Home | Newsletter Archives

ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - October 21, 2020

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

  • New Guide Helps Governments Build Better Food Systems
  • Regenerative Ag Could Sequester Total Annual Carbon Emissions, Says White Paper
  • Research Shows Biochar Can Help Farmers Save Money on Irrigation
  • Ecosystem Services Market Pilot Project Launched in Minnesota
  • North Carolina Growers Learning about Specialty Vegetable Opportunity
  • Video Demonstrates Alleycropping Results from Berry Farm Trials

Funding Opportunities

  • Farm to School Grant
  • Extension Risk Management Education Grants
  • Western North Carolina Agricultural Options

Coming Events

  • Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Sustainable Agriculture Conference
  • South Dakota Local Foods Conference
  • Farmer to Farmer Conference

News & Resources

New Guide Helps Governments Build Better Food Systems
The Global Alliance for the Future of Food has released Systemic Solutions for Healthy Food Systems, a guide for governments to take action for better food systems that promote human, ecological, and animal health and well-being. The 19-page online guide provides 14 recommendations to tackle the interconnectedness of food systems through policy and practice. The recommendations are supported by a set of case studies from different countries, cultures, and contexts.

Regenerative Ag Could Sequester Total Annual Carbon Emissions, Says White Paper
Regenerative Agriculture and the Soil Carbon Solution, a new white paper from Rodale Insitute, says that a global switch to regenerative crop and pasture systems could draw down more than 100% of annual CO2 emissions. The full paper, as well as a fact sheet and action toolkit, can be downloaded.

Research Shows Biochar Can Help Farmers Save Money on Irrigation
Research from Rice University shows that in some regions, extensive use of biochar could save farmers more than 50% of the water they now use to grow crops. This would lead to monetary savings in addition to carbon benefits for soil. The study provides formulas to help farmers estimate irrigation cost savings from increased water-holding capacity with biochar amendment. Results with biochar depend on the type of soil and the characteristics of the biochar itself, with the greatest benefits in regions with sandy soil.

Related ATTRA Publication: Biochar and Sustainable Agriculture

Ecosystem Services Market Pilot Project Launched in Minnesota
The Ecosystem Services Market Consortium and The Nature Conservancy have announced a pilot project in Minnesota to provide financial incentives to encourage more farmers to implement practices that help improve soil health, store carbon in soils, and reduce nutrient runoff from farm fields. Project partners will work with farmers and agricultural businesses and stakeholders to test market protocols on 50,000 acres that have corn and soybean cropping systems with a heavy dairy or livestock component.
Related ATTRA Publication: Payments for Ecosystem Services

North Carolina Growers Learning about Specialty Vegetable Opportunity
North Carolina A&T professor Chyi Lyi (Kathleen) Liang is heading a project that's introducing specialty vegetables to North Carolina growers. Liang says specialty vegetables now imported by ethnic groceries and restaurants could be grown locally by small-scale farmers. Her project is identifying crops that grow well in the state and introducing them to farmers, restaurant owners, grocers, and others through workshops, demonstrations, and training.
Related ATTRA Publication: Specialty Melon Production for Small and Direct-Market Growers

Video Demonstrates Alleycropping Results from Berry Farm Trials
The Savanna Institute has posted a five-minute video from Saturn Farm in Illinois, on the results of alleycropping trials in black currant. Saturn Farm received a USDA SARE grant to test alleycropping with asparagus, rhubarb, and native prairie strips. The video demonstrates the results of interplanting these species.

>>More Breaking News

Back to top


Funding Opportunities

Farm to School Grant
USDA will award up to $10 million in competitive grants through the Farm to School Grant Program in FY 2021. Each grant helps implement farm to school programs that increase access to local food in eligible schools, connect children with agriculture for better health, and inspire youth to consider careers in agriculture. The RFA includes three tracks: Implementation, State Agency, and a new Turnkey track. Funding up to $50,000 is available for three Turnkey projects: (1) farm to school action plan development; (2) agricultural education curriculum development and delivery; (3) edible gardening. State agencies may receive up to $25,000 for the fourth Turnkey project type, the USDA farm to school producer training project. Implementation grant awards and State Agency grants range from $50,000 to $100,000.
Applications must be submitted by January 8, 2021.

Extension Risk Management Education Grants
The regional Extension Risk Management Education (ERME) Centers (Northeast, North Central, Southern, and Western) are accepting applications for two funding opportunities. The ERME funding opportunity focuses on educational projects designed to help agricultural producers improve their economic viability through targeted risk management strategies. Proposed programs should address any of the five areas of risk: production, marketing, financial, legal, or human. The maximum grant amount is $50,000. Meanwhile, the second opportunity is specifically designated for the delivery of risk management education to agricultural producers underserved by the Federal crop insurance program.
Applications for both programs are due November 19, 2020.

Western North Carolina Agricultural Options
WNC Agricultural Options is accepting grant applications from western North Carolina farmers diversifying or expanding their businesses. WNC AgOptions helps offset farmers' risk of trying new ventures and expanding their farms with $3,000 and $6,000 grants. With funding from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, WNC AgOptions is distributing a total of $216,000 to western North Carolina farmers in 2021.
Notice of intent to apply is due by October 23, 2020; the application deadline is November 20, 2020.

>>More Funding Opportunities

Back to top


Coming Events

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Sustainable Agriculture Conference
November 4-8, 2020
Online
The 35th Sustainable Agriculture Conference is a virtual event featuring more than 50 live-streamed workshops, 155 speakers, interactive networking opportunities, product demos, an exhibit hall, and ask-the-expert breaks. The agenda includes sessions on how to adapt your marketing, distribution, production, and food-safety practices to the current crisis, and build a more resilient operation in the process.

South Dakota Local Foods Conference
November 5-7, 2020
Online
The South Dakota Local Foods Conference provides classes and networking for producers, chefs, and anyone with an interest in local foods. The event will be held online, and features keynote speakers, chef demos, breakout sessions, livestream classes, tours, and interactive events.

Farmer to Farmer Conference
November 2, 4, and 6, 2020
Online

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association''s Farmer to Farmer Conference is going virtual, bringing together presentations, panels, and breakout groups, mixed with farmer-led discussion groups and one-on-one farmer connection opportunities.

>>More Events

Back to top


Subscribe to the Weekly Harvest

Comments? Questions? Contact us

Weekly Harvest Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest newsletters are available online.

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.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2020 NCAT

Back to top

New ATTRA Video
Managing Internal Parasites in Sheep and Goats (three-part series)

Question of the Week
What is the best approach for staking tomatoes?

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

Integrated Livestock and Crops Webinar
October 29, 2020
Register for this free virtual workshop.

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

ATTRA is on Facebook!
We feature breaking news on sustainable agriculture topics several times a week. Add us to your Facebook friends list today!

Find us on facebook

 

Follow us on Pinterest

 

 

 

Support the ATTRA Project

 

Home | Newsletter Archives