Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 20, 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
- Cover Crops Boost Yields and Weed Control, Says 2017 Survey
- Rodale Institute Announces Regenerative Organic Certification
- Tests Show Soil from Organic Farms Has More Carbon-Storage Potential
- High Tunnels Boost Yield But Harbor Pests, Says Purdue Study
- Eggs from Poultry Fed Vegan, Organic Diet Have Lower Environmental Impact
- Solar Honey Brand Combines Renewable Energy with Pollinator Habitat
- NCR-SARE Youth Educator Grant
- Southern SARE Producer Grants
- Environmental Quality Incentives Program in Missouri
- Small Farm Equipment Selection, Operation & Maintenance
- AERO Expo and Annual Meeting
- Mother Earth News Fair
News & Resources
Cover Crops Boost Yields and Weed Control, Says 2017 Survey
Following the use of cover crops, farmers reported increased yields of corn, soybeans, and wheat, and improved control of herbicide-resistant weeds, according to a nationwide survey. The fifth annual poll was conducted by the Conservation Technology Information Center with help from Purdue University and funding support from SARE and the American Seed Trade Association. The survey of 2,012 farmers showed acreage planted in cover crops has nearly doubled over the past five years.
Rodale Institute Announces Regenerative Organic Certification
Rodale Institute has introduced a new Regenerative Organic Certification, a cooperative effort among a coalition of farmers, ranchers, nonprofits, scientists, and brands to establish a new, high-bar standard for regenerative organic agriculture. The standard will be administered by NSF International. It encompasses guidelines for soil health and land management, animal welfare, and farmer and worker fairness. A 30-day comment period ends October 12, 2017.
Tests Show Soil from Organic Farms Has More Carbon-Storage Potential
Civil Eats reported on a study by Northeastern University and The Organic Center that showed soils from organic farms had 26% more potential for long-term carbon storage and 13% more soil organic matter than soils from conventional farms. The results were based on 659 organic soil samples collected by citizen-scientist farmers from 39 states. These were contrasted with samples from more than 700 conventional farms in 48 states, which the researchers found contained little to no humic substances.
Related ATTRA Tutorial: Soil Health
High Tunnels Boost Yield But Harbor Pests, Says Purdue Study
A Purdue University study found that populations of pests such as tomato hornworm, cabbage looper, diamondback moth, and cucumber beetle can soar in high tunnels. Ventilation provides access for the pests, which are then prevented from escaping upward by the tunnel roof. Researchers are testing exclusion screens and adding flower crops to attract beneficial insects.
Eggs from Poultry Fed Vegan, Organic Diet Have Lower Environmental Impact
Research at the University of British Columbia found that poultry given vegan organic feed can produce eggs with a smaller environmental footprint. A cradle-to-customer environmental life cycle assessment of Canadian egg and egg-product supply chains showed that the type of feed and manure-management system had the greatest influence on environmental impacts. Organic feed from non-livestock sources required fewer resources and had lower emissions.
Related ATTRA Publication: Pastured Poultry Nutrition and Forages
Solar Honey Brand Combines Renewable Energy with Pollinator Habitat
Solar Honey is produced from hives co-located with solar arrays on sites planted with pollinator-friendly vegetation and certified nationwide by The Solar Honey Company. Minnesota and Maryland are among states that have established standards defining a pollinator-friendly solar site. The certification includes a long-term contract to ensure that sites are properly managed. Plants that attract pollinators can benefit neighboring agricultural production, and the easy-to-manage vegetation reduces costs for maintaining solar-array sites and helps panels perform more efficiently.
>>More Breaking News
Back to top
NCR-SARE Youth Educator Grant
This North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) grant supports projects that provide opportunities for youth in the 12-state region to learn more about sustainable agriculture. Educators use the grants to encourage young people and their parents to try sustainable practices and see sustainable agriculture as a viable career option. The maximum grant is $2,000, with approximately $20,000 available in total.
Proposals are due by November 2, 2017.
Southern SARE Producer Grants
Southern SARE is accepting proposals for Producer Grants from farmers and ranchers in the Southern region. Producer Grants support sustainable-agriculture research projects that solve production challenges farmers face and share information so that other farmers and ranchers can benefit from the results of the funded project. Projects may be funded for up to two years for a project maximum of $10,000 for an individual producer or $15,000 for a producer organization.
Proposal submission deadline is November 17, 2017.
Environmental Quality Incentives Program in Missouri
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced the cut-off date to apply for fiscal year 2018 funds through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) in Missouri. Applications for several initiatives are included: On-Farm Energy, Seasonal High Tunnel, Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Project, Organic, Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds, and National Water Quality. In addition, assistance through nine Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) projects will also be available.
Applications must be filed by November 17, 2017, for the next round of funding.
>>More Funding Opportunities
Back to top
Small Farm Equipment Selection, Operation & Maintenance
October 19, 2017
Clemson, South Carolina
Clemson University Madren Center & Student Organic Farm offer an opportunity to join NCAT's Andy Pressman for this day-long workshop focusing on equipment and tools for intensive crop production on a small-scale commercial farm.
AERO Expo and Annual Meeting
October 20-22, 2017
"Ready, Set, Lead!" features area tours, keynote speakers Gabe Brown and John Farrell, and panels on food, agriculture, and energy. Local meals, a silent auction, and more are planned.
Mother Earth News Fair
October 21-22, 2017
This sustainable-lifestyle event offers 150 workshops, regional and national vendors, and demonstrations. Keynotes include Dan Chiras, Joel Salatin, and Howard Garrett.
Back to top
Subscribe to the Weekly Harvest
Comments? Questions? Contact us
Weekly Harvest Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest newsletters are available online.
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.
Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.
© 2017 NCAT
Back to top