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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - December 19, 2018

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.

The National Center for Appropriate Technology wishes you Happy Holidays!

News & Resources

  • National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Analyzes 2018 Farm Bill
  • Northeast Farmers Being Surveyed on Edible Weeds
  • Midwest Agriculture Increasingly Vulnerable to Climate Change
  • Pawpaw Grafting Improves Production
  • Maple and Birch Tapping Results to Help Determine Optimal Timing
  • Grant Helps Researchers Tackle Perennial Weeds in Organic Systems

Funding Opportunities

  • FruitGuys Community Fund
  • Oregon Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
  • Montana Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative Demonstration Project Grants

Coming Events

  • Southern SAWG Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference
  • Northern Plains Food & Farming Conference
  • Emerging Farmers Conference

News & Resources

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Analyzes 2018 Farm Bill
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition released a five-part series of blog posts analyzing different aspects of the 2018 Farm Bill that has been passed by Congress. The posts explore the provisions of the bill with respect to research and plant breeding, conservation and crop insurance and commodity subsidies, local and regional food systems and rural development, organic agriculture, and beginning/socially disadvantaged farmers.

Northeast Farmers Being Surveyed on Edible Weeds
Cornell Cooperative Extension's Weeds as Crops project funded by Northeast SARE is researching the use and marketability of edible weeds as supplemental farm crops. The project is collecting information from farmers for a resource guide on how and why to use edible weeds as crops. Farmers interested or experienced in selling wild foods are invited to participate in an online survey.

Midwest Agriculture Increasingly Vulnerable to Climate Change
A Cornell-led study took a big-picture look at regional agricultural vulnerability to climate change, and found the Midwest increasingly at risk. A study of how agricultural inputs converted to outputs over the past 50 years, when combined with climate data, showed that rising summer temperatures are causing productivity to drop. The Midwest is especially sensitive because of its dependence on rainfall-fed crops and the increasing specialization of producers in the region.

Related ATTRA Publication: Climate Change and Perennial Fruit and Nut Production: Investing in Resilience in Uncertain Times

Pawpaw Grafting Improves Production
Kentucky State University researchers have used grafting on pawpaws to improve fruit production. A video is available online that explains the technique of bark-inlay grafting that the researchers used. The work was successful in producing higher-yielding, higher-quality fruit in pawpaws, as part of an effort to develop a low-input system for small-scale pawpaw production.
Related ATTRA Publication:
Pawpaw - A "Tropical" Fruit for Temperate Climates

Maple and Birch Tapping Results to Help Determine Optimal Timing
The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has posted a research update with data to help maple and birch syrup producers respond to variable climate conditions. The project is determining the optimal time to begin tapping birch trees in conjunction with maple production. Research results are available online.
Related ATTRA Publication: Maple Sugaring: An Introduction to Small-Scale Commercial Production

Grant Helps Researchers Tackle Perennial Weeds in Organic Systems
Montana State University and co-investigators have received a $2 million Organic Research and Extension Initiative grant to find control methods for field bindweed and creeping thistle in organic farming systems. The project will take a multi-faceted approach to weed control that includes experiments with livestock grazing, cropping rotations, soil microbiology, tillage, and plant genetics.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

FruitGuys Community Fund
The FruitGuys Community Fund will provide 10 to 20 grants of $2,000 to $5,000 each to small farms and agricultural nonprofits for projects that reduce water and energy use, increase pollinators, improve soil health, promote natural pest control, or extend the growing season. Interested farmers should submit a letter of intent describing their farm and proposed project. Twenty finalists will be notified and provided with a supplementary application due by February 25, 2019.
Letters of intent are due by January 11, 2019.

Oregon Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
Oregon Department of Agriculture is accepting proposals for project ideas as part of USDA's Specialty Crop Block Grant Program for 2019. Approximately $1.5 million is expected to be available to agriculture industry associations, producer groups, processors, commodity commissions, nonprofits, for profits, and local government agencies in Oregon. Funding priorities for 2019 are listed online.
Proposals are due January 31, 2019.

Montana Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative Demonstration Project Grants
Montana Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative is accepting applications for matching grants for demonstration projects related to private grazing lands improvement and/or management. Applications will be accepted from groups of individuals, nongovernmental organizations, and state or local units of government. For 2019, special consideration will be given to innovative demonstration projects that address one of the following topics: grazing management, soil/rangeland health, concentrated animal feeding operations/animal feeding operations, and noxious weeds.
Applications are due February 18, 2019.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Southern SAWG Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference
January 23-26, 2019
Little Rock, Arkansas

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group’s 28th annual conference offers pre-conference courses and field trips, practical conference sessions, networking, and a trade show. Topics will include organic and sustainable vegetable, livestock, flower and specialty-crop production, marketing strategies, urban farming, farm to school, and more.

Northern Plains Food & Farming Conference
January 25-27, 2019
Fargo, North Dakota

Connect with others building a sustainable food system at this conference. Learning tracks include livestock, crops, specialty crops, marketing, healthy families, and more.

Emerging Farmers Conference
January 25-26, 2019
St. Paul, Minnesota

The annual Emerging Farmers Conference advances the success and sustainability of farmers who traditionally face barriers to the education and resources necessary to build profitable agricultural businesses, including immigrant farmers and farmers of color.

>>More Events

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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.

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© 2018 NCAT

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New ATTRA Publication
Rats, Mice, and Voles: Vertebrate IPM Tip Sheet

Question of the Week
How can I control Phytophthora root rot in organic cherries?

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

Farmer Veteran Meet-up at NOFA-NY Winter Conference
January 18, 2019
Saratoga Springs, New York
Learn more!

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