Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 28, 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
- Soil Management Could Help Mitigate Climate Change Impacts
- CSA Member Agreement Workbook Offered by Farm Commons
- Topic Brief on High Tunnels and Season Extension Available from SARE
- Research Finds Black Tarps Suppress Weeds for Organic Vegetables
- Penn State Research Shows Eggs from Small Flocks More Likely to Be Contaminated with Salmonella
- Orchard Management Can Produce More Desirable Hard-Cider Apples
- New York Farm Viability Grants
- CISA Emergency Farm Fund
- Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant Program
- Montana Governor's Local Food and Agriculture Summit
- Treasure Coast Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference
- South Dakota Local Foods Conference
News & Resources
Soil Management Could Help Mitigate Climate Change Impacts
Research from the University of Illinois and collaborating institutions shows that climate effects on maize yield can be mitigated by soil water-holding capacity and soil organic matter. Researchers suggest a number of practices to increase soil organic matter, including using cover crops, avoiding excessive soil disturbance, increasing crop rotation length, and adding composted manures.
Related ATTRA Publication: Sustainable Soil Management
CSA Member Agreement Workbook Offered by Farm Commons
Farm Commons has released a free online workbook for writing an excellent CSA member agreement. The workbook explains the legal best practices for drafting a CSA member agreement, then gives examples for how individual farms might make those principles a reality on paper.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Selling through CSAs - Community Supported Agriculture
Topic Brief on High Tunnels and Season Extension Available from SARE
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) has published a new topic brief titled High Tunnels and Other Season Extension Techniques. Topics covered in the print brief and its online companion topic room include structure types and construction, cultivar selection, and management of fertility, pests, water, and temperature. The collection of practical resources is useful for experienced growers and those who are new to season extension.
Related ATTRA Publication: Season Extension Techniques for Market Gardeners
Research Finds Black Tarps Suppress Weeds for Organic Vegetables
Research at the University of New Hampshire showed that a growing system combining cover crops with black tarps provides weed suppression for no-till organic vegetable production. At the Woodman Horticultural Research Farm, researchers planted a cover crop of rye and hairy vetch and later covered the flattened mulch with black tarps, clear tarps, or no tarps. "The weed suppression where there was a black tarp is nearly 100% six weeks after transplanting," agroecology doctoral student Natalie Lounsbury reported.
Penn State Research Shows Eggs from Small Flocks More Likely to Be Contaminated with Salmonella
A six-month study of more than 6,000 eggs from 240 farmers markets or roadside stands across Pennsylvania showed that eggs from small flocks of chickens are more likely to be contaminated with Salmonella enteritidis than eggs sold in grocery stores, according to Penn State researchers. Eggs from five selling points, or 2% of the total, tested positive for contamination.
Orchard Management Can Produce More Desirable Hard-Cider Apples
Cornell University research is revealing ways in which apples grown with specific orchard management practices can produce more desirable hard cider. For hard cider, a heavier crop load, with smaller, bitter fruits may be better because the smaller apples have a higher concentration of polyphenols.
>>More Breaking News
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New York Farm Viability Grant
New York Farm Viability Institute is accepting proposals for grants up to $150,000, for projects that help New York farms become more economically viable. Eligible applicants include farmer groups, researchers, educators, organizations, agencies, and businesses.
Applications are due by November 10, 2016.
CISA Emergency Farm Fund
The Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) Emergency Farm Fund is accepting loan applications from farm owners who have experienced loss or damage to crops as a result of the drought conditions in the summer of 2016; are Local Hero member farms or reside and operate in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties in Massachusetts; and whose gross annual sales for 2015 were $20,000 or more. Loans from $5,000 to $10,000 are available.
Application deadline is October 21, 2016.
Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant Program
Applicants may request up to $75,000 from the Noxious Weed Trust Fund for Research, Education/Development, and Local Cooperative projects. Applicants collaborate with an organization to administer the grant, such as a conservation district, county weed district, extension service, or educational institution.
Applications are due by December 1, 2016.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Montana Governor's Local Food and Agriculture Summit
October 28-29, 2016
This summit will examine local food systems and explore opportunities for expanding them. Five tracks are offered: Challenges of Food and Agriculture Manufacturing, Processing, and Local Distribution; Positive Economic and Health Benefits of Communities Becoming Markets for Local Food; Creating a New Generation of Farmers; Resilience in Agriculture; and Marketing Montana Products.
Treasure Coast Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference
November 1-2, 2016
Fort Pierce, Florida
Join the UF/IFAS Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Extension Team for an educational event for Florida fruit and vegetable producers and stakeholders of local food systems. The event begins with a bus tour, then offers tracks for beginning farmers and advanced farmers, as well as a track on alternative crops and diversification.
South Dakota Local Foods Conference
November 3-5, 2016
Mitchell, South Dakota
This conference is meant to continue the dialogue on local foods among producers, growers, consumers, school nutrition programs, grocers, restaurants, and resource providers. In-depth pre-conference sessions, marketing and business tracks, and keynote speakers are scheduled.
>> More Events
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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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