Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - December 1, 2004
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the
Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site.
* Organic Crop Rotation Study Shows Favorable Results
* Study Finds Americans Divided on GM Foods But in Favor of Regulation
* Oregon Producers Tout Environmental Responsibility
* Washington Ranchers to Launch "Cascade Range" Beef Brand
* Grant Funds Network to Aid Northeast's Grass-based Livestock Farmers
* Small Grain Performance Data Available Online
* Life in Iowa/Leopold Center 2005 Internship Grants
* Oklahoma Integrated Pest Management Program
* Indiana's Value-Added Agriculture Grant Program
* ACRES USA Annual Conference
* Hygiene and Food Safety in Cheesemaking
* Direct Marketing Your Meats
News & Resources
Organic Crop Rotation Study Shows Favorable Results
An organic crop rotation is at least as sustainable as no-till farming or chisel tillage in terms of nitrogen loss and corn yields, according to an Agricultural
Research Service (ARS) study. The five-year study showed that a three-year rotation of organic corn, soybeans, wheat and a legume cover crop had nitrogen losses and corn yields similar to those on land where either chisel-tillage or no-till farming had been used. The organic rotation relied on poultry litter, soybeans and a hairy vetch legume cover crop as nitrogen sources. The study showed the highest risk of leaching nitrogen to groundwater was on fields with no-till or chisel tillage where both commercial fertilizer and poultry litter had been used. Future studies are planned to measure or estimate leaching losses.
Study Finds Americans Divided on GM Foods But in Favor of Regulation
A new study from the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology finds
that Americans' attitudes about genetically modified (GM) foods remain
divided, although their opinions appear not be deeply held and can be
influenced by new information and events. The analysis, developed from
a survey and focus groups conducted over the past few months, also
shows that regardless of their attitudes about GM food, a majority of
Americans support a strong regulatory system for GM foods, and that
their discomfort increases as genetic engineering technology shifts
from plants to animals.
Producers Tout Environmental Responsibility
November's Oregon Bounty marketing campaign promotes the state's
pears, hazelnuts, wine, and cheese and has a special focus on the
environmental responsibility shown by producers of these products, says
a story on Bend.com. “Consumers are increasingly interested in purchasing
food from folks who are not only concerned about what they produce, but how they
produce it,” says Katy Coba, director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
Oregon's producers are meeting that demand by using sustainable practices such
as cover crops, water conservation, integrated pest management, water quality
protection and riparian restoration.
Related ATTRA publication: Green Markets for Farm Products
Washington Ranchers to Launch "Cascade Range" Beef Brand
A group of ranchers in Snohomish County, Washington, are working
together to launch a local beef brand that will help them sell their
product, reports the Daily Herald. "Cascade Range" beef will be local, grass-fed
beef not given antibiotics or growth hormones. Participating ranchers hope that
the brand will help them access local restaurants and retailers, and retain more
profit from selling their animals. The brand is set to launch soon, with a goal
of selling 1,000 cattle in 2005.
Funds Network to Aid Northeast's Grass-based Livestock Farmers
The New England Small Farms Institute has been selected to receive a $110,000 federal grant through the Conservation Partnerships Initiative, reports The Republican. The New England Small Farms Institute will partner with nine other organizations to foster good conservation practices on their farms, and will form a network focused on aiding new farmers and start-up enterprises within the Chicopee River Basin. According to the Institute, the area already has more than 800 grass-based farms. These operations are helping to protect water quality while meeting demand for healthier meat products and providing improved farm incomes.
Small Grain Performance Data Available Online
Results of the 2004
Iowa Crop Performance Test for winter and spring small grains are available online, reports Iowa AgConnection. The winter test included wheat and triticale. The wheat test analyzed 14 hard red winter, five soft red winter, and two hard white winter varieties. The winter triticale test studied 11 named triticale varieties and two winter wheat checks. Average variety yields were 42 bushels per acre for wheat and 46 bushels per acre for triticale. The performance data reported includes grain yield, test weight, heading date, plant height, percent lodging and winter survival. The spring test included barley and oat. The barley test evaluated 16 named varieties and had average yields of 76 bushels per. The oat test included 28 named varieties and 12 experimental lines, with average yields of 141 bushels per acre. Performance data for the spring test includes grain yield, test weight, heading date, plant height, groat percentage, lodging, and disease reactions.
more news and resources, visit the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.
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Life in Iowa/Leopold Center 2005 Internship Grants
Life in Iowa and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University are partnering to offer grants that will help support summer 2005 student interns working in sustainable marketing and local food systems, and environmental and community development. Through its research and education programs, the Leopold Center supports the development of profitable farming systems that conserve natural resources. Iowa producers, businesses, organizations and communities are encouraged to propose internships that fit the Leopold Center's work and apply for a grant. A total of $15,000 will be distributed with a maximum $1,500 grant per internship position. Funds must be used to offset intern salary costs. Applications are due January 14, 2005. Matching funds are required.
Oklahoma Integrated Pest Management Program
Each year, Oklahoma State University's Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program provides funding for projects to promote the adoption of IPM methods and address clientele needs. Proposals must be interdisciplinary in nature and reflect significant involvement and support of clientele. The results of proposed projects must be relevant to a multi-county area of the state and should help address water quality, food safety, and environmental and human protection concerns when relevant. Approximately $25,000 is available to support mini-grants in fiscal year 2005. County, area, and campus staff employed by the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service are eligible. Proposals must be submitted by December 8, 2004.
Indiana's Value-Added Agriculture Grant Program
The Office of the Commissioner of Agriculture administers Indiana’s Value-Added Agriculture Grant Fund, and has issued a Call for Proposals. The fund is a competitive grant program designed to enhance the economic value of Indiana’s agriculture commodities. The program seeks to identify research, development and educational initiatives that will increase the net worth of Indiana’s agriculture industry through value-added products and processes. Public or private companies, colleges, universities or agriculture interest groups representing business and industry in Indiana are eligible to receive grants. Applications must be received in the OCA office by 5 p.m. on December 15, 2004.
Grant/VA Guidelines.pdf (PDF / 131 kb)
additional funding opportunities, visit: http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.
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USA Annual Conference
December 9-11, 2004
The annual ACRES USA conference has the theme this year of "Food as Medicine, Farm as Healer." The Acres U.S.A. Conference is the premier event nationwide for commercial-scale sustainable and organic agriculture. Talks by dozens of speakers will cover all facets of eco-agriculture — soils, crops, weed and insect control, livestock management — and make the connection between the soil and human and animal health as well.
and Food Safety in Cheesemaking
December 9-10, 2004
The Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese (VIAC) at the University of Vermont
is pleased to present the first in its series of courses aimed at providing technical
education to cheesemakers and others interested in cheese manufacturing. During
the two day course, entitled Hygiene and Food Safety in Cheesemaking, participants
will explore hazards of a biological nature which are capable of causing food
borne illnesses if present in cheese. To register for this course email Jody
Farnham or call her at 802-656-8300.
Marketing Your Meats
December 11, 2004
Albany, New York
At this workshop from the Regional Farm and Food Project, Judy Pangman of Sweet Tree Farm and Denise Warren of Stone and Thistle Farm will present a seminar on direct marketing meats from your farm. They will explain the concepts and details behind their strategies for selling pasture-raised meats for a livelihood.
More events at http://attra.ncat.org/cgi-bin/event/calendar.cgi.
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of ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is the Web
site of the ATTRA project created and managed by the National
Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), and funded under a grant
from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural
Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT
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