Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - August 11, 2004
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the
Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site.
* Report Shows Farm Group Support for Renewable Energy
* Project Will Promote Apple IPM By Sharing Weather and Pest Information
* Leopold Center Progress Report Released
* Dairy Farmer Makes Value-Added Product from
* Magazine Profiles Career of Wendell Berry
* Renewable Energy Purchases to Help Support Vermont Dairy Farmers
* Kentucky Market Development Cost Share Grant
* Michigan Agriculture Preservation Fund
* RFP to Develop Water Requirements in the Caribbean
* Hydroponic Enterprise Start-up Training Workshop
* Cover Crops and Soil Fertility Workshop
* Corn and Grazing Field Day
News & Resources
Report Shows Farm Group Support for Renewable Energy
A new report published by Harvesting Clean Energy shows agricultural organizations across the country and throughout the Northwest are joining a growing trend to support renewable energy standards. Farm
Groups Pushing for Renewable Energy Standards (PDF / 536 kb) says that more than 20 state and national farming organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union, now support renewable energy standards. Standards that require a minimum percentage of energy be purchased from renewable sources help support markets for energy produced by farmers and rural communities.
Project Will Promote Apple IPM By Sharing Weather and Pest Information
A project led by Cornell University’s Juliet Carroll will expand the Northeast Weather Association (NEWA), bringing weather information and pest forecast models to apple growers in eastern New York and adjacent regions of Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Quebec, says a press release. Apple growers must use weather information and pest forecast models to conduct integrated pest management for major pests, but not every grower can afford these resources. NEWA’s instruments are purchased by certain growers who contribute their data to a computer network, making it possible for others to share the information by visiting NEWA’s website. Carroll and her colleagues at Cornell will be working with eight growers who are committed to purchasing weather stations, connecting to NEWA, and serving as grower educators to promote IPM implementation and the sustainability of apple production in their region. Others will be able to access the weather information and pest forecast models for free.
Leopold Center Progress Report Released
The 2004 Center Progress Report from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
features summaries of 22 projects that were funded by the Center and completed
in 2002 and 2003. For the first time, there are several completed projects
in one of the recently created research categories, the Marketing and Food
Systems Initiative. This volume examines Center-supported research and education
projects that run the gamut from local foods to black walnut trees, winter
grazing and manure management. Researchers worked on problems of beef and swine
production, horticultural crops, and soil and water quality. They also explain
in the report how their work will help Iowa farmers. Copies of the 82-page
paperback report are available from the Leopold Center at email@example.com
or (515) 294-3711.
Farmer Makes Value-Added Product from Manure
An Associated Press news story posted on Environmental News Network describes a new product developed from dairy manure by Connecticut dairy farmer Matt Freund. Freund separates manure solids from liquid, and uses the solids to create biodegradable 3-inch planting pots. The pots offer a value-added use for dairy manure, which in many cases can be a farm liability, and they provide the plants in them with a fertilizer boost as the pot degrades in the soil. Freund isn't revealing his proprietary process, but has recently landed a federal grant that will allow him to purchase machinery to mass produce the pots. He hopes to be supplying prototypes to growers by winter.
Magazine Profiles Career of Wendell Berry
On the occasion of Wendell Berry's 70th birthday, Grist Magazine profiles the work and philosophy of the well-known author, farmer and social commentator. The article credits Berry and his work with having helped bridge the gap between environmentalists and farmers in his espousal of an ecologically sensitive agrarian ideal. The profile looks briefly at excerpts from some of Berry's 45 years of literary work.
Renewable Energy Purchases to Help Support Vermont Dairy Farmers
According to a press release on Business Wire, Central Vermont Public Service
customers now have the option of supporting renewable energy and Vermont dairy
farmers at the same time through a new program called CVPS Cow Power™. The Vermont
Public Service Board has approved the program, which is intended to help promote
development and reliance on renewable energy in Vermont by creating a market
for energy generated by burning methane from cow manure. By enrolling in the
program, customers will help support dairy farms that develop generators that
run on methane from cow manure, renewable generation in the region, or incentives
to farmers to get into the business. The program will begin September 1, and
customers may choose to buy 25 percent, 50 percent, or all of their electricity
through CVPS Cow Power™.
more news and resources, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture
Information Service Web site: Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.
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Kentucky Market Development Cost Share Grant
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Division for Value-Added Horticulture & Aquaculture Marketing, is accepting applications for the third round of grants available for horticulture businesses to conduct trips in order to develop new markets for their products. Grants are a 50% cash match, based on reimbursement of actual approved expenses. For activities between September 1 and December 31, 2004, proposals must be submitted by August 15, 2004.
Michigan Agriculture Preservation Fund
Michigan's Agriculture Preservation Fund exists to provide grants to eligible local units of government for the purchase of agricultural conservation easements through Purchase of Development Rights programs (PDRs) to preserve farmland. Grant applications are to be submitted by eligible local units of government. The state and local unit of government will jointly hold the agricultural conservation easements. No deadlines are specified.
RFP to Develop Water Requirements in the Caribbean
Through this RFP to Develop Water Requirements for Specific Crops, Orchard and Forages in Support of the Caribbean Area Field Office Technical Guides, the USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service seeks to improve the accuracy and usefulness of water use for irrigation in the Caribbean. Eligible applicants are any private individual, non-profit organization, institutions of higher education, or state or local unit of government authorized and in compliance with all federal, state and local laws and regulations. Proposals are due by 4:00 p.m. EDT, August 20, 2004.
For additional funding opportunities, visit http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.
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Hydroponic Enterprise Start-up Training Workshop
September 18, 2004
This workshop by Microfarm Sustainable Research and Education, and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency, will teach the basics of Hydroponic growing, developing a business and marketing plan, risk management, and how to build a low-cost, low-tech system for producing high-value, legal crops.
Cover Crops and Soil Fertility Workshop
September 18, 2004
Part of NOFA Massachusetts' Practical Farm Skills workshop series, this event will show how cover crops play a major role in developing soil fertility at Ol'Turtle farm, a 12-acre diversified CSA using a unique permanent bed system. Participants will leave with ideas on which, when and how to use cover crops to improve soil fertility and control weeds at their growing site.
Corn and Grazing Field Day
September 16, 2004
South English, Iowa
This field day sponsored by Practical Farmers of Iowa looks at corn past and future, as well as rotational grazing. Features include 125 populations and population crosses of elite Corn Belt and Corn Belt-crossed-with-exotic tropical corn, and a look at grazing maize.
More events at http://attra.ncat.org/cgi-bin/event/calendar.cgi.
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Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT
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