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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - October 26, 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

  • USDA Streamlines Loans for Beginning, Small, and Urban Producers
  • Report Guides Organic Soybean Growers in Combatting Pathogens and Pests
  • Study Offers Recommendations for Tomato Grafting in High Tunnels
  • Green Cover Measurement App Can Help Manage Winter Wheat Grazing
  • Journal Seeks Papers on Intermediated Marketing for Small and Medium Farms
  • New Local Food Economies Initiative Supports Local Governments in Food System Work

Funding Opportunities

  • Western IPM Center Annual Grant Program
  • Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant Program
  • Michigan Value-Added Grant Program

Coming Events

  • United We Farm: Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference
  • Women in Sustainable Agriculture Conference
  • New Mexico Sustainable Agriculture Conference

News & Resources

USDA Streamlines Loans for Beginning, Small, and Urban Producers
USDA has announced a streamlined version of USDA-guaranteed loans to purchase farmland or finance agricultural operations. EZ Guarantee Loans uses a simplified application process to help beginning, small, underserved, and family farmers and ranchers apply for loans of up to $100,000 from USDA-approved lenders. USDA is providing a 90-day period to review and comment on program improvements.
Related ATTRA Publication: Financing Your Farm: Guidance for Beginning Farmers


Report Guides Organic Soybean Growers in Combatting Pathogens and Pests
A new University of Illinois report, published in Agronomy, summarizes disease and pest problems faced by organic soybean growers in the United States and details organic products and practices to combat them. The researchers hope their work will help more growers take advantage of strong profit margins for organic feed and edamame.
Related ATTRA Publication: Edamame: Vegetable Soybean

Study Offers Recommendations for Tomato Grafting in High Tunnels
A study published in HortTechnology developed recommendations for tomato grafting in high tunnels in the central United States. The study explored how rootstock cultivars and scion shoot removal affect tomato yield and biomass. Grafting significantly increased yield in four of the five high tunnel trials. Shoot removal, however, reduced yield performance of the grafted plants.
Related ATTRA Publication:
Season Extension Techniques for Market Gardeners

Green-Cover Measurement App Can Help Manage Winter Wheat Grazing
A four-page PDF publication from Great Plains Grazing explains how winter-wheat growers can use Canopeo, a green-canopy-cover measurement app, to help them manage winter grazing without reducing subsequent crop yield. Dual Purpose Wheat: Improving Grazing Management Using a Smartphone App explains that yield losses can be minimized by maintaining green canopy cover above 53% before winter dormancy and above 62% at grazing termination.
Related ATTRA Publication: Integrating Livestock and Crops: Improving Soil, Solving Problems, Increasing Income

Journal Seeks Papers on Intermediated Marketing for Small and Medium Farms
A special issue of Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems (RAFS) will examine opportunities and challenges faced by small and medium-sized farms and other related issues, in reference to the intermediated markets that make up regional food systems. If you would like a paper considered for this special issue, send a 500-word abstract to Adrianne Traub at ajtraub@syr.edu by December 1, 2016.
Related ATTRA Publication: Food Hubs: A Producer Guide

New Local Food Economies Initiative Supports Local Governments in Food System Work
In North Carolina, the Center for Environmental Farming Systems has launched an initiative to engage local governments in building local food systems. Local Food Economies, part of NC Growing Together, has online resources to assist planners, economic and business developers, entrepreneurs, and others in building local food economies.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Western IPM Center Annual Grant Program
The Western IPM Center is offering $250,000 in competitive grant funding for project initiation, outreach, and implementation; work groups; and IPM planning-document development. Eligible applicants include private individuals and institutions, faculty and qualified staff of universities, businesses, commodity organizations, and governmental and non-governmental organizations. The project director must be in the Western Region.
Proposal submission must be completed by December 9, 2016.

Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant Program
The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant Program of USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture supports projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants by providing incentives at the point of purchase. Applications for $100,000 to $500,000 may be submitted by government agencies and non-profit organizations.
Applications are due by December 12, 2016.

Michigan Value-Added Grant Program
The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development is offering a grant opportunity to enhance Michigan's food and agriculture industry. Projects should establish, retain, expand, attract, and/or develop value-added agricultural processing in Michigan; expand or develop regional food systems; or improve access to healthy food. Applicants must provide a minimum 30% match for grants up to $150,000.
Proposal abstracts are due November 17, 2016.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

United We Farm: Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference
November 30 - December 2, 2016
East Lansing, Michigan

In partnership with Farmer Veteran Coalition of Michigan and MSU's Vets to Ag Program, this conference will bring together farmer veterans from across the country with the government, agriculture, educational, and nonprofit groups that support them. The Conference will include multiple tracks, farm visits, networking, and guest speakers.

Women in Sustainable Agriculture Conference
November 30 - December 2, 2016
Portland, Oregon

The 5th national conference, "Building Connections Towards Resiliency," will bring together farmers, educators, technical assistance providers, and activists engaged in healthy food and farming to share educational and organization strategies, build technical and business skills, and address policy issues aimed at expanding the success of women farmers and ranchers.

New Mexico Sustainable Agriculture Conference
November 30, 2016
Los Lunas, New Mexico
This free conference sponsored by WSARE provides opportunities for growers, educators, and agricultural stakeholders to learn about cutting-edge agricultural practices that can enhance sustainability and improve farm profit in New Mexico.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Publication
Stink Bugs - Botanical Control Formulations

Question of the Week
What are some organic ways I can manage weeds in my banana crop?

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Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Latino Farmer Conference
Monterey, California
November 15, 2016
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