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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 8, 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.

Join the NCAT Team!
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

  • Commercial Grower Survey Deadline Extended
  • Solar Greenhouses Generate Electricity and Grow Crops
  • Case Study Explores Economics of Irrigation for Northeast Field Crops
  • Video Highlights Benefits of Pastured Poultry Production
  • Farmer Training Program for Veterans Accepting Applications
  • Young Farmers Conference to Livestream Sessions

Funding Opportunities

  • Western SARE Graduate Student Grants
  • Indiana Livestock Grants
  • New York Farm Viability Institute Grants

Coming Events

  • Organic Grower Summit
  • New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference
  • Produce Safety Workshops in Arkansas

News & Resources

Commercial Grower Survey Deadline Extended
NCAT is paying growers $20 to express their opinions about crop insurance, in order to gather input and make recommendations to the USDA. To ensure that all voices are heard, the survey deadline is being extended to Wednesday, November 22, 2017. Confidential and anonymous, the survey takes only 20 to 30 minutes on any computer, smart phone, or other mobile device. (Commercial growers only, please!) For more information, e-mail cropinsurance@ncat.org.

Solar Greenhouses Generate Electricity and Grow Crops
The University of California, Santa Cruz, reports that plants grown in an electricity-generating solar greenhouse perform as well or better than plants grown in a conventional greenhouse. Some crops used less water when grown in the magenta-colored greenhouse made with Wavelength-Selective Photovoltaic System (WSPV) panels. The panels transfer the sun's energy to thin photovoltaic strips that turn it to electricity used to power greenhouse fans and lights.

Case Study Explores Economics of Irrigation for Northeast Field Crops
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, UVM Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and the Intervale Community Farm (ICF) in Burlington, Vermont, joined forces to explore whether field-crop irrigation makes sense as a farm strategy for the Northeast. Analyzing data from 2006 to 2016 showed that in all but one year at ICF, the benefits of avoided crop loss were greater than the costs of irrigation. The full case study and a two-page summary are available online.

Video Highlights Benefits of Pastured Poultry Production
American Pastured Poultry Producers Association has released Pastured Poultry: Better Way Forward, a short film documenting pasture-raised poultry as a better method of production for animal welfare and nutrition, as well as the environment. The video is accompanied by a buyers guide to help consumers locate local pastured-poultry producers.
Related ATTRA Publication:
Pastured Poultry Nutrition and Forages

Farmer Training Program for Veterans Accepting Applications
The Take Root Program offered by Angelic Organics Learning Center is accepting applications from military veterans through December 1, 2017. Take Root is a program that connects veterans to paid employment and training on established farms in southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and the Chicagoland area.
Related ATTRA Publication: Veteran Resources

Young Farmers Conference to Livestream Sessions
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture will livestream selected sessions from the 10th annual Young Farmers Conference, to be held December 6-8, 2017, on its Facebook page. The livestreamed sessions will include agroequity, integrating livestock with cropping systems, pollination ecology, cover cropping, climate change adaptation, and more.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Western SARE Graduate Student Grants
Western SARE has changed the yearly deadlines and award dates for its Graduate Student Grant Program. A supplemental call for proposals has been released. These grants provide a maximum of $25,000 and may last for up to two years. Masters or Ph.D. students enrolled full time at accredited colleges or universities in the Western region are eligible to apply. Funded projects must contain distinct research and education components and have producer involvement.
Grant proposals are due January 12, 2018.

Indiana Livestock Grants
The Indiana State Department of Agriculture's livestock grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations to foster growth within the Hoosier livestock industry. Educational programs, livestock shows/exhibitions, conventions, and similar events and projects are eligible to apply for livestock promotion funding. The market-development grant provides funding for value-added feasibility studies, research projects, market development, and other projects that encourage the development of business and industry related to livestock production, processing, and distribution.
Applications are due December 1, 2017.

New York Farm Viability Institute Grants
The New York Farm Viability Institute is accepting applications from farmer groups, researchers, educators, organizations, agencies, and businesses for grants up to $150,000. Proposals should have clear relevance to New York's agriculture community, demonstrated producer support, and the ability to deliver farm-level economic impact over time.
Proposals are due November 13, 2017.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Organic Grower Summit
December 13-14, 2017
Monterey, California

The Organic Produce Network and California Certified Organic Farmers will bring organic growers, producers, and processors together with their production supply chain and support-service providers for two days of education, information, and networking.

New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference
December 12-14, 2017
Manchester, New Hampshire
This event includes more than 25 educational sessions covering major vegetable, berry, and tree-fruit crops, as well as various special topics. Farmer-to-Farmer meetings will bring speakers and farmers together for informal, in-depth discussion.

Produce Safety Workshops in Arkansas
December 6 or 11, 2017, or January 9 or 16, 2018
Forrest City, Fayetteville, Monticello, or Hope, Arkansas

NCAT, the Arkansas Agriculture Department, and the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture are offering Produce Safety Workshops throughout the state. Each of these one-day workshops focuses on the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.

>>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.

© 2017 NCAT

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New ATTRA Publication
Clip and Weigh Forage Yield Calculator

Question of the Week
How can I remediate soils contaminated with acephate?

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

Nutrition Programs for Montana Farmers Market Managers and Vendors
November 13, 2017
Register now for this free webinar!

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

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