Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - December 16, 2004
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the
Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site.
* Purdue Offers Entrepreneurs Web-based Business Planning Tool
* Conservation Easements Help New Mexico Ranchers Prepare for Future
* Marin Farmer Doubles County's Organic Area
* Research Looks at Whole-Farm Approach to Managing Dairy Phosphorus
* New Book Explains Greenhouse Lighting
* Greenhouse Tomato Production Helps Meet Market Needs
* FQPA/Strategic Agricultural Initiative Program Grants, EPA Regions 5 and 10
* RFA for Integrated Pest Management Collaborative Research Support Program
* Oregon Berry Research Funding
* Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference
* Meeting the Big Challenges of Small Acreage
* Wisconsin Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Conference
News & Resources
Purdue Offers Entrepreneurs Web-based Business Planning Tool
Purdue's Agricultural Innovation and Commercialization Center is making a new business planning tool for entrepreneurs available online, according to Indiana Ag Connection. The business planner helps entrepreneurs define their businesses step by step, so that they can develop a business plan to take to potential partners or financial backers. The tool also guides a periodic assessment of business progress.
Related ATTRA publication: Agricultural Business Planning
Conservation Easements Help New Mexico Ranchers Prepare for Future
A special series in the Albuquerque Tribune called "Change on the Range" recently looked at some of the pressures that ranchers face, and how they are coming up with innovative solutions to help them stay in business. One segment of the series focuses particularly on conservation easements, and how they can help ensure that families will be able to continue operating ranches despite escalating land values. Conservation easements can help families avoid inheritance tax burdens, and protect land from development. A group of New Mexico ranchers set up their own land trust to manage conservation easements on their property. The Albuquerque
Tribune also carried related recent coverage of one rancher's decision to go organic with his beef operation as a way to keep it viable. Rancher Matt Mitchell found that his decision meant greatly increased marketing and management efforts on his part, but has helped his operation keep going over the past seven years.
Related ATTRA publication: Conservation Easements
Marin Farmer Doubles County's Organic Area
A grass-fed beef and free-range egg producer in Marin County, California, has just achieved organic certification for 2,083 acres of pasture, more than doubling the amount of certified land in the county. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that third-generation grower David Evans has been selling free-range and natural products through his Marin Sun Farms business since 1999. He has seen soaring demand and received substantial price premiums for his products. With his newly certified pasture, Evans plans to pursue certification for his beef and egg products, as well as certification for additional land he owns. Evans is also involved in promoting awareness of sustainable land management practices through demonstration operations.
Research Looks at Whole-Farm Approach to Managing Dairy Phosphorus
Excess phosphorus has been a problematic pollutant in dairy manure, but
a new research project by Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas
Cooperative Extension and Tarleton State University believes a
whole-farm planning approach may help dairy farmers deal with the
The project will combine several management techniques that have been
used before in part, such as improving phosphorus recycling on farm
through less traditional forage crops, adjusting dairy feed mixtures,
and using soldier fly larvae to recycle manure. Researchers will look
at how several management strategies reinforce one another in the
whole-farm approach, through testing on working dairies.
New Book Explains Greenhouse Lighting
Supplemental greenhouse lighting can be an important aspect of crop production,
according to Michigan State University horticulture researcher Erik Runkle.
Michigan Ag Connection reports that Runkle and Paul Fisher of the University
of New Hampshire co-edited a new book titled "Lighting Up Profits: Understanding
Greenhouse Lighting." Better light management can help a grower add an extra
cycle of plants to production, speed up the flowering of perennials, or help
growers take advantage of higher out-of-season prices. The book outlines the
basics of greenhouse lighting and features case studies, color photographs,
and conversion and summary tables.
Related ATTRA publication: Organic Greenhouse Vegetable Production
Greenhouse Tomato Production Helps Meet Market Needs
An organic greenhouse company based in North Little Rock, Arkansas, is benefiting from a short-term tomato shortage due, in part, to hurricane damage in Florida, says a story in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Vestal Gourmet Foods Inc. began growing its first organic hybrid beefsteak tomatoes earlier this year and sells its entire harvest in the Little Rock area. Vestal uses bees to pollinate its tomatoes, cats to control rodents outside the greenhouses, and guinea fowl to control insects. Hot-water pipes embedded in the greenhouse’s concrete floor and state-of-the-art computerized systems allow Vestal to produce and market tomatoes all year round.
Related ATTRA publication: Organic
Greenhouse Tomato Production
more news and resources, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture
Information Service Web site: Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.
Back to top
FQPA/Strategic Agricultural Initiative Program Grants, EPA Regions 5 and 10
EPA Region 10 is continuing a small-grant program in Fiscal Year 2005 to help implement the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) and support “transition” efforts by growers. The program supports innovative efforts that enable growers to reduce their reliance on pesticides targeted for removal under FQPA while maintaining or enhancing their present income. The program is administered by American Farmland Trust’s Center for Agriculture in the Environment through a cooperative agreement with EPA. Each award will be up to $70,000, and a total of $211,000 is available for funding this year. Meanwhile, EPA Region 5 is also offering grants of up to $50,000, with a total of $208,000 available for funding this year. Proposals for both regions are due February 1, 2005.
RFA for Integrated Pest Management Collaborative Research Support Program
The Management Entity of the USAID-funded Integrated Pest Management Collaborative
Research Support Program (IPM CRSP) at Virginia Tech invites applications for:
(a) Proposal Preparation Grants (PPGs) to design Regional IPM and Global theme
IPM Research Programs and (b) proposals for full regional and global theme
programs. This call
for proposals (PDF 281 kb) is open to all U.S. institutions acceptable to
the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) (Land Grant Universities),
regardless of prior participation in the IPM CRSP. The program is encouraging
the lead institutions (Land Grant U.S. Universities) that submit proposals to
partner with other stakeholders (e.g. other universities, NGOs, private institutions,
government agencies, national programs, etc., in the U.S. and in host countries).
The IPM CRSP plans to fund as many as 15 PPGs of approximately $15,000 each.
Proposals for PPGs are due January 20, 2005. If selected for PPG funding, full
proposals will be due June 1, 2005.
Oregon Berry Research Funding
The Oregon Raspberry & Blackberry Commission and the Oregon Strawberry Commission
have issued a request for research proposals. Priority research topics include
pest control, weed control, and production systems. A copy of the Request
for Proposals (PDF / 243 kb) is posted on a Washington State University Web
site. Proposals are due January 3, 2005.
For additional funding opportunities, visit http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.
Back to top
Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference
January 7-9, 2005
This event hosted by the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association includes educational sessions on specific crops and on organic production.
the Big Challenges of Small Acreage Farming
January 7-8, 2005
This is a conference for all small-scale
farmers, small-acreage landowners
and small-flock sheep producers who want
to improve their production, marketing and
processing skills for traditional, sustainable
or organic operations. Seminars will include sessions on entomology and lamb marketing.
Wisconsin Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Conference
January 9-11, 2005
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Growers from all over Wisconsin and surrounding states will gather to learn about
marketing, specific commodities, and agri-tourism. A trade show is included.
More events at http://attra.ncat.org/cgi-bin/event/calendar.cgi.
Back to top
to the Weekly Harvest
Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives Available Online
Digital versions of recent Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters
are now available online. ATTRAnews is the bi-monthly newsletter
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
Web site for more information on our sustainable agriculture
© Copyright 2004 NCAT
Back to top