Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 2, 2006
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
News & Resources
* North Dakota Organic Farmers Develop Resistant Wheat Variety
Share The Harvest: Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who might be interested in the latest sustainable agriculture news, funding opportunities, and events.
* USDA Seeks Comment on Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program Interim Final Rule
* ASAP Posts Local Food Systems Research
* Vegetable Production Enterprise Budgets Available
* AFSIC Launches Redesigned Web Site
* EPA Assessment and Watershed Protection Program Grants
* Georgia NRCS Conservation Technical Assistance
* EPA Region 1 Food Quality Protection Act/Strategic Agricultural Initiative
* Introduction to Holistic Management Course
* Go Grass! Emerging Opportunities for Grass-Based Production in the Hudson Valley
News & Resources
North Dakota Organic Farmers Develop Resistant Wheat Variety
The Farm Breeder Club affiliated with the Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society has developed a variety of wheat that offers improved yield and multi-gene disease resistance, yet does not have contamination from genetically modified organisms, reports The Valley City Times Record. The wheat, known as KW 175, was introduced to the public this month during NPSAS field days. The group plans to rename the variety and offer organic seed for sale for the 2007 season. Proceeds will help the Farm Breeder Club with other seed trials on heritage grains.
Related ATTRA Publication: Seed Production and Variety Development for Organic Systems
USDA Seeks Comment on Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program Interim Final Rule
USDA has released an amended interim final rule for the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) with a request for public comment. FRPP helps landowners protect their land by providing matching funds to help purchase development rights to keep productive farm and ranch land in agricultural uses. Public comments on the rule will be accepted for 60 days from the date the rule appears in the Federal Register. The amended FRPP interim final rule can be viewed online.
ASAP Posts Local Food Systems Research
The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) is in the final year of a multi-year feasibility study looking at the potential for increasing local consumption of Western North Carolina food and farm products. This research project is about outlining a vision for the region, beginning with a look at where they are now and exploring how to move closer to the goal of reconnecting production, processing, distribution and consumption of food and farm products within the region. They have posted a new research section on their Web site, where visitors can read about the project and view results from surveys of public schools, colleges, summer camps and more.
Vegetable Production Enterprise Budgets Available
A new publication entitled Iowa Vegetable Production Budgets is now available through Iowa State University Extension to address the need for accurate budgeting tools among vegetable producers. This publication contains a series of enterprise budgets that can be used to estimate the costs and revenue associated with producing and harvesting a product. Vegetable growers with multiple products can use the enterprise worksheets to develop annual budgets for key crops. This publication includes worksheets for 4 ft. by 100 ft. plantings of asparagus, basil, green beans, carrots, eggplant, garlic, salad greens, snow peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, raspberries, cherry and heirloom tomatoes and strawberries.
Related ATTRA Publication: Enterprise Budgets and Production Costs for Organic Production
AFSIC Launches Redesigned Web Site
The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) at USDA's National Agricultural Library (NAL) has launched a redesigned Web site bearing several significant enhancements to make it easier to find information on a wide range of agriculture-related subjects, including sustainable agriculture, alternative crops, organic farming, and farm energy. The AFSIC Web site is now easier to navigate and find topics of interest, including grazing systems and alternative livestock breeds, alternative marketing, and business practices and ecological pest management. The "Organic Roots" database can also be accessed from the new AFSIC Web site, providing growers and researchers access to USDA's documents on organic agriculture which were published before 1942.
> More Breaking News
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EPA Assessment and Watershed Protection Program Grants
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting proposals from eligible applicants to conduct projects that promote the coordination and acceleration of research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys, and studies relating to the causes, effects (including health and welfare effects), extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of water pollution. States and local governments, Federally recognized Indian Tribes, territories and possessions of the U.S., interstate agencies or intertribal consortia, public or private non-profit, non-governmental institutions, and individuals are eligible to apply. The total amount of funding available under this announcement is approximately $1,150,000.Proposals are due August 15, 2006.
Georgia NRCS Conservation Technical Assistance
The NRCS is seeking assistance from eligible applicants to contribute and partner in the conservation, maintenance and improvement of natural resources in Georgia. Applicants will provide technical assistance to producers in planning, surveying, designing, layout, construction inspections and checkout of conservation practices associated with installation of conservation systems. Total program funding is $350,000, with a minimum grant or cooperative agreement of $10,000, and a maximum of $140,000.
Proposals are due August 28, 2006.
EPA Region 1 Food Quality Protection Act/Strategic Agricultural Initiative
EPA Region 1 Pesticide Program is seeking applications from eligible organizations that will facilitate the implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA). The program supports efforts to reduce the exposure to toxic pesticides through the adoption of production agriculture pest management practices that transition away from the use of high-risk pesticides. Nonprofits, institutions of higher education and individuals are among those eligible to apply. Total program funding is $103,500, and it is estimated that two grants or cooperative agreements will be awarded. Region 1 includes Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.
Proposals are due September 25, 2006.
> More Funding Opportunities
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August 24, 2006
In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) will hold a SustainabilityFEST. Learn about solar and wind energy systems, biodiesel, recycling, hybrid vehicles, composting, community bike programs, home weatherization, local food programs, and much more. Bring the kids for solar cooking, recycled-glass art projects, and solar car races. Meet our staff, learn about our projects, and tour our historic building while enjoying local food and entertainment.
Introduction to Holistic Management Course
August 25-27, 2006
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Holistic Management International offers this course to help beginning and experienced farmers learn how to improve the health of the land and increase their profits.
Go Grass! Emerging Opportunities for Grass-Based Production in the Hudson Valley
September 8-9, 2006
Cold Spring, New York
Glynwood Center presents this event with Jo Robinson, author of Pasture Perfect. On Friday Jo will explain why grass-based production is good for the Hudson Valley, the health of consumers and the well-being of animals. On Saturday Jo will be joined by Mike Yezzi, Flying Pig Farm, Jim Hayes, Sap Bush Hollow Farm and Pam Moore, Moore Farm, for an in-depth discussion of grass-based production from the perspective of producers of pigs, beef and dairy cattle. Allen Williams, Founding Partner and Vice President of The Jacob Alliance, LLC, and Livestock Management Consultants, LLC will round out the presentation by discussing how grass-based production provides financial benefits for producers and opens new markets.
> More Events
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