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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 13, 2014

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.

Join the NCAT Team!
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is seeking a Sustainable Agriculture Specialist to be based in our Davis, California, office. If you are interested in promoting sustainable agriculture practices and working with family farmers, small producers, and limited-resource farmers, this is a wonderful opportunity. Applications will be accepted through September 7, 2014, or until a suitable candidate can be identified.

News & Resources

  • Purdue Research Says Cover Crops Make Corn Stover Use More Sustainable
  • USDA Announces Final EIS on 2,4-D-Resistant Corn and Soy
  • Southeastern Massachusetts Food System Assessment Released
  • New Collaboration to Strengthen Rare-Livestock Conservation Efforts
  • OSHA Issues Guidance on Small Farm Exemption
  • Michigan State University Receives Grant to Develop Sustainable Pollination Strategies

Funding Opportunities

  • NCR-SARE Research and Education Grant Program
  • Connecticut Farm Transition Grant Program
  • Iowa Soil and Water Conservation District Conservation Cost Share

Coming Events

  • Farm Aid 2014
  • Don't Farm Naked Field Day
  • Advanced Grazing School

News & Resources

Purdue Research Says Cover Crops Make Corn Stover Use More Sustainable
Farmers using cover crops as a soil-conservation method can remove 1.8 tons more stover per acre than they otherwise would remove, for biofuels or other uses, Purdue researchers say. The research is detailed in Synergies Between Cover Crops and Corn Stover Removal, published online by Science Direct. Researchers concluded that with cover crops, farms would have healthier soil and higher potential revenues, even accounting for costs of seed, planting, and terminating.

USDA Announces Final EIS on 2,4-D-Resistant Corn and Soy
USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a final environmental impact statement (EIS) as part of its review to determine whether to deregulate GE corn and soybean plants that are resistant to several herbicides, including one known as 2,4-D. The final EIS affirms APHIS' preferred alternative to fully deregulate these new GE crops.

Southeastern Massachusetts Food System Assessment Released
The Southeastern Massachusetts Food Security Network has released a new report, the Southeastern Massachusetts Food System Assessment, which presents a wealth of baseline data on the many facets of the region's food system. The report assesses the potential for increasing both the production and consumption of local foods by residents of the region and provides initial identification of gaps, barriers, and needs.

New Collaboration to Strengthen Rare-Livestock Conservation Efforts
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the SVF Foundation have launched a new collaboration to strengthen rare and endangered livestock breed conservation through the preservation and study of frozen germplasm, cell lines, and other biomaterials from rare heritage breeds of food and fiber livestock.

OSHA Issues Guidance on Small Farm Exemption
Ohio State University's Agricultural Law and Taxation blog posted that OSHA has released a guidance memorandum that attempts to clarify how its regional administrators should interpret the small farm exemption. The agency's new guidance focuses on whether an activity on a small farm is "not related to farming operations and not necessary to gain economic value from products produced on the farm." The agency also explains that food manufacturing operations are not exempt from OSHA enforcement activities, even if they take place on a small farm.

Michigan State University Receives Grant to Develop Sustainable Pollination Strategies
USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded $6.9 million to Michigan State University to develop sustainable pollination strategies for specialty crops in the United States. The grant will support a diverse research team's continued monitoring of pollination and yields in more than 100 fields from California to Pennsylvania. The grant will also support developing educational and decision-support information for specialty-crop pollination.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

NCR-SARE Research and Education Grant Program
The North Central Region SARE (NCR-SARE) Research and Education program supports sustainable-agriculture innovators with competitive research and education grants in the twelve-state North Central Region. Research and Education projects include a strong outreach component and significant farmer/rancher or other end user involvement. Individual grants range from $10,000 to $200,000.
Pre-proposals are due October 23, 2014.

Connecticut Farm Transition Grant Program
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for a competitive matching-grant program that supports activities that promote agriculture stability and/or increase the economic viability of farm businesses. Producers and agriculture cooperatives may apply for up to $49,999 in matching funds.
Proposals are due by November 14, 2014.

Iowa Soil and Water Conservation District Conservation Cost Share
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has announced that more than $6.75 million is available in the state cost-share program to help Iowa farmers and landowners implement conservation practices. Farmers can contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District offices to apply for up to 50% of the cost of practices including terraces, waterways, ponds, buffers, cover crops, and others.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Farm Aid 2014
September 13, 2014
Raleigh, North Carolina

Each year, Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews headline a Farm Aid concert to bring together a wide variety of musicians, farmers, and fans for one mission: keeping family farmers on their land. Farm Aid 2014 is an all-day music and food festival.

Don't Farm Naked Field Day
September 12, 2014
Charlotte, Michigan

Don't farm naked, plant cover crops for soil health! Eaton Conservation District, Eaton County Farm Bureau, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation service are sponsoring a fall field day with speakers, demonstrations, and discussions about improving soil health on the farm.

Advanced Grazing School
September 11, 2014
Owenton, Kentucky

This day-long advanced grazing school from the University of Kentucky (UK) targets producers who have participated in at least one other UK grazing program. Topics include seed suppression, fall grazing, creep-grazing alfalfa, and managed intensive grazing. The program will also include demonstrations and hands-on activities.

>> More Events

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

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© 2014 NCAT

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New ATTRA Video
Vilicus Farms: Cover Crops and Tour

Question of the Week
What equipment is best to streamline the washing process in a small-scale produce operation?

Ask a Sustainable Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online

ATTRA Webinars
NCAT is offering two webinars on organic certification in Texas:
Organic Certification Basics ~ August 14
What's in an Organic Farm Plan? ~ August 21

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's Spanish-language e-newsletter

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