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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 31, 2016

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

  • Legal Food Hub Plans to Expand Nationally
  • New Tool Helps Livestock Farmers Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Crop Yield Study Helps Identify Organic Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Anaerobic Soil Disinfestations Offer Methyl Bromide Alternative in Vegetable Production
  • Sweet Potatoes Show Potential for Biofuel and Livestock Feed
  • Bee Precaution Pesticide Ratings Available Online

Funding Opportunities

  • NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant
  • New York Southern Tier Agricultural Industry Enhancement Program Grants
  • Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Panhandle Fruit and Vegetable Conference
  • Meet the Buyer / Meet the Farmer
  • Indiana Local Food Summit

News & Resources

Legal Food Hub Plans to Expand Nationally
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has announced that its Legal Food Hub, an initiative that pairs local farmers and food entrepreneurs with pro bono legal services, has plans to expand nationally. Launched in Massachusetts in 2014, the Hub expanded to Maine, will launch in Rhode Island this October, and will expand to Connecticut in 2017 in partnership with Yale Law School. CLF is actively seeking local partners passionate about food advocacy and interested in being a part of this initiative in other states.

New Tool Helps Livestock Farmers Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
A new and interactive tool released by United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization calculates production, as well as greenhouse-gas emissions from livestock. GLEAM-i, the Global Livestock Environmental Assessment Model interactive, includes variables such as countries and regions, the number and types of livestock, feed materials, and manure management, as well as the specific conditions under which the animals are kept. Precise information will help stakeholders make better-informed decisions and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Crop Yield Study Helps Identify Organic Strengths and Weaknesses
University of Wyoming researchers published "Commercial crop yields reveal strengths and weaknesses for organic agriculture in the United States" in PLOS ONE. The study used commercial production data from USDA and found that although most organic crop yields were less than their conventional counterparts, there was not a consistent relationship. In fact, organic hay yields out-performed conventional hay. Authors point to opportunities for additional research to identify what makes some organic production so successful and collaboration to incorporate successful practices elsewhere.

Anaerobic Soil Disinfestations Offer Methyl Bromide Alternative in Vegetable Production
The American Society for Horticultural Science reports that anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) is one of the most promising sustainable alternatives to methyl bromide use in vegetable crop production. Research tested ASD treatments using composted poultry litter and molasses in open-field, fresh-market tomato production. The treatments suppressed root-knot nematode, suppressed weeds, and did not negatively affect fruit quality.

Sweet Potatoes Show Potential for Biofuel and Livestock Feed
University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers have found that vines from industrial sweet potato can serve as livestock feed, while the roots are an ideal feedstock source for biofuel production. The industrial variety CX-1 has more starch content than table varieties of sweet potato, and it is superior as a dual-purpose crop. Sweet potato is already used as a biofuel feedstock in China and Brazil.

Bee Precaution Pesticide Ratings Available Online
University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program developed an online Bee Precaution Pesticide Ratings tool to help pest managers make an informed decision about how to protect bees when choosing or applying pesticides. The tool allows managers to compare ratings for pesticides' active ingredients and select the one that poses the least harm to bees.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant
Farmers and ranchers in the North Central SARE region are invited to submit proposals to explore sustainable agriculture solutions to problems on the farm or ranch. There are three types of competitive grants, offering up to $22,500 for a producer group.
Proposals are due on December 8, 2016.

New York Southern Tier Agricultural Industry Enhancement Program Grants
These grants are available through Southern Tier Soil and Water Conservation District Offices to help implement a farm business plan or environmental plan that will increase farm production, enhance profitability, and/or increase environmental sustainability. Grants are up to $50,000 with a 10% match, or up to $100,000 with a 25% match.
Round 2 application deadline is September 19, 2016.

Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program
The National Sheep Industry Improvement Center Board of Directors is accepting proposals for activities designed to strengthen and enhance the production and marketing of sheep and sheep products in the United States through infrastructure development, business development, production, resource development, and market and environmental research. Approximately $300,000 is available for grants.
Applications will be accepted through September 15, 2016.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Panhandle Fruit and Vegetable Conference
October 11, 2016
Marianna, Florida

UF/IFAS Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Extension Team presents this event for Florida fruit and vegetable producers and stakeholders of local food systems. It features speakers, workshops, networking, and tours on fruit, protected agriculture, and diversified crops.

Meet the Buyer / Meet the Farmer
October 10, 2016
St. Louis, Missouri

This event is an opportunity for farmers to meet with buyers one-on-one and learn what it takes to do business with the grocery and food service industries.

Indiana Local Food Summit
October 6, 2016
Indianapolis, Indiana

Join Purdue Extension for a morning of focused networking for food councils, farm to school, food hubs, healthy food access, and food business training. Afternoon sessions cover farm to school, cooperative business models, creative purchasing of local food for institutions and restaurants, and more.

>> 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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ATTRAGRAM Winners
Winning entries from NCAT's 40th anniversary photo contest are online.

Question of the Week
How should I space trees in a new pecan orchard?

Ask an Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Planning For Success: Sustainable Fruit Production Workshop
September 21, 2016
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Register for this free day-long workshop.

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

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