Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - December 21, 2016
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.
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The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is accepting applications for a Growing for Success Program Specialist in Montana. This project aims to expand the Harvest of the Month initiative to a broader institutional audience. Applications will be accepted through February 3, 2017, or until a suitable candidate can be identified.
News & Resources
- USDA Announces Farmer Fair Practices Rules to Protect Farmers
- Wind Turbines May Have Beneficial Effects for Crops, Says Research
- Applications for Cover Crop Champions Requested
- Report Released on Variety Trials of Storage Crops for Season Extension
- Research Report Shows Rotational Grazing Supports Bird Habitat
- Honey Bee Health Coalition Videos Help Beekeepers Combat Varroa Mites
- Lakewinds Organic Field Fund
- National Farm to School Network Core Partners RFA
- North Dakota Community and School Orchards and Gardens Grants
- Healthy Farms Conference
- Farming for the Future Conference
- GrassWorks Grazing Conference
News & Resources
USDA Announces Farmer Fair Practices Rules to Protect Farmers
USDA Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) has announced updated regulations to protect the rights of farmers. The Farmer Fair Practices Rules target the most harmful practices hurting farmers and clearly outline common-sense protections to restore fairness and reduce the burden for farmers seeking justice under the Packers and Stockyards Act. GIPSA is providing opportunity for additional comment on all of the rules.
Wind Turbines May Have Beneficial Effects for Crops, Says Research
A multi-year study led by an Iowa State University scientist suggests that turbines commonly used to capture wind energy may have a positive effect on crops. Tall wind turbines disbursed throughout a field create air turbulence that may help plants by affecting variables such as temperature and carbon dioxide concentrations.
Related ATTRA Publication: Renewable Energy Opportunities on the Farm
Applications for Cover Crop Champions Requested
The National Wildlife Federation is accepting applications for Cover Crop Champions to promote cover crops and provide region-specific information and farming knowledge to farmers and crop advisors. Upper Midwest farmers and conservation professionals may apply as individuals or pairs/groups of farmer champions and outreach champions. Applications are due by January 15, 2017.
Report Released on Variety Trials of Storage Crops for Season Extension
Organic Seed Alliance has released Vegetable Crops for Season Extension in the Pacific Northwest: 2014 – 2016 Trial Results. The report details variety trial results for storage cabbages, storage onions, overwintering chicories, and overwintering purple sprouting broccoli. The trial evaluations in Washington state focused on agronomic, storage, and culinary qualities. The full report, available online, includes nearly 90 varieties.
Research Report Shows Rotational Grazing Supports Bird Habitat
Practical Farmers of Iowa reported on research conducted on bird populations on rotationally grazed pastures and a nearby prairie conservation area in Iowa. The study demonstrated that wild bird populations can thrive in properly managed working landscapes. Total numbers of birds and numbers of species were both higher on the grazed land.
Related ATTRA Publication: Managed Grazing Tutorial
Honey Bee Health Coalition Videos Help Beekeepers Combat Varroa Mites
The Honey Bee Health Coalition has posted a series of videos to help beekeepers promote colony health and combat costly and destructive Varroa mite infestations. The videos provide helpful visual aids and step-by-step directions on how beekeepers can monitor and control Varroa mites through an Integrated Pest Management strategy.
>>More Breaking News
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Lakewinds Organic Field Fund
Lakewinds Organic Field Fund (LOFF) grant program provides funding for farmers who are working on the development and sustainability of organics through research and development, organic certification, transitioning farms from conventional to organic, creating new farms, and land trusts for organic farms. Preference will be given for farmers and farming organizations in Minnesota, northern Iowa, and western Wisconsin.
Application deadline is February 3, 2017.
National Farm to School Network Core Partners RFA
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) is seeking partner organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. Territories to serve as Core Partners during 2017-2019 in the next phase of farm to school and ECE growth and evolution. All selected Core Partners (one per state) will receive a matching $4,000 award (Level 1 grants). Additional matching support of up to $8,000 (Level 2 grants) will be allocated to selected Core Partners representing high-need areas of the country. Applicants must be members of NFSN and demonstrate capacity for supporting local and regional procurement, food and farm education, and gardening activities.
Applications are due January 26, 2017.
North Dakota Community and School Orchards and Gardens Grants
North Dakota Department of Agriculture has $52,500 available to help North Dakota communities and schools plant orchards and gardens in 2017. Communities and schools are eligible to apply for grants of $500 to $7,500.
Grant applications must be received by January 20, 2017.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Healthy Farms Conference
January 27-28, 2017
Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society's annual conference features keynotes John Ikerd and Greg Gunthorp. Breakout sessions address livestock and vegetable production, farm business, and more. There is also a full program of youth activities.
Farming for the Future Conference
February 1-4, 2017
State College, Pennsylvania
PASA's 26th annual conference, "Hope, Farm, Heal," includes intensive full- and half-day programming, more than 100 workshops on a variety of topics, and a trade show. Keynote speakers are Janisse Ray and Gabe Brown.
GrassWorks Grazing Conference
February 2-4, 2017
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
"Resilience Through Generations" features Tom Frantzen, Joyce Turk, and Jim Gerrish. Conference tracks include dairy, all-around, and beginning grazier. There will be presentations on a wide range of topics, as well as a trade show.
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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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