Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 23, 2017
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
- Mobile Drip Irrigation Offers Benefits of Two Systems
- OFRF Releases Priorities for Next Grant Cycle
- Trials Test Compost Extract for Weed Suppression
- Young Farmers Conference Registration Lottery to Begin
- Vermont Environmental Stewardship Program Pilot Launched
- Photovoice Project Helps Farmers Educate Decision-Makers on Resilience
- Northeast SARE Partnership Grants
- Texas Young Farmer Grant
- Tennessee Agriculture Enterprise Fund
- Minority Landowner Magazine Farmers and Landowners Conference
- Land Institute Prairie Festival
- Common Ground Country Fair
News & Resources
Mobile Drip Irrigation Offers Benefits of Two Systems
Some Idaho farmers are retrofitting center pivots with long hoses to ground level, ending in drip emitters, to create mobile drip irrigation, reports the Times-News. The systems combine the benefits of a center pivot with the savings of drip irrigation. Studies show a 10 to 25% increase in water-use efficiency and also a 10 to 20% increase in crop yields. Water filtration represents the largest share of the retrofit cost.
Related ATTRA Publication: The California Microirrigation Pocket Guide
OFRF Releases Priorities for Next Grant Cycle
The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) has identified priority areas for its next grant cycle: soil health, innovative weed control, management of emerging insect and disease issues, and livestock health. The request for proposals and application instructions will be available on OFRF's website beginning September 12, 2017.
Trials Test Compost Extract for Weed Suppression
BioCycle reported on Rodale Institute trials of chemically and microbially designed compost extracts on weed expression and crop germination. Researchers found in greenhouse trials that varying the nitrate and nematode-to-protozoa ratios of the compost achieved significant germination controls for pigweed and lambsquarters. In field trials, the use of compost extracts significantly increased yields of test turnips and lettuce over no treatment and over hand-hoeing. The results indicate promise for compost extracts to offer a low-labor weed-management alternative.
Young Farmers Conference Registration Lottery to Begin
The 10th anniversary Young Farmers Conference will be held at Stone Barns Center in Pocantico Hills, New York, from December 6-8, 2017. Registration for this popular conference will be by lottery. Beginning farmers (farming for more than one year and less than 10) will be given registration preference. Lottery applications will be available beginning September 6, 2017. Scholarship opportunities will also be available beginning on that date. In addition, select sessions from this year's Young Farmers Conference will be streamed live, and Stone Barns Center is seeking hosts for viewing parties.
Vermont Environmental Stewardship Program Pilot Launched
The Vermont Environmental Stewardship Program (VESP) is accepting applications for its pilot program. Five to 10 farms will be chosen as VESP Pilot participants through a competitive application ranking process. Applicants must meet high environmental standards regarding nutrient management, sediment and erosion control, soil health, greenhouse-gas emissions and carbon sequestration, and pasture health.
Photovoice Project Helps Farmers Educate Decision-Makers on Resilience
In the Photovoice Project hosted by the Snohomish Conservation District and The Nature Conservancy in Washington, seven farms addressed the questions "Why is agriculture important to our community?" and "What are the major challenges facing agriculture?" through photos and discussion. Each farm chose three photos with captions that became part of a photographic exhibition designed to raise awareness of agricultural issues in the local community. The photos can be viewed online.
>>More Breaking News
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Northeast SARE Partnership Grants
Northeast SARE Partnership Grants are for agricultural service providers who want to conduct on-farm demonstrations, research, marketing, and other projects with farmers as active cooperators. The overriding goals of the Partnership program are to uncover knowledge that farmers can use, to encourage the understanding and widespread use of sustainable techniques, and to strengthen partnerships between farmers and service providers. Partnership Grants are capped at $15,000.
The application deadline is October 17, 2017.
Texas Young Farmer Grant
The Texas Department of Agriculture administers the Young Farmer Grant program to provide financial assistance in the form of dollar-for-dollar matching grant funds to young agricultural producers. Applications are accepted from individuals 18 to 46 who are engaged or will be engaged in creating or expanding agriculture in Texas. Grant awards range from $5,000 to $20,000.
Applications are due by September 20, 2017.
Tennessee Agriculture Enterprise Fund
Tennessee's new Agriculture Enterprise Fund (AEF) will award grants to starting or expanding agricultural and food businesses, farmers, nonprofits, local governments, and other entities in Tennessee, or those whose project will be located in Tennessee. Successful grant recipients must demonstrate a strong potential for impact on local farm income, access to markets, increased capacity, or agricultural innovation. Priority will be given to businesses located in at-risk counties, distressed counties, and counties adjoining at-risk or distressed counties.
The Department of Agriculture will review applications on a rolling basis.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Minority Landowner Magazine Farmers and Landowners Conference
September 21-23, 2017
Greensboro, North Carolina
This 11th anniversary conference focuses on "RESOURCES: The Agencies, Organizations, and Professionals Who Support Family Farms."
Land Institute Prairie Festival
September 22-14, 2017
This year's theme, "Urban Agriculture and Rural Agrarianism: Toward a Perennial Future," will put thinkers, advocates, and innovators from both sectors together in the barn for a lively and timely dialogue.
Common Ground Country Fair
September 22-24, 2017
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners annual Common Ground Country Fair offers more than 750 workshops, demonstrations, talks, and other events.
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