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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 27, 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

  • Certified Organic Survey Results Show U.S. Organic Sales Up 23%
  • California Network Helps Food Hubs Succeed
  • Meijer Stores Offer Imperfect Produce Discounts
  • Aquaculture Week Highlights Benefits, Opportunities
  • Montana Climate Assessment Focuses on Trends and Consequences for Agriculture, Water, and Forests
  • Report Examines Whole Farm Revenue Protection Usage in Nebraska

Funding Opportunities

  • Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund
  • Specialty Crop Research Initiative
  • Small Grains Cost Share in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin

Coming Events

  • California Small Farm Conference
  • Women, Food & Agriculture Network Annual Conference
  • Beginning Farmer East Regional Workshop

News & Resources

Certified Organic Survey Results Show U.S. Organic Sales Up 23%
USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service has released results of the 2016 Certified Organic Survey, showing that 2016 sales were up 23% from 2015, to $7.6 billion. Also, the number of certified organic farms in the country increased 11% to 14,217, and the number of certified acres increased 15% to 5 million.

California Network Helps Food Hubs Succeed
UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program is organizing a statewide network of food hubs in California to help regional food systems develop through collaboration with the competition, known as #collabatition. The network brings together food-hub managers to learn from one another and collectively pave the way for successful food hubs in California.
Related ATTRA Resource: Food Hubs: A Producer Guide

Meijer Stores Offer Imperfect Produce Discount
Meijer stores across the Midwest are offering "Misfits," a line of pre-packaged, cosmetically imperfect produce at prices reduced 20% to 40%, reports USAgNet. The fresh produce may be discolored, scarred, or odd-sized. The company says customers have responded well to the Misfits product line.

Aquaculture Week Highlights Benefits, Opportunities
Aquaculture Week is September 25-29, 2017. NOAA Fisheries is highlighting fish and shellfish farming and the vital role they play in the seafood supply, jobs and opportunities in coastal communities, and species and habitat restoration. NOAA fisheries is offering videos and stories on aquaculture, addressing the economic opportunity it offers and providing case studies of diverse aquaculture operations.
Related ATTRA Publication: Ecological Fisheries and Ocean Farming

Montana Climate Assessment Focuses on Trends and Consequences for Agriculture, Water, and Forests
The Montana University System's Institute on Ecosystems, in collaboration with the Montana Climate Office, Montana Water Center, and Montana State University Extension, has released 2017 Montana Climate Assessment. The assessment, the first in a planned series, focuses on climate trends and their consequences for three of Montana's vital sectors: water, forests, and agriculture. The full assessment is available online.
Related ATTRA Publication: Climate Change and Perennial Fruit and Nut Production: Investing in Resilience in Uncertain Times

Report Examines Whole Farm Revenue Protection Usage in Nebraska
The Center for Rural Affairs has published New Option for Farm Risk Management: Whole Farm Revenue Protection Usage in Nebraska, a 20-page analysis of this new crop-insurance product. The report found that Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) usage in Nebraska is lower than in surrounding states, but that producers of a wide variety of crops and livestock in the state might benefit from purchasing WFRP policies.
Related ATTRA Publication: Crop Insurance Options for Specialty, Diversified, and Organic Farmers

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund
The Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund of the CCOF Foundation provides direct financial assistance exclusively to organic producers who suffer losses due to extreme hardship. Grants are available to certified organic operators in good standing who suffered severe economic loss in the 2017 calendar year and have not received Federal assistance for the same loss. Award amounts range from $1,000 to $2,500.
Applications are due by December 1, 2017.

Specialty Crop Research Initiative
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Specialty Crop Research Initiative addresses the critical needs of the specialty crop industry. The initiative awards grants to support research and extension that address key challenges of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture. Five focus areas have been identified. A total of $48.1 million in matching funds is available.
Pre-applications are due December 8, 2017.

Small Grains Cost Share in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin
Practical Farmers of Iowa is seeking to enroll row crop farmers in Iowa, Minnesota, or Wisconsin in a small grains cost-share program. The program supports conventional farmers or those transitioning to organic who add a year of crops like barley, oats, rye, triticale, or wheat followed by a summer cover crop or planted with a legume cover crop. Participants are eligible to receive $40 per acre in cost-share on up to 80 acres. Organic small grains are not eligible.
In 2018, Practical Farmers will cost-share a total of 1,325 acres. Participants will be accepted on a rolling basis until that cap is reached.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

California Small Farm Conference
October 29-30, 2017
Stockton, California

This conference is for farmers market managers and beginning to advanced producers who honor a small-scale approach to growing, processing, and marketing food. In addition to keynote speakers and conference sessions, this event offers day-long and half-day short courses, field courses, and training sessions.

Women, Food & Ag Network Annual Conference
November 2-4, 2017
Madison, Wisconsin
Celebrate 20 years of engaging women in building an ecological and just food and agricultural system through individual and community power.

Beginning Farmer East Regional Workshop
October 28, 2017
Winchester, Indiana

Purdue Extension offers a day-long workshop addressing business planning, pasture management, fruit and vegetable pest management, pastured poultry, greenhouse and high tunnel management, and marketing.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Publication
Sheep and Goats: Frequently Asked Questions

Question of the Week
What are some potential markets for maple sugar?

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Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Producing and Marketing Grass-finished Beef and Lamb
October 19, 2017
Fayetteville, Arkansas
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