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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - October 4, 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

  • Agrobiodiversity Makes Food Systems More Resilient, Sustainable, and Nutritious, Says Report
  • Increasing Soil Carbon Sequestration a Win for Reducing Emissions and Maintaining Food Security
  • Agricultural Technical Assistance Providers Asked to Provide Input
  • New Wheat Variety Introduced for Organic Growers
  • Winter Cover Crops Protect Trees from Flatheaded Appletree Borer
  • Nebraska Team to Study Integrated Livestock and Crop Production Systems

Funding Opportunities

  • Fund-a-Farmer Grants
  • Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program
  • North Central SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Sustainable Agriculture Conference
  • Widening the Welcome: The Future of Agriculture for Communities of Color
  • MOFGA Farmer to Farmer Conference

News & Resources

Agrobiodiversity Makes Food Systems More Resilient, Sustainable, and Nutritious, Says Report
Bioversity International has released Mainstreaming Agrobiodiversity in Sustainable Food Systems, a 200-page scientific review of how agrobiodiversity can make our vulnerable food system more resilient, sustainable, and nutritious.The guide provides evidence that investments in agrobiodiversity also play a critical role in reducing poverty and malnutrition, reversing environmental degradation, and combating climate change. The complete book is available online.

Increasing Soil Carbon Sequestration a Win for Reducing Emissions and Maintaining Food Security
Research led by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis identified two strategies that could bring benefits for climate while simultaneously benefiting food security: reducing deforestation and increasing soil carbon sequestration. The research found that farming practices such as crop rotation, cover cropping, and residue management can preserve greater amounts of carbon stored in soils—and generally lead to greater crop yields.

Agricultural Technical Assistance Providers Asked to Provide Input
Syracuse University, Pennsylvania State University, New York University, and the National Center for Appropriate Technology are surveying agricultural technical assistance providers. The study will examine the opportunities and risks of four main marketing opportunities for farmers—direct-to-consumer, direct-to-institution, direct-to-retail, and selling to intermediaries. The project is interested in hearing through an online survey from organizations that offer technical assistance in these areas.

New Wheat Variety Introduced for Organic Growers
A new, hardy wheat variety for organic growers has been developed by the University of Illinois, reports Illinois Farmer Today. The Erisman soft red winter wheat is a taller variety designed to compete well with cover crops and be easier to harvest. In addition, it is disease resistant and has a short enough season to allow double cropping. Developers hope to have it commercially available in 2018.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Small Grain Production Overview

Winter Cover Crops Protect Trees from Flatheaded Appletree Borer
Researchers at Tennessee State University working with a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education On-Farm Research Grant found that winter cover crops appear to protect susceptible deciduous trees from the flatheaded appletree borer. Results could apply broadly to orchards, nurseries, urban landscapes, and agroforestry producers.
Related ATTRA Publication: Agroforestry: An Overview

Nebraska Team to Study Integrated Livestock and Crop Production Systems
A University of Nebraska-Lincoln research team has received a $1 million grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research to investigate how to improve land-use efficiency through the integration of livestock and crop production systems. The team expects an integrated system, which overlays cattle grazing with existing crop production systems, to increase output per acre and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with production.
Related ATTRA Publication: Integrating Livestock and Crops: Improving Soil, Solving Problems, Increasing Income

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Fund-a-Farmer Grants
Food Animal Concerns Trust is offering two types of grants for livestock and poultry farmers who want to obtain humane certification or who want to expand their animals' access to pasture. Up to $2,500 is available for projects that improve farm animal welfare, such as building hoop houses, constructing fences, laying water lines on pasture, and much more. Family farmers with at least one year of experience are eligible.
Applications are due by December 4, 2017.

Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for approximately $8.6 million in Community Food Projects and Planning Projects. Community Food Projects are intended to bring together stakeholders from the distinct parts of the food system and to foster understanding of national food security trends and how they might improve local food systems. All projects must involve low-income participants.
Applications are due by December 4, 2017.

North Central SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program
This is a competitive grants program for farmers and ranchers in the 12-state North Central Region who want to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration, and education projects. Farmer Rancher grants are offered as individual ($7,500 maximum), team of two ($15,000 maximum), or group ($22,500 maximum) grants for ideas initiated by farmers and ranchers.
Proposals are due by December 7, 2017.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Sustainable Agriculture Conference
November 3-5, 2017
Durham, North Carolina

This 32nd annual conference brings together farmers, foodies, ag-tivists, and experts for a weekend celebration of innovation in local, sustainable agriculture. The conference includes 60 workshops, bus tours, pre-conference intensives, and more.

Widening the Welcome: The Future of Agriculture for Communities of Color
November 4, 2017
Hartford, Connecticut
Hidden Acres Farm, Inc. hosts this exploration of how we can encourage more African American/Black, Latinx, indigenous/Native American, and API/APA communities to be in the vanguard of the changing face of farming in New England.

MOFGA Farmer to Farmer Conference
November 4-6, 2017
Northport, Maine

This conference is based on the idea that farmers learn best from their peers and other practitioners. It features three-hour workshops with round-table discussions included.

>>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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© 2017 NCAT

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New ATTRA Podcast
Keys to Cover Crops

Question of the Week
What can you tell me about aquaculture species compatibility?

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

Mississippi Farm to Cafeteria Conference Mini-Workshop
October 11, 2017
Jackson, Mississippi
Register now for NCAT's free recordkeeping and food-safety workshop and reception.

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's Spanish-language e-newsletter

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