Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - October 18, 2006
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet
by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture
Information Service Web site. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is
also available online.
News & Resources
* New and Revised Organic Fact Sheets Available
Share The Harvest: Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who might be interested in the latest sustainable agriculture news, funding opportunities, and events.
* Reports Spotlight Role of Farms in Reducing Global Warming
* Study Says Organic Wheat Has Little or No Nutritional Advantage
* Commodity Theft a Growing Problem for Farmers
* Market Growth Altering Organic Ideal
* USDA Announces More Biobased Products for Federal Procurement
Regional Integrated Pest Management Competitive
Grants Program—North Central Region
* Northeast Farm Credit AgEnhancement Grants
* National Research Initiative—Agricultural Prosperity
for Small and Medium-Sized Farms
* Hydroponic & Organic Grower's Conference
* Second Biennial Conference for Community Supported Agriculture
Tilth Producers Annual Conference: The Future of Food
and Revised Organic Fact Sheets Available
the Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service, is making
available a number of new and recently revised 2-page fact sheets
on organic production through its Web site. The following titles
are offered: The Organic Certification Process, How to Choose
a Certification Agency, Common Mistakes Made by Certification
Applicants, Transitioning to Organic Crop Production, Transitioning
to Organic Dairy Production, Transitioning to Organic Vegetable
Production, Marketing Organic Grains, Understanding Lot Numbers,
and Crop Insurance for Organic Systems.
Spotlight Role of Farms in Reducing Global Warming
reports released by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change
say America’s farms and forestlands have a major role to play
in reducing the threat of climate change. According to the two
reports, Agriculture’s Role in Greenhouse Gas Mitigation
and Agricultural and Forestlands: U.S. Carbon Policy Strategies,
changes in agricultural practices coupled with foresting marginal
agricultural lands could offset up to one-fifth of current U.S.
greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time creating potential
new sources of farming income. In addition, the nation could
reduce emissions by 10 to 25 percent by replacing fossil fuels
with biofuels made from agricultural crops.
Says Organic Wheat Has Little or No Nutritional Advantage
American Chemical Society press release on Science Daily reports
that a German study appearing in the October 18 issue of the
Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry concluded
that organically grown wheat offered little, if any, nutritional
advantage over its conventionally produced counterpart. The
study, which was one of the most comprehensive to date, compared
concentrations of 44 metabolites in organic and conventional
wheat, and found that metabolic status did not differ.
Theft a Growing Problem for Farmers
new class of crime has arisen, according to an article in The
Christian Science Monitor. "Plaid-collar crime" denotes
commodity thefts from rural areas. Farmers across the country
are losing everything from tractor-trailer loads of valuable
almond crops to barrels of fuel or pesticide. In forested areas,
timber theft can be a problem. Although farmers have historically
experienced thefts and usually kept quiet about them, the problem
is getting worse as commodity prices rise and urban settlement
encroaches on farmland, making it easier for thieves to reach
farms and get away with their bounty. In some areas law enforcement
agencies are helping farmers by making available high-tech equipment
like motion detectors and low-light cameras to help catch thieves.
Growth Altering Organic Ideal
cover story from the October 16 issue of Business Week looks
at how the organic food market is changing as demand grows and
more national retailers begin supplying organic products. With
demand for some organic products outstripping supply, the pastoral
image of organic food is jeopardized as manufacturers shop abroad
for ingredients and keep organic cows and chickens on an industrial
scale. The article explores in particular the effect that a
growing market and supply shortages have had on organic yogurt
company Stonyfield Farm.
Announces More Biobased Products for Federal Procurement
has announced a fourth proposed rule designating 10 more biobased
product categories (representing over 480 biobased products)
that must receive special purchasing consideration by all federal
agencies. The designations are part of the Federal Biobased
Products Preferred Procurement Program, which is being renamed
"BioPreferred" as part of an effort to educate federal
purchasers. The new items include bath and tile cleaners; clothing
products; concrete and asphalt release fluids; cutting, drilling,
and tapping oils; deicers; durable films; firearm lubricants;
floor strippers; laundry products; and wood and concrete sealers.
More Breaking News
Integrated Pest Management Competitive Grants Program—North
CSREES requests applications for the Regional Integrated Pest Management Competitive Grants Program for FY 2007 to support the continuum of research and extension efforts needed to increase the implementation of integrated pest management (IPM) methods. The Regional IPM Competitive Grants Program supports projects that develop individual pest control tactics, integrate individual tactics into an IPM system, and develop and implement extension education programs. In FY 2007, CSREES anticipates that approximately $755,000 will be available for support of the Regional IPM Competitive Grants Program—North Central Region. Of this amount, approximately $500,000 is expected to be available for Research projects, $78,000 for Extension projects and $177,000 for Joint Research-Extension projects. Colleges and universities are among those eligible to apply. Letters of intent are required by October 31; full proposals are due by November 30.
Proposals are due October 31, 2006.
Farm Credit AgEnhancement Grants
Each year, Northeast agricultural credit associations award grants to help organizations promote awareness of agriculture in the six New England states, New York, New Jersey, and CoBank. Funds are provided as part of the Northeast Farm Credit AgEnhancement program, an ongoing educational campaign that supports the food and fiber industries in the Northeast. Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000. Proposals are considered three times per year: April 1, August 1, December 1.
Proposals are due December 1, 2006.
Research Initiative—Agricultural Prosperity for Small and
purpose of this program is to foster interdisciplinary studies
to improve our understanding of the interactions between the economic
and environmental components important to the long-term viability,
competitiveness and efficiency of small and medium-sized farms.
Institutions of higher education, local governments, and nonprofits
are among those eligible to apply. Total program funding is $5
million, with awards up to $500,000.
Proposals are due February 14, 2007.
More Funding Opportunities
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& Organic Grower's Conference
November 3-4, 2006
This annual CropKing conference will have a special focus on energy costs, energy efficiency in the greenhouse, and alternative energy sources. This Conference is designed to present you with new technology, as well as acquaint you with the fundamental basics of controlled environmental growing.
Biennial Conference for Community Supported Agriculture
November 10-12, 2006
The theme for this event sponsored by CSA Michigan and others
is "Raising vegetables and civic values: The role of CSA
in the 21st Century." Learn more about CSA with speakers
and workshops for the prospective, new or experienced CSA farmer.
Speakers include CSA pioneers Steven McFadden and Scott Chaskey.
An intensive mini-school will be held on Friday, November 10,
just before the conference starts, designed for the CSA wannabe
and new CSA grower. Enrollment for the mini-school is limited.
Producers Annual Conference: The Future of Food
November 10-12, 2006
This conference builds on three decades of efforts to transform
agriculture in Washington State. The conference begins Friday
with a day-long symposium, Farming for Food Quality, convened
by Washington State University. Expert speakers will highlight
the latest food quality research and the genetic and production
issues affecting nutritional quality of crops, livestock, dairy,
and fruit. Speakers, workshops, and celebration are also on the
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of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and is funded under a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT Web site for more information on our sustainable agriculture projects.
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