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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - October 19, 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.

Join the NCAT Team!
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is seeking a qualified candidate to work as a sustainable agriculture specialist at our office in Davis, California. Applications will be accepted through December 9, 2016, or until a suitable candidate can be identified.

News & Resources

  • U.N. Food and Agriculture Report Focuses on Climate Change
  • Booklet Describes Nitrogen Loss-Reduction Strategies
  • Sustainable Business Model for Agriculture Could Create Jobs and Profits, Says Report
  • Study Explores Why Biodiversity Acts as a Pest Control
  • IRS Grants Tax Relief Extension to Drought-Stricken Farmers and Ranchers
  • New Publications from Purdue Extension Help Protect Pollinators

Funding Opportunities

  • Community Food Projects (CFP) Competitive Grant Program
  • North Central Integrated Pest Management Center Working Groups and Critical Issues Grants Programs
  • Pennsylvania Farm Succession Planning Grants

Coming Events

  • Mississippi Food Summit & Agricultural Revival
  • Growing Power's National International Urban and Small Farms Conference
  • Kansas Rural Center Annual Farm and Food Conference

News & Resources

U.N. Food and Agriculture Report Focuses on Climate Change
Agriculture must contribute more to combating climate change while bracing to overcome its impacts, according to The State of Food and Agriculture 2016, released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The report describes alternative, economically viable ways to help smallholders adapt and make the livelihoods of rural populations more resilient. The report provides evidence that 'climate-smart' practices, such as the use of nitrogen-efficient and heat-tolerant crop varieties, zero-tillage, and integrated soil-fertility management, would boost productivity and farmers' incomes.

Booklet Describes Nitrogen Loss-Reduction Strategies
A new University of Illinois Extension booklet details 10 ways for farmers to reduce nitrogen loss. Practices are broken down into three categories: reducing nitrate in the plant root zone, reducing delivery of nitrate to the field's edge, and removing nitrate at the edge of the field or downstream. Each practice comes with a detailed description explaining what it is, how it improves water quality, how effective it is, where it will work, whether it has any additional benefits, and its level of acceptance.
Related ATTRA Publication: Protecting Riparian Areas: Farmland Management Strategies

Sustainable Business Model for Agriculture Could Create Jobs and Profits, Says Report
A new report from the Business and Sustainable Development Commission says that companies could unlock $2.3 trillion a year in the food and agriculture sectors by 2030 with an annual investment of $320 billion in sustainable business models. Opportunities are broken down across 14 areas, including food waste, farming technology, low-income food markets, micro-irrigation, restoring land and forests, changing diets, aquaculture, cattle intensification, and urban agriculture.

Study Explores Why Biodiversity Acts as a Pest Control
University of California, Davis research published in the journal Nature explains that fields with a variety of plants provide inconsistent nutrient levels for insect pests, so the pests do poorly. Researchers concluded that returning plant diversity to farms could be a key step toward sustainable pest control. One way to do this without reducing crop yields is to introduce a mixture of genotypes of the same crop species.
Related ATTRA Publication: Companion Planting & Botanical Pesticides: Concepts & Resources

IRS Grants Tax Relief Extension to Drought-Stricken Farmers and Ranchers
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued Special Edition Tax Tip 2016-15, announcing that it has extended the time to replace livestock that owners were forced to sell due to drought. This may help eligible producers defer tax on gains from the forced sales. The relief applies to all or part of 37 states and Puerto Rico affected by the drought.

New Publications from Purdue Extension Help Protect Pollinators
Purdue Extension has released Protecting Pollinators, a series of free online publications. Protecting Pollinators in Fruit and Vegetable Production explains what commercial growers can do to protect pollinators in their cropping systems. Another eight-page publication, Tips for Commercial Agricultural Pesticide Applicators, describes management practices commercial applicators can follow to minimize any potential harm to pollinators.
Related ATTRA Publication: Alternative Pollinators: Native Bees

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for more than $8.6 million in funding through the Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program. The program will fund two types of grants: (1) Community Food Projects and (2) Planning Projects. Public food-program service providers, tribal organizations, or private nonprofit entities, including gleaners, may apply for the grants.
Applications are due November 30, 2016.

North Central Integrated Pest Management Center Working Groups and Critical Issues Grants Programs
The North Central Integrated Pest Management Center (NCIPMC) requests proposals for Working Groups that support the NCIPMC and regional IPM priorities. NCIPMC is also accepting proposals on critical issues that address information, resource, and research needs with regional importance to specialty crops, major crops, non-crop areas, IPM metrics and/or impact assessments, urban IPM, cropping systems, and other issues.
Applications are due by November 18, 2016.

Pennsylvania Farm Succession Planning Grants
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is making $165,000 available to help owners of farms preserved by agricultural easements offset professional service costs associated with succession planning. Individuals can apply for grants up to $3,000 that can be used as a one-to-one match to reimburse costs incurred by organizing and utilizing a succession planning team.
Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Mississippi Food Summit & Agricultural Revival
November 17-19, 2016
Jackson, Mississippi

Farmers, health practitioners, market managers, chefs, legislators, students, educators, food service directors, and local food activists from around the state will come together for a three-day event including the Mississippi Farm to Cafeteria Conference, Mississippi Organic Growers Conference, and the Farmer to Farmer Conference.

Growing Power's National International Urban and Small Farms Conference
November 16-20, 2016
Butler, Wisconsin

The conference will help galvanize efforts to create a new food system that fosters better health and more closely knit communities. Hands-on and interactive workshops will showcase work being done in Milwaukee, as well as nationally and internationally. The Growing Food and Justice for All gathering coincides with the conference.

Kansas Rural Center Annual Farm and Food Conference
November 18-19, 2016
Manhattan, Kansas
This conference will feature keynote speakers and two days of workshop sessions, presentations, and panel discussions on how we can transform our farms and our food system to better meet future environmental, economic, and social challenges.

>>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
High Tunnels in Urban Agriculture

Question of the Week
How can I use living fences?

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

Risk Management for Small Ruminant Operations
Shubuta, Mississippi
October 25, 2016
Contact feliciab@ncat.org about this free, half-day workshop.

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