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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 6, 2019

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

  • Soil Health Innovations Conference Registration Opens
  • Research Review Shows Smaller Fields Better for Beneficial Insects
  • Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network in Northeast Receives Funding
  • Ancient Aztec Agricultural Technique Studied for Modern Utility
  • Grant Funds Purdue Exploration of Organic Hemp Production
  • Sweet Sorghum Guide Updated

Funding Opportunities

  • Food System Vision Prize
  • Maryland Animal Waste Technology Grants
  • Pennsylvania Ag and Youth Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Acres U.S.A. Eco-Ag Conference and Trade Show
  • Community Food Systems Conference
  • Professional Agricultural Workers Conference

News & Resources

Soil Health Innovations Conference Registration Opens
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has opened registration for the Soil Health Innovations Conference, to be held March 30-31, 2020, in Bozeman, Montana. The forum will bring together leading experts and innovative farmers from around the United States to share the latest in soil science, best practices in soil management, and the emerging technologies that will drive the future of sustainable and regenerative agriculture. NCAT is sponsoring the conference in cooperation with USDA Rural Development, Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), and Montana State University.

Research Review Shows Smaller Fields Better for Beneficial Insects
Entomologists at Michigan State University have published a review of recent research, showing that beneficial insects are more abundant in an agricultural landscape with smaller fields and more diversity. The results could help farmers save money on pest suppression by planning agricultural landscapes that include more diversity.
Related ATTRA Resource: Farmscaping to Enhance Biological Control

Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network in Northeast Receives Funding
The National Young Farmers Coalition, Farm Aid, and Vermont Farm First received $480,000 from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to establish a Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network in the Northeast Region. The program will convene a network of farmer service providers to build connection and collaboration, gather resources, and provide feedback on regional needs; develop an online clearinghouse to share available resources and referrals; and train service providers.

Ancient Aztec Agricultural Technique Studied for Modern Utility
Research published in HortTechnology by Montana State University's Roland Ebel examined how the ancient Aztec use of "chinampas" could inform modern urban agriculture. Chinampas are raised vegetable fields on artificial floating islands, where vegetables can be grown year-round. Benefits include low irrigation needs, a microclimate favorable for a variety of crops, high fertility generated by surrounding canals, provision of ecosystem services, and potential for tourism revenue.
Related ATTRA Publication: Urban Agriculture in the United States

Grant Funds Purdue Exploration of Organic Hemp Production
Purdue University has received a nearly $1 million USDA grant to explore organic hemp production. The project leader says the research is especially needed because there are no pesticides currently approved for use on hemp. The project will also consider how hemp can best fit in a crop rotation and be used in conjunction with cover crops.

Sweet Sorghum Guide Updated
The Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture has released an updated edition of Sweet Sorghum: Production and Processing, by George Kuepper. Updates include a section on sugar cane aphids that details organic and non-organic approaches to managing this new pest. This second edition also discusses early deheading and describes recently developed sorghum varieties. The new edition contains lists of sources of equipment, supplies, and seed. It is available for sale in both print and electronic formats.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Food System Vision Prize
The Rockefeller Foundation has partnered with SecondMuse and OpenIDEO on the Food System Vision Prize. Organizations, universities, institutions, companies, governments, cooperatives, and partnerships from around the world are invited to develop a vision of the regenerative and nourishing food system that they aspire to create by the year 2050. A prize of $2 million will be distributed among 10 winners. Participants are encouraged to publish an initial post of their submission by the Early Submission Deadline, December 5, 2019.
The last day to apply is January 31, 2019.

Maryland Animal Waste Technology Grants
The Maryland Department of Agriculture's Animal Waste Technology Fund provides incentives to companies that demonstrate new technologies on farms and provide alternative strategies for managing animal manure. These technologies generate energy from animal manure, reduce on-farm waste streams, and repurpose manure by creating marketable fertilizer and other products and by-products. Individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and State and local government entities may apply for $3.5 million total.
Applications are due by December 1, 2019.

Pennsylvania Ag and Youth Grant Program
The Pennsylvania Ag and Youth Grant Program helps fund projects, programs, and equipment purchases by organizations composed mainly of youth and organized to promote development in agriculture, community leadership, vocational training, and peer fellowship. Direct, non-matching reimbursement grants up to $7,500 can defray costs of an eligible project other than a capital project. Matching reimbursement grants up to $25,000 can defray the costs of an eligible capital project or equipment purchase.
Applications are due by November 29, 2019.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Acres U.S.A. Eco-Ag Conference and Trade Show
December 10-12, 2019
Minneapolis, Minnesota
The annual Eco-Ag Conference unites farmers, ranchers, and ag professionals from every facet of eco-farming to share their experience and expertise. Beginning and generational farmers will walk away with useful, practical information.

Community Food Systems Conference
December 9-11, 2019
Savannah, Georgia
The 2019 Community Food Systems Conference will address common underlying themes of food security, social justice, and sustainable agriculture across urban and rural environments and foster community empowerment to create resilient and equitable local food systems. The conference is hosted by New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and Georgia Farmer's Market Association.

Professional Agricultural Workers Conference
December 8-10, 2019
Tuskegee, Alabama
The Professional Agricultural Workers Conference is committed to a world that values and promotes equal opportunity equitable access to information and technology for sustainable development of communities and natural resources.This year's theme is "Building Resilient Communities & Families Through Integrative Partnerships, Sustainable Practices, and Agricultural Transformations."

>>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.

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

© 2019 NCAT

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Updated ATTRA Publication
Pears: Organic Production

Question of the Week
What factors affect palatability of forage for pastured poultry?

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

Practical Tips for Multispecies Grazing
November 14, 2019
Online
Learn more about this free webinar featuring NCAT's Lee Rinehart.

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

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