Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 9, 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
- Conservation Stewardship Program Applications Available
- Publication Helps Organic Producers Recover after a Natural Disaster
- North American Poultry Census Results Announced
- Publication Explores How Cover Crops Help Improve Water Quality
- The Nature Conservancy and General Mills Unveil Soil Health Roadmap
- Midwestern Tree Nut Businesses Featured in Case Studies
- Conservation Innovation Grants
- Veteran Scholarships for Southern SAWG Conference
- Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture Mary Boyer Grants
- Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market EXPO
- Growing Pennsylvania's Organic Farms
- Growing Digital: E-Commerce Workshops
News & Resources
Conservation Stewardship Program Applications Available
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will accept and process applications for enrollment in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) beginning in November, with sign-up running through February 3, 2017. Producers can expect to see nearly double the enhancements and conservation practices offered previously. The program also has new methods and software for evaluating applications.
Publication Helps Organic Producers Recover after a Natural Disaster
Farmers' Legal Action Group (FLAG) has released a new publication, Floods and Organic Producers: Issues for Producers and Steps to Recovery after a Natural Disaster. The 10-page PDF summarizes some of the issues that organic producers may face during a natural disaster and outlines steps for recovery. It explains how a natural disaster may affect a farm's Organic Systems Plan and how a temporary variance may be granted.
North American Poultry Census Results Announced
The Livestock Conservancy conducted a year-long study to determine how many birds of each chicken, duck, goose, and turkey breed are in North America. The breeds at the bottom of the list were ranked in order of endangerment. The North American Poultry Census found more than 50 endangered chicken breeds in the United States, as well as nearly three dozen breeds of ducks, geese, and turkeys currently threatened with extinction.
Related ATTRA Publication: Meat Chicken Breeds for Pastured Production
Publication Explores How Cover Crops Help Improve Water Quality
The National Wildlife Federation has released a new PDF publication titled Cover Your Costs: Sustainable Agriculture Solutions for Cost Effective Water Treatment. This 20-page report reviews the problem of nutrient pollution from agricultural runoff, explores the use of cover crops as a solution, and offers three examples of water utilities that have used cover crops to solve or prevent water-quality issues without breaking the bank.
Related ATTRA Publication: Protecting Water Quality on Organic Farms
The Nature Conservancy and General Mills Unveil Soil Health Roadmap
An interdisciplinary team of scientists, economists, and agriculture experts from The Nature Conservancy, with support from General Mills, has developed a 10-step Soil Health Roadmap. The Roadmap makes the business case for investing in sustainable soil health practices to achieve unprecedented economic benefits for U.S. farmers and businesses, as well as significant conservation outcomes.
Midwestern Tree Nut Businesses Featured in Case Studies
The UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems has published a 30-page report, Growing Midwestern Tree Nut Businesses: Five Case Studies. Growers in the Midwest are exploring and capitalizing on the potential of tree nuts to increase farm income and diversify production. The businesses in this study are based in Missouri, Michigan, Nebraska, and Iowa, and the nuts they process include Chinese and hybrid chestnuts, black walnuts, and pecans.
Related ATTRA Publication: Sustainable Pecan Production
>>More Breaking News
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Conservation Innovation Grants
USDA is seeking new proposals for cutting-edge projects that will provide new conservation opportunities through its competitive Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. The department will invest up to $25 million for projects that spark the development and adoption of innovative conservation technologies and approaches in areas like conservation finance, data analytics, and precision conservation to benefit producers on private agricultural and forest lands.
Proposals are due by January 9, 2017.
Veteran Scholarships for Southern SAWG Conference
The University of Arkansas and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) are partnering to offer scholarships for military veterans who would like to attend Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's (SAWG) annual Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference. Scholarships cover general registration for the conference, January 25-28, 2017, in Lexington, Kentucky.
The deadline to apply is December 1, 2016.
Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture Mary Boyer Grants
The Mary Boyer Sustainable Food and Agriculture Grant program strengthens the local food system by supporting female farmers, ranchers, and processors who plan to create sustainable solutions to production or market obstacles in the High Country of North Carolina. Grants of up to $1,600 will be awarded in eight North Carolina counties.
Applications are due by November 18, 2016.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market EXPO
December 5-8, 2016
This event includes a farm-marketing bus tour, the North American Berry Conference, and the Michigan Greenhouse Growers Expo. More than 70 educational sessions address fruit and vegetable production, farm marketing, and organic production.
Growing Pennsylvania's Organic Farms
December 13-14, 2016
This conference provides in-depth education and updates about organic agricultural practices. Sessions will address dairy, field crops, fruit, and vegetable production.
Growing Digital: E-Commerce Workshops
December 7, 8, or 9, 2016
Milan, Nashville, or Knoxville, Tennessee
The University of Tennessee Center for Profitable Agriculture is presenting a series of workshops designed to help farmers and farmers markets take their online marketing to the next level. This workshop will help participants determine if e-commerce is right for their farms.
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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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