Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - December 27, 2006
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
News & Resources
* Report: Certified Organic Farmland Found in Every State
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* California Winegrowers Report Progress Toward Sustainability
* EPA Fines Syngenta for Distributing Unregistered GE Pesticide
* Canada to Track Trade Data on Organic Products
* Iowa Communities Receive Funding for Regional Food Projects
* Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference Call for Posters Extended
* Pierce's Disease Research Proposals Continue
* Community-Based Habitat Restoration Projects through the FishAmerica Foundation and the NOAA Restoration Center
* Global ReLeaf Forests Ecosystem Restoration Program
* New England Farmers' Direct Marketing Conference and Trade Show
* Harvesting Energy Summit: Rural Prosperity through Renewable Energy
* Kansas Sustainable Agriculture Conference
News & Resources
Report: Certified Organic Farmland Found in Every State
of 2005, all 50 states had certified organic farmland, according
to a recent report issued by USDA's Economic Research Service
(ERS). According to the report, U.S. organic farmland consisted
of 2.3 million acres of cropland and 1.7 million acres of rangeland
and pasture-to organic production systems. ERS collected data
from USDA-accredited State and private certification groups to
calculate certified organic farmland acreage and livestock in
the United States. The data is presented in 13 tables showing
the change in U.S. organic acreage and livestock numbers from
1992 to 2005. Data for 1997 and 2000-2005 are presented by state
and commodity. Data for 2000-2005 include the number of certified
operations, by state.
California Winegrowers Report Progress Toward Sustainability
Over the past two years, California has seen a 24 percent increase
in wineries working to adopt sustainable business practices. The
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) recently released
its 2006 Progress Report indicating the increased adoption by
wineries and vineyard business of practices that are sensitive
to the environment and society at large. The 12-page report indicates
that 1,165 vineyard and winery enterprises in the CSWA program
have evaluated their sustainable practices for 33 percent of California's
522,000 total winegrape acres. More specifically, winegrowers
increased their performance for 31 of 38 pest management criteria
by nearly 8 percent. The entire report is available online for
download in PDF.
Related ATTRA Publication: Grapes:
EPA Fines Syngenta for Distributing Unregistered GE Pesticide
Syngenta Seeds, Inc. of Golden Valley, Minnesota, has agreed to pay a $1.5 million penalty to EPA for selling and distributing seed corn that contained an unregistered genetically engineered pesticide called Bt 10. While the federal government has concluded that there are no human health or environmental concerns with Bt 10 corn, it is still illegal to distribute any pesticide not registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Late in 2004, Syngenta disclosed to EPA that it may have distributed the seed corn to the United States, Europe, and South America. Immediately following the disclosure, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and EPA began an investigation and evaluation that confirmed the distribution of unregistered seed corn on over 1000 occasions. A penalty was assessed by USDA and the company destroyed all the affected seed under USDA supervision.
Canada to Track Trade Data on Organic Products
Canada will be the first country to track trade data on organic products, the Canadian Department of Agriculture announced recently. A four-year pilot program will be launched in 2007 and 41 organic agricultural commodities will be coded and tracked, the Wisconsin Ag Connection reported recently. Organics are "a growing sector of the global economy and Canada is well-positioned to be a world leader in organic agricultural production," Minister of Agriculture Chuck Strahl is quoted in the story. The launch of the pilot project is a result of collaboration between Statistics Canada, the Canadian Border Services Agency, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Canada's organic industry. Canadian exports of organic foods are conservatively estimated at more than $250 million annually.
Iowa Communities Receive Funding for Regional Food Projects
Nearly $50,000 has been awarded to three Iowa communities to support efforts to provide new markets and more effective networks for selling sustainably raised Iowa foods. The Regional Food Systems Working Group, coordinated by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, awarded grants and additional technical support to Iowa organizations working in the northeast, southwest and southeast areas of the state. The grants include:
. $20,000 to the Northeast Iowa Food and Farm Coalition working in Allamakee, Clayton, Howard, Fayette and Winneshiek counties;
. $20,000 to the Cultivators in Cass and surrounding counties of Adair, Adams, Audubon, Montgomery, Pottawattamie and Shelby in southwest Iowa; and
. $7,300 to the Southeast Iowa Local Food Network in Jefferson, Davis and Van Buren counties.
Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference Call for Posters Extended
The call for posters to be presented at the 2007 Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference has been extended until January 12, 2007. The conference is set for February 22-24, 2007 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Anyone interested in submitting a poster presentation on organic production, development, and marketing research topics relevant to the Upper Midwest can contact Holly Born at NCAT. Successful applicants will be notified by January 26th, 2007.
> More Breaking News
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Pierce's Disease Research Proposals Continue
Pierce's disease is a devastating problem for California's grape growing industry. The disease has been linked to the invasion and establishment of the large leafhopper known as the glassy-winged sharpshooter. California's Department of Food and Agriculture maintains a Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Board to address the problem. In a joint project with the University of California, the Pierce's Disease Research Grants Program continues to accept proposals for research projects on Pierce's disease and its vectors. The program is designed to promote research that will lead to mitigation of Pierce's disease, particularly through economical, sustainable, and ecologically friendly approaches. Projects are being sought which will contribute to finding a solution to this serious disease of grapevines, and must be relevant to California conditions. Research contracts will be awarded for one to two years, beginning with fiscal year 2007-08.
Proposals are due January 16, 2007.
Community-Based Habitat Restoration Projects through the FishAmerica Foundation and the NOAA Restoration Center
FishAmerica Foundation annually requests proposals from public and private organizations and local, state and tribal governments to fund projects that result in on-the-ground habitat restoration and clearly demonstrate significant benefits to marine, estuarine or anadromous fisheries resources. Projects must involve community participation through an educational or volunteer component tied to the restoration activities. FishAmerica also requests that applicants strive for a 1:1 non-federal match.
Proposals are due February 5, 2007.
Global ReLeaf Forests Ecosystem Restoration Program
American Forests is always looking for quality tree-planting projects to be funded by their Global ReLeaf Forests ecosystem restoration program. They are particularly interested in partnering with private and public sector organizations and agencies to plant trees and improve the environment in projects that would otherwise not be feasible. Projects must be on land owned by a government entity, or on public-accessible private land meeting special criteria. Applications are accepted January 15 and July 1 each year.
Proposals are due July 1, 2007.
> More Funding Opportunities
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New England Farmers' Direct Marketing Conference and Trade Show
February 28 - March 1, 2007
"Successful Strategies for Growing Your Farm Business" is the theme for this unique marketing conference that targets New England farmers interested in learning new marketing ideas or fine-tuning strategies for business success. Over the course of two days, there will be over 20 workshops with a wide range of marketing and business planning topics to be covered, as well as a trade show.
Harvesting Energy Summit: Rural Prosperity through Renewable Energy
February 26-28, 2007
Salt Lake City, Utah
Building on the success of the 2006 inaugural summit, this conference organized by the Intermountain Harvesting Clean Energy Network promises to be a potent opportunity for building networks, exchanging information, sharing news of progress, and forging a stronger future together. Daily topics include expanding bio-fuels production, public policy directions, and community-owned wind development.
Kansas Sustainable Agriculture Conference
February 16-17, 2007
Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, K-State Research and Extension Kansas Rural Center sponsor "The Wellbeing of Rural Kansas: Paths to Healthy People, Healthy Environment, and Healthy Economies." This year's conference will focus on topics such as U.S. farm policy to promote rural wellbeing, social justice issues, local food systems, recent immigrants and the wellbeing of rural Kansas, spiritual and ethical dimensions of food production and consumption, alternative energy, environmental issues, and grass-fed beef production.
> More Events
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