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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 23, 2020

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.

Join the NCAT Team!
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is seeking a Local Foods Specialist to work with partners around the state of Montana. This regular, full-time position is based at NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana. NCAT is also seeking a Horticulture Specialist to work on local and national sustainable agriculture projects. This is a regular, part-time position based at NCAT’s Fayetteville, Arkansas, office. Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate for each position can be identified. Learn more.

News & Resources

  • Expanded Coronavirus Food Assistance Program to Accept Applications
  • USDA Risk Management Agency Announces Modifications to Whole-Farm Revenue Protection
  • Million-Acre Sustainable Grazing Initiative Announced for Northern Great Plains
  • Songbird Farm Trail Plans One Million Nest Boxes on Farms
  • Cornell Maple Program Releases Sugarbush Management Notebook
  • Scholarships Offered for Virtual 2020 REGENERATE Conference

Funding Opportunities

  • Rural Energy for America Program
  • Northeast SARE Farmer Grant Program
  • Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program

Coming Events

  • Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART): The Process
  • Poultry Webinar
  • Soil Summit

News & Resources

Expanded Coronavirus Food Assistance Program to Accept Applications
USDA is accepting applications for an additional $14 billion in aid to agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. Signup for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) extends through December 11, 2020. Payments will be made for Price Trigger Commodities, Flat-rate Crops, and Sales Commodities, including specialty crops, aquaculture, nursery crops, and floriculture. Additional commodities are eligible in CFAP 2 that weren't in the first iteration of the program. Payment calculations will be based on 2019 sales.

USDA Risk Management Agency Announces Modifications to Whole-Farm Revenue Protection
USDA Risk Management Agency announced modifications to the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) program to decrease paperwork and recordkeeping burdens for direct marketers, beginning with the 2021 crop year. The modifications allow growers to report two or more direct-marketed commodities as a combined single commodity code with a combined expected revenue. Revenue history will be based on reported revenue from the combined direct-marketed commodities and total acres planted to those commodities.

Related ATTRA Publication: Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program and Whole-Farm Revenue Protection: Understanding the Differences

Million-Acre Sustainable Grazing Initiative Announced for Northern Great Plains
Walmart Foundation, Cargill, and McDonald's are investing over $6 million in an initiative led by World Wildlife Fund that aims to make lasting improvements to the grasslands of the Northern Great Plains. The Ranch Systems and Viability Planning network will support ranchers across the ecoregion—focusing primarily on Montana, Nebraska, and South Dakota—with technical expertise, training, and tools to help advance grazing practices that improve the health of the land.
Related ATTRA Publication: Pasture, Rangeland, and Adaptive Grazing

Songbird Farm Trail Plans One Million Nest Boxes on Farms
Wild Farm Alliance (WFA) has announced plans to create the first Songbird Farm Trail, with the goal of one million nest boxes being installed on farms from Baja to British Columbia along North America's Pacific Coast. WFA, with the help of farmers, will be tracking occupancy of bird boxes over time to collect data about the changes in local bird populations. WFA hopes that the Songbird Farm Trail will serve as a model that can be replicated on farmland throughout the country.
Related ATTRA Publication: Beneficial and Pest Birds: Vertebrate IPM Tip Sheet

Cornell Maple Program Releases Sugarbush Management Notebook
The Cornell Maple Program's free, online, 202-page Sugarbush Management Notebook addresses topics such as maintaining a healthy sugarbush, sugarbush improvement, pest and disease monitoring, regeneration, ecosystem health, and more. This notebook joins the Cornell Maple Program's notebook series, which includes publications on beginning syrup production, marketing, production, and value-added products.
Related ATTRA Publication: Maple Sugaring: An Introduction to Small-Scale Commercial Production

Scholarships Offered for Virtual 2020 REGENERATE Conference
The Quivira Coalition, Holistic Management International, and American Grassfed Association are accepting applications for the 2020 REGENERATE HERD Fellowship, which provides scholarships for beginning agrarians, land stewards, and students in related fields to attend the virtual 2020 REGENERATE Conference, October 26 through November 20, 2020. The Fellowship will award 30 full scholarships, prioritized to support individuals who come from historically underrepresented or economically low-resource communities. Apply by September 30, 2020.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Rural Energy for America Program
The Rural Energy for America Program administered by USDA Rural Development provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable-energy systems or to make energy-efficiency improvements. Agricultural producers with at least 50% of their gross income coming from agricultural operations may apply. Grants are available for up to 25% of total eligible project costs, and combined grant and loan guarantee funding can cover 75% of total eligible project costs.
Applications for grants of $20,000 or less and loan/grant combo applications of $20,000 or less are due by November 2, 2020.

Northeast SARE Farmer Grant Program
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) offers Farmer Grants for commercial producers who have an innovative idea they want to test using a field trial, on-farm demonstration, marketing initiative, or other technique. Projects should seek results other farmers can use and should add to knowledge about effective sustainable practices. Grants are capped at $15,000 and projects can run for two years.
Proposals are due by November 17, 2020.

Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program
The Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program provides cost-shares to agricultural producers for long-term investments in Tennessee farms and communities. Producers can apply for a variety of programs and may qualify for cost shares up to 50%. Producers should use Application A for livestock equipment, genetics, hay storage, herd health, livestock solutions, working facility structures, dairy solutions, and row crop solutions. Application B is for farmers with investments in agritourism, fruits and vegetables, honey bees, horticulture, organics, and value-added products. Application C is for commercial poultry growers.
The application period is open October 1 - 7, 2020.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART): The Process
September 24, 2020
"The CART before the Horse: Understanding Access to Federal Assistance for Natural Resource Conservation on Working Lands" is a three-part webinar series from NCAT and NRCS to provide interested farmers and ranchers with an overview of the Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART), as well as a deeper look into how it works.

Poultry Webinar
September 25, 2020

NCAT is co-sponsoring this poultry webinar with University of California, Davis, Veterinary Medicine; Modoc Harvest; and University of California Cooperative Extension. Learn about direct-to-consumer sales, preventing poultry diseases, and husbandry for healthy birds.

Soil Summit
October 7 , 2020
The Northern Plains Resource Council presents the virtual 2020 Soil Summit to explore together how policy and financing tools can promote soil health and the adoption of soil health practices.

>>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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New ATTRA Publication
Hogs: Pastured or Forested Production

Question of the Week
What are effective tools for managing parasites in sheep?

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

Urban Farming Risk Management Virtual Workshop
Growing in the City
September 24, 2020
Register for this free event.

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