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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 28, 2013

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

News & Resources

  • Floriculture Search Engine Now Online
  • Uncommon Fruit Website Introduced
  • Plant Diagnostic App Introduced
  • NOP Proposes Allowing Biodegradable Biobased Mulch Film in Organic Production
  • Minnesota Greenbook Highlights Sustainable Innovations in Agriculture
  • Harvesting Clean Energy Issues Call for Presentations

Funding Opportunities

  • NCR-SARE Research and Education Grant Program
  • USDA Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program
  • Minnesota Farm to School Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Small-Scale Intensive Farming: Lowering Risks and Increasing Profits
  • Value-Added Beef Workshop: Production and Cost Considerations for Finishing Animals for Direct Marketing
  • Snoqualmie Food, Farms, and Forests Day

News & Resources

Floriculture Search Engine Now Online
The American Floral Endowment (AFE) has partnered with North Carolina State University (NCSU) to create the Floriculture InfoSearch Engine, providing comprehensive access to floriculture literature, videos, and presentations. The website contains a floriculture archive with materials from AFE, NCSU, scientific journals, and trade publications. The search engine will be continuously updated.
Related ATTRA Publication:
Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing

Uncommon Fruit Website Introduced
The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) worked with Dale Secher of Carandale Farm to create a website detailing Secher's 10 years of on-farm research on uncommon fruit crops. Secher shares his observations and knowledge of using fruits such as aronia, currants, Saskatoon, and jostaberries in an integrated cropping system.
Related ATTRA Publication: Specialty Crops for Cold Climates

Plant Diagnostic App Introduced
A new mobile application created by eight university labs, including Purdue's Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory, allows users to send digital photos and plant-problem descriptions to any of the participating labs. The other university diagnostic labs involved are Alabama Cooperative Extension, University of Connecticut, University of Illinois Extension, University of Kentucky, Michigan State University, University of New Hampshire, and Ohio State University. The app is free, but individual labs charge varying fees to submit samples.

NOP Proposes Allowing Biodegradable Biobased Mulch Film in Organic Production
USDA National Organic Program (NOP) has proposed amending the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances to allow the use of biodegradable biobased mulch film in organic production. Farmers wouldn't need to remove the biodegradable mulch at the end of the growing season. Public comments on the proposed amendment can be submitted until October 21, 2013.

Minnesota Greenbook Highlights Sustainable Innovations in Agriculture
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has released its 2013 Greenbook, highlighting the results of innovative projects that test new approaches to raising crops and livestock in Minnesota. The projects are funded by the MDA's Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program. The Greenbook is available online or in print.

Harvesting Clean Energy Issues Call for Presentations
Harvesting Clean Energy, the Northwest's premier gathering of agriculture, forestry, and energy industries to advance rural economic development through clean energy, has issued a call for presentations for the 2014 conference. The conference will be held in Helena, Montana, February 4-6, 2014. Guidelines for proposal submissions are available online.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

NCR-SARE Research and Education Grant Program
North Central Region SARE's Research and Education program offers competitive grants for researchers and educators in the twelve-state region who are conducting projects that explore and promote environmentally sound, profitable, and socially responsible food and/or fiber systems. Grants range from $10,000 to $200,000.
The deadline for preproposals is October 24, 2013.

USDA Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program
Under this program, USDA provides loans of up to $500,000 to selected Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs), which in turn make microloans for business start-up or development to eligible microentrepreneurs. Grants of up to $30,000 are available for MDOs to provide technical assistance and training, particularly in rural areas that have experienced significant outmigration.
Applications are due by September 13, 2013.

Minnesota Farm to School Grant Program
This program supports Minnesota school districts in the processing of Minnesota agricultural products. Grants are intended to create a feasibility plan that identifies specific equipment, tools, training, or policies needed by school districts, or to purchase equipment to allow schools to purchase, prepare, and serve more food grown or raised in Minnesota.
Proposals must be received no later than October 18, 2013.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Small-Scale Intensive Farming: Lowering Risks and Increasing Profits
October 10, 2013
Wilmington, North Carolina

This workshop will provide information on risk-management strategies particular to business and financial planning, market diversification, and intensive crop-production techniques as a means of lowering risks and increasing farm revenue. Workshop participants will learn how to overcome barriers that commonly affect farmers on small-acreage and urban soils. Join Andy Pressman, Sustainable Agriculture Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology, as he leads participants in exploring the application of small-scale intensive crop production.

Value-Added Beef Workshop: Production and Cost Considerations for Finishing Animals for Direct Marketing
September 30; October 7, 14, 21; November 14; or December 10, 2013
Various locations in Tennessee

To educate producers interested in responding to the demand for locally produced beef, University of Tennessee Extension's Center for Profitable Agriculture will be leading a new educational workshop in six locations throughout the state. The program will focus on beef production techniques and cost considerations.

Snoqualmie Food, Farms, and Forests Day
September 28, 2013
Snoqualmie, Washington

This is a community stewardship event organized by American Farmland Trust to engage local residents in restoration efforts on local farmland. Community volunteers will plant riparian forests on one of a handful of Snoqualmie Valley farms and learn more about healthy practices on farmland.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

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

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2013 NCAT

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Sustainable Producer Spotlight
Say Hay Farms

Question of the Week
The farm I just purchased previously struggled with foot rot in sheep. How long will it take the foot rot organism to leave the ground?

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ATTRA Webinars
Last chance to sign up for our August 29 webinar, "Budding and Grafting Fruit Varieties for Organic Production," with NCAT's Guy Ames. Register now!

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