Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 1, 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.
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The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is seeking an Agriculture Specialist/Outreach Coordinator who can create and distribute outreach communications for communities in the Northeast region. The position is located in our Keene, New Hampshire, office. Applications will be accepted through November 16, 2017, or until suitable candidates can be identified.
News & Resources
- SARE Introduces New Organic Production Resource
- Crop Budgeting Tool Encouraging More Organic Grain Production
- Regions Suitable for Rainfed Agriculture to Change, Predicts USGS Study
- Energy Audits Help Farmers Cut Expenses
- Cornell Research Shows Glyphosate Damages Soil-Friendly Bacteria
- Kubota's 'Geared to Give' Program Awards Tractors to Farmer Veterans
- Texas NRCS Urban Conservation Project
- Organic FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience
- Minnesota Livestock Investment Grants
- National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health
- Midwest CSA Conference
- Community Food Systems Conference 2017
News & Resources
SARE Introduces New Organic Production Resource
Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) has a new online resource to assist both transitioning and experienced organic producers. The Organic Production topic room offers access to a wide range of free materials developed by SARE, SARE grant recipients, and experts in the field. The resources address pest management, whole systems, seeds, fertility management, certification, and more.
Related ATTRA Resources: Organic Farming
Crop Budgeting Tool Encouraging More Organic Grain Production
The U.S. Organic Grain Collaboration, a special project of the Organic Trade Association's Grain, Pulse, and Oilseed Council, has developed crop budgeting templates to help farmers in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana plan future organic crop production and understand the economic impacts of their agronomic practices. The calculating tools provide the flexibility to choose from a suite of typical organic-transition and organic-cropping rotations.
Regions Suitable for Rainfed Agriculture to Change, Predicts USGS Study
A study by the U.S. Geological Survey predicts that future high temperature extremes and soil moisture conditions may cause some regions to become more suitable for rainfed, or non-irrigated, agriculture, while causing other areas to lose suitable farmland. Many areas currently too cold for agriculture, particularly across Asia and North America, will likely become suitable for growing crops. However, the southern Great Plains are likely to become less suitable for agriculture in the future.
Energy Audits Help Farmers Cut Expenses
Purdue University Extension conducts energy audits for farmers in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, and Michigan. The audits, which cost from $125 to $350, evaluate lighting, heating, irrigation systems, and grain-drying equipment, and often cut farmers' energy costs by 20 to 40%. The costs of an audit and energy-efficiency upgrades can often be offset by grants offered through the USDA Rural Development's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) or utility incentives.
Related ATTRA Tutorial: Farm Energy Efficiency
Cornell Research Shows Glyphosate Damages Soil-Friendly Bacteria
Cornell University research has revealed that glyphosate has negative consequences for the bacteria Pseudomonas putida, used as a biocontrol for fungus on corn or other crops. The glyphosate stunted the bacteria, preventing it from controlling fungus effectively.
Kubota's 'Geared to Give' Program Awards Tractors to Farmer Veterans
Kubota Tractor Corporation has announced four new farmer-veteran tractor recipients in its 2017 "Geared to Give" program in partnership with the Farmer Veteran Coalition. During a special ceremony, four regional recipients were presented with keys to new tractors in recognition of their years of U.S. military service and for their continued dedication to the country by pursuing futures in food and farming.
>>More Breaking News
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Texas NRCS Urban Conservation Project
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications to establish community and pollinator gardens and seasonal high tunnels in Texas. Grants up to $4,000 are available for a community garden and up to $6,500 for a seasonal high tunnel in designated counties. Grants up to $3,000 are available for Monarch butterfly gardens. Preference will be given to applications from designated counties because of their strategic location within the Monarch’s flight paths during spring and fall migrations.
Applications are due by December 15, 2017.
Organic FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience
The CCOF Foundation gives up to 33 grants of $1,000 each to help high school students cover the expenses of conducting FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects using organic production methods. Applicants must be students in grades 7 to 11 who are current FFA members planning to do a SAE project. The proposed project must follow USDA organic production standards.
Applications are due by November 15, 2017.
Minnesota Livestock Investment Grants
Minnesota Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for $1.9 million in Livestock Investment Grants. Qualifying Minnesota producers are reimbursed 10% of the first $500,000 of investment, with a minimum investment of $4,000. Qualifying expenditures include the purchase, construction, or improvement of livestock buildings or facilities. Fencing, feeding, and waste-management equipment are also eligible. Producers who suffered a loss due to natural disaster may also apply.
The application deadline is December 15, 2017.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health
December 7-8, 2017
This meeting will be an opportunity to learn recent developments in how cover crops are being used by innovative farmers across the country and to gain important insights on improving soil health from producers, conservation leaders, and scientists.
Midwest CSA Conference
December 7-8, 2017
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
This conference will provide a forum for CSA farmers and advocates to come together for deliberative discussion and peer-to-peer learning. Four workshop tracks are offered.
Community Food Systems Conference 2017
December 5-7, 2017
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project's conference will address common underlying themes between food security, social justice, and sustainable agriculture, including obstacles in urban and rural environments and fostering community empowerment to create and sustain resilient local food systems.
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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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