Home | Newsletter Archives

ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 14, 2012

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

News & Resources

  • NOP Publishes Final Rule on Periodic Residue Testing
  • EQIP Organic Initiative Application Deadlines Compiled by OFRF
  • Multi-Enterprising Farm Households Important to Rural Economies, Says ERS
  • Researcher Revises Plant Hardiness Zones To Account for Climate Change
  • Demand for Vermont-Produced Dry-Cured Meats Strong, Says Study
  • Free Grants Advising Services Offered for Midwest Producers, Wisconsin Ag Businesses

Funding Opportunities

  • Growing Green Awards
  • OEFFA Investment Fund
  • Minnesota Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant

Coming Events

  • Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism, and Organic Conference
  • Midwest CSA Conference: Taking Stock
  • Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference

News & Resources

NOP Publishes Final Rule on Periodic Residue Testing
On November 9, the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) published the Final Rule on Periodic Residue Testing in the Federal Register. The action specifies that organic certifying agents must test samples from at least 5% of the operations they certify on an annual basis. Certifying agents may test USDA organic farms and processors for any prohibited substances and methods, including prohibited pesticides, arsenic or other contaminant metals, genetic engineering, synthetic hormones, or antibiotics.

EQIP Organic Initiative Application Deadlines Compiled by OFRF
The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) reminds organic producers that USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications for the 2013 EQIP Organic Initiative, with $50 million available to organic (and transitioning) producers who will be implementing conservation practices on their land. OFRF points out that each state can set its own application deadline and some deadlines (California, Illinois, Colorado, Arkansas) are as soon as November 16, 2012. Many states have set their cut-off dates on December 3. OFRF has compiled a PDF chart of state application deadlines.

Multi-Enterprising Farm Households Important to Rural Economies, Says ERS
According to a new USDA Economic Research Service publication titled Multi-Enterprising Farm Households: The Importance of Their Alternative Business Ventures in the Rural Economy, almost a third of U.S. farm households generate income by engaging in business ventures independent of commodity production. These include on-farm diversification activities, like agritourism, and off-farm business ventures. Off-farm businesses operated by farm households contributed an estimated $54.6 billion in value-added income to the gross regional products of their local economies.
Related ATTRA Publication: Keys to Success in Value-Added Agriculture

Researcher Revises Plant Hardiness Zones To Account for Climate Change
Warming winter temperatures have already made the U.S. Department of Agriculture's new cold-weather planting guidelines obsolete, according to Dr. Nir Krakauer at The City College of New York. Boundaries on the 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map shifted northward, but the true zones have moved even further, according to Professor Krakauer's calculations of minimum temperature each winter. Krakauer's hardiness zone warming calculator is online.

Demand for Vermont-Produced Dry-Cured Meats Strong, Says Study
The Vermont Farm Viability Program commissioned a report on the market opportunities for Vermont producers of cured pork products. Author Jeff Roberts affirmed that local, regional, and national markets for dry-cured meats are strong and growing. The report, Vermont Dry-cured Meat Marketing Study, outlines what producers must do to realize the market potential for dry-cured meats and includes detailed information on local and regional producers and buyers, desired product characteristics, national market pricing and volume, demand, and potential concerns.

Free Grants Advising Services Offered for Midwest Producers, Wisconsin Ag Businesses
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI) is providing free grants-advising services to two target groups in the Midwest. Socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in the Midwest and rural producers and agriculture-related businesses throughout Wisconsin are eligible for the free advising services. MFAI Grants Advisors will assist individual producers, associations of farmers, and agricultural, fishery, and forestry-related businesses to both search for and apply to programs for which they are eligible.

>> More Breaking News

Back to top


Funding Opportunities

Growing Green Awards
With the 2013 Growing Green Awards, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) will recognize extraordinary sustainable food contributions that advance ecologically integrated farming practices, climate stewardship, water stewardship, farmland preservation, and social responsibility from farm to fork. Cash prizes of $10,000, $2,500, and $2,500 will be awarded in the Food Producer, Food Justice Leader, and Young Food Leader categories, respectively. There is also a Business Leader category.
Applications will be accepted until December 7, 2012.

OEFFA Investment Fund
The OEFFA Investment Fund is a project of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) working in partnership with the Sustainable Agriculture Fund, LLC. The purpose of the Fund is to promote sustainable agriculture in Ohio by making flexible and affordable capital available to farmers and farm-related businesses. As of November 2012, the Fund has an initial capitalization of $500,000 for a pilot phase of this project. Farmers who are Ohio OEFFA members with current organic certification may apply. Formal applications submitted by the first business day of each month will receive a response in the same month.

Minnesota Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program will award up to $100,000 in 2013 for on-farm sustainable agriculture research or demonstration projects. The program promotes environmental stewardship and conservation of resources and strives to improve profitability and quality of life on farms and in rural areas.
Applications are due by January 11, 2013.

>> More Funding Opportunities

Back to top


Coming Events

Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism, and Organic Conference
January 9-11, 2013
Springfield, Illinois

This conference will host four concurrent preconference workshops, a trade show, general sessions, and breakout sessions, aimed at helping Illinois specialty growers cultivate their operations. Sessions will address agritourism, fruits, vegetables, herbs, organic foods, and emerging issues and opportunities.

Midwest CSA Conference: Taking Stock
January 10-11, 2013
Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Farmers Union and partners present shared learning, practical workshops, and lively discussions about the CSA movement. There will be four 90-minute workshop sessions on each of these topics: beginning CSA, production issues, building community, and financial management and planning.

Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference
January 7-8, 2012
Lexington, Kentucky

The Kentucky Vegetable Growers Association, the Kentucky Vineyard Society, and the Kentucky State Horticultural Society sponsor this annual conference that brings growers and researchers together. Sessions often include organic farming, vegetable production, and farmers markets.

>> More Events

Back to top


Subscribe to the Weekly Harvest

Comments? Questions? Contact us

Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project 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.

© 2012 NCAT

Back to top

New Publication
No-Till Case Study, Richter Farm: Cover Crop Cocktails in a Forage-Based System

Question of the Week
How do I go about developing a niche milk market in Kansas?

Ask a Sustainable Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online

ATTRA Webinars
Last chance to register for our November 15 webinar — Doing NRCS Conservation Activity Planning for Organic Farmers and Ranchers

Coming on November 29 Understanding Whole-Farm Insurance for Specialized, Diversified, and Organic Farms

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

 

 

Support the ATTRA Project


ATTRAs 25th Anniversary

Home | Newsletter Archives