Home | Newsletter Archives

ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 11, 2020

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

  • Agricultural Diversification Enhances Ecosystem Services While Maintaining Yields, Research Finds
  • Tool Kit Helps Quantify Soil Health Benefits
  • USDA Awards Conservation Innovation Grants
  • Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections Underway
  • Ecological Principles Offer Insight on Crop Pests
  • New Hampshire Study Finds Restaurant Interest in Purchasing Local Food

Funding Opportunities

  • Western IPM Center Grant Program
  • Pennsylvania Center for Poultry and Livestock Excellence Research Funding
  • Massachusetts Cranberry Bog Renovation Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Seed Commons & Ownership: A Listening Session on Intellectual Property Rights
  • Farm to School Grant: Getting Your Grant Package Together
  • Know to Grow: Small Farms Marketing Series

News & Resources

Agricultural Diversification Enhances Ecosystem Services While Maintaining Yields, Research Finds
An international research group found that increasing diversity in crop production systems benefits ecosystem services and biodiversity without compromising crop yields. Researchers analyzed nearly 42,000 comparisons between diversified and simplified agricultural practices, and found that both above- or below-ground diversification were beneficial for the environment and maintained or increased crop yields.

Tool Kit Helps Quantify Soil Health Benefits
American Farmland Trust is providing online access to the methods, tools, and training resources it used in its Quantifying the Economic and Environmental Benefits of Soil Health project to develop case studies featuring successful farmers. Specifically, partners will be able to use AFT's Retrospective Soil Health Economic Calculator (R-SHEC) Tool, which provides an estimate of the Return on Investment in soil health practices. Materials also include instructions on using the tool and information on correlating results with calculations from USDA's Nutrient Tracking Tool and COMET-Farm Tool.

Related ATTRA Tutorial: Soil Health

USDA Awards Conservation Innovation Grants
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service awarded more than $14.6 million in Conservation Innovation Grants in support of 24 projects to develop innovative systems, tools, and technologies for production and conservation on agricultural lands. Grants this year focused on five priority areas: air quality, water quality, water reuse, energy conservation, and wildlife habitat. A complete list of funded projects is available online.

Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections Underway
USDA has mailed ballots for Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee elections to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country. Ballots must be returned to the local FSA county office or postmarked by December 7, 2020. County committee members help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, emergency programs, and eligibility. Producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote.

Ecological Principles Offer Insight on Crop Pests
Researchers who analyzed 13 years of data from California's Kern County discovered that less-diverse croplands led to greater variability in pesticide use, as well as to higher peak pesticide application. Data supported the theory that diversity promotes stability in biological systems. Smaller fields have more perimeter that can serve as beneficial insect and crop-pest predator habitat, and predators were able to access the entire field to help keep the system in balance.
Related ATTRA Publication: A Pictorial Guide to Hedgerow Plants for Beneficial Insects

New Hampshire Study Finds Restaurant Interest in Purchasing Local Food
Research at the University of New Hampshire showed that nearly half of New Hampshire restaurants would prefer to purchase their food directly from farmers in support of local food systems. "Overall, buyers are more likely to purchase local if they feel they are socially or economically benefiting their community," the researchers found. All restaurant buyers cited taste as important or very important, also noting quality, cost, and product marketability as important. Nearly all respondents also said consistent supply and quality were important or very important.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Selling to Restaurants

>>More Breaking News

Back to top


Funding Opportunities

Western IPM Center Grant Program
The Western Integrated Pest Management Center's annual grant program provides funds to support project initiation, outreach and implementation, work groups, and IPM planning-document development. Eligible applicants include private individuals and institutions, faculty and qualified staff of two-and four-year universities, businesses, commodity organizations, and governmental and non-governmental organizations.The project director must be in the Western Region. A list of regional priorities is available online.
Applications are due by December 4, 2020.

Pennsylvania Center for Poultry and Livestock Excellence Research Funding
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced that $375,000 is available for projects to enhance biosecurity, diagnostic testing, veterinary telemedicine, and other strategies to prevent, detect, and manage animal diseases and protect the food supply. Funding priorities are listed online.
Proposals must be received by December 2, 2020.

Massachusetts Cranberry Bog Renovation Grant Program
Massachusetts' Cranberry Bog Renovation Grant Program supports cranberry operations in the creation of more efficient bog systems, both in design and production, while at the same time working to prevent, reduce, or eliminate environmental impacts. Maximum funding is 75% of total project costs, up to $75,000.
The application deadline is December 4, 2020.

>>More Funding Opportunities

Back to top


Coming Events

Seed Commons & Ownership: A Listening Session on Intellectual Property Rights
November 19, 2020
Online
Organic Seed Alliance, Vermont Law School's Center for Agriculture and Food Systems, and NCAT will host a listening session to hear from farmers, seed growers, seed companies, plant breeders, and other food and farming stakeholders about issues they face with intellectual property rights on seed.

Farm to School Grant: Getting Your Grant Package Together
November 13, 2020
Online

USDA's Office of Community Food Systems is hosting this free webinar to help Farm to School Grant applicants put together a grant package. The webinar will explore the key characteristics of a competitive Farm to School Grant application, review the required components, and provide technical assistance on how to submit a complete application. This webinar, and an earlier one on the Farm to School Grant RFA, will be available in recorded form on the Farm to School Grant Applicant Resources Page of the FNS website.

Know to Grow: Small Farms Marketing Series
November 17, 20, 24, and December 1 and 4, 2020
Online

Join University of Minnesota Extension Educators for the Know to Grow webinar series, developed to help you grow your small farm in a variety of ways, from marketing to adapting to customer needs.

>>More Events

Back to top


Subscribe to the Weekly Harvest

Comments? Questions? Contact us

Weekly Harvest Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest newsletters are available online.

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.

© 2020 NCAT

Back to top

New ATTRA Publication
Reducing Tillage Intensity In Organic Production Systems

Question of the Week
Can I graze goats on annual cover crops?

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

Livestock and Crop Integration Q&A
November 17, 2020
Register for part 1 of this two-part webinar series.

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

ATTRA is on Facebook!
We feature breaking news on sustainable agriculture topics several times a week. Add us to your Facebook friends list today!

Find us on facebook

 

Follow us on Pinterest

 

 

 

Support the ATTRA Project

 

Home | Newsletter Archives