, Frugality, and Conservation.
15th IFOAM Organic World Congress: Shaping Sustainable Systems
September 20-23, 2005
Adelaide, South Australia
The Congress will include the 15th IFOAM Organic World Congress 'Shaping Sustainable Systems', the International Scientific Conference on Organic Agriculture 'Researching Sustainable Systems' (in cooperation with ISOFAR) and the 8th International IFOAM Organic Viticulture and Wine Conference. Accompanying events will include pre-and-post Congress tours, the World Exhibition and Organic Festival. The 15th IFOAM Organic World Congress will bring together the world's leading organic farming practitioners, policy makers and innovators to ask and answer the big questions about sustainability and investigate long-term strategies for the future.
events at: http://attra.ncat.org/calendar/index.php.
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