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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 11, 2019

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

  • Producers Affected by Natural Disasters Can Sign Up for WHIP+ Assistance
  • Northeast Survey Reveals Farmers Market Shopping Motivation
  • UK's National Farmers Union Unveils Plan for Farming to Reach Net Zero Greenhouse-Gas Emissions
  • Study Demonstrates Economic Efficiency of Agroecological Management
  • Agrivoltaics Study Shows Mutual Benefits across Food, Water, Energy Nexus
  • Maine Harvest Federal Credit Union Chartered

Funding Opportunities

  • Southern SARE Producer Grant Program
  • Minnesota AGRI Urban Agriculture Grant Program
  • California Biologically Integrated Farming Systems Program

Coming Events

  • Food–Ag–Ideas Week
  • Dayton Fibershed Day
  • New York Nut Growers Association Fall Meeting

News & Resources

Producers Affected by Natural Disasters Can Sign Up for WHIP+ Assistance
USDA announced that agricultural producers affected by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019 can apply for assistance through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) beginning September 11, 2019. More than $3 billion is available for eligible producers who have suffered eligible losses in counties with a Presidential Emergency Disaster Declaration or a Secretarial Disaster Designation (primary counties only). Details on applying are available online.
Related ATTRA Resources: Crop Insurance

Northeast Survey Reveals Farmers Market Shopping Motivation
A survey of what motivates farmers market shoppers in the Northeast, conducted by Cornell University's School of Applied Economics and Management, evaluated why people shopped at farmers markets, why they stopped shopping there, or why they had never shopped there. The survey revealed support for local food purchasing and showed that shoppers value the convenience of one-stop shopping. The survey found little appeal for shoppers in establishing relationships with farmers, and it found that adding activities at the market did not draw additional shoppers, nor motivate buyers.

UK's National Farmers Union Unveils Plan for Farming to Reach Net Zero Greenhouse-Gas Emissions
The National Farmers Union in the United Kingdom has released Achieving Net Zero: Farming's 2040 Goal, a report that puts forth a strategy for British farmers to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. The strategy is based on three pillars: improving farming's productive efficiency, improving land management and changing land use to capture more carbon, and boosting renewable energy and the wider bio-economy. The report is available online.

Study Demonstrates Economic Efficiency of Agroecological Management
A study published in Scientia Horticulturae compared conventional, organic-input, and organic agroecological blueberry production systems in Chile. A farm that used organic management based on agroecological principles achieved the highest yield and also had the lowest cost of production, showing agroecology as the most efficient production system from both an environmental and an economic perspective.
Related ATTRA Publication: Blueberries: Organic Production

Agrivoltaics Study Shows Mutual Benefits across Food, Water, Energy Nexus
The University of Arizona presented results from a multi-year study of agrivoltaics in dryland regions. Agrivoltaics is the co-locating of agriculture and solar photovoltaic panels. Researchers found that shade provided by the PV panels resulted in cooler daytime temperatures and warmer nighttime temperatures, as well as moister air. In addition, having plants below reduced panels' operating temperature and made them more efficient. Panel shade also created a cooler working environment for farm laborers.

Maine Harvest Federal Credit Union Chartered
The National Credit Union Administration has granted a federal charter to Maine Harvest Federal Credit Union. The credit union will serve the employees and approximately 13,000 members of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and the Maine Farmland Trust. It was chartered to make affordable member business loans to small farms, farmers, and other food producers. Loan funds will be available through mission-based deposits. Maine Harvest Federal Credit Union expects to begin operations this fall.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Southern SARE Producer Grant Program
Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education program is accepting proposals for the 2020 Producer Grant Program. Producer Grants are used to conduct sustainable agriculture research projects that solve agricultural production challenges farmers face and to develop and share information on what works and what doesn't. The maximum funding for a Producer Grant has increased to $15,000 for individual farmers/ranchers and $20,000 for farmer/rancher organizations.
Proposal submission deadline is November 15, 2019.

Minnesota AGRI Urban Agriculture Grant Program
The AGRI Urban Agriculture Grant Program encourages urban youth agricultural education and urban agriculture community development within city limits of urban or peri-urban areas. Eligible grant projects include the purchase and installation of equipment, capital expenditures, and/or dedicated staff contractor time.
Applications are due by November 14, 2019.

California Biologically Integrated Farming Systems Program
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is accepting grant applications for its Biologically Integrated Farming Systems (BIFS) Program. BIFS funds on-farm demonstration and evaluation of innovative biologically based farming systems that employ Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies and reduce chemical insecticide inputs. CDFA will consider applications with budgets of $200,000 to $1 million. Public or private colleges and universities, local and federal government entities including tribal governments, and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply.
Applications are due October 31, 2019.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Food–Ag–Ideas Week
October 10-15, 2019
Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota
Food–Ag–Ideas Week, led by Grow North and partners, features panels, speakers, tours, and demo showcases with a build-your-own schedule format. Speaker sessions will address a variety of topics across sustainable agriculture, food innovation and tech, and food and society.

Dayton Fibershed Day
October 5, 2019
Yellow Springs, Ohio
The Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions and Rust Belt Fibershed present Dayton Fibershed Day, an opportunity to see what's going on in the region with local growing, weaving, and dying, and learn why it matters.

New York Nut Growers Association Fall Meeting
October 5, 2019
Spencer, New York
The New York Nut Growers Association Fall Meeting will feature presentations on growing hickory nuts, nut tree silvopastures, NYNGA's English walnut breeding program, a young orchard of chestnut and hazelnut, and use of biochar, as well as two farm tours.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Podcast
Growing Organic Grapes in the Southeast

Question of the Week
How can I manage mineral supplementation in multispecies grazing?

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Tractor Operations, Safety and Maintenance Training
October 8, 2019
Troy, New Hampshire
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