Friday, January 30, 2015

ARS Newslink: January 26-30, 2015

Probing Phosphorus Losses from Midwestern Crop Fields

USDA scientists are monitoring phosphorus in surface runoff and tile drainage from farm fields. (01/28)

Infrared-Based Peeling of Tomatoes May Improve Precision, Save Water

A new infrared technique for removing the peels of Roma tomatoes before canning is mostly waterless. (01/29)

A New 'Gem' of a Pear Released by ARS, Cooperators

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and collaborators released Gem, a new pear cultivar, which is resistant to fire blight disease. (01/30)


Newslink is the weekly e-mail pointer for web links to stories issued by the  Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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ARS News Service, Information Staff, Agricultural Research Service
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Phone (301) 504-1636 | fax (301) 504-1486

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Weekly Harvest, January 28, 2015

Home | Newsletter Archives

ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - January 28, 2015

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.

News & Resources

  • Grant Workshops Offered for Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program
  • Biological Controls Stabilized by Systems Approach
  • Animal Welfare Approved Introduces 'Certified Grassfed' Label
  • Alyssum Intercropping with Lettuce Provides Pest Control
  • Sowing Patterns, Crop Density Aid in Weed Control
  • Maps Total Global Cropland, Measure Field Size

Funding Opportunities

  • Conservation Innovation Grants
  • Frontera Farmer Foundation
  • Good Food Financing Fair

Coming Events

  • MOSES Organic Farming Conference
  • Western Regional Grazing Conference: Grazing for Change
  • West Virginia Small Farm Conference

News & Resources

Grant Workshops Offered for Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and National Institute for Food and Agriculture have announced a partnership through the Agricultural Marketing Service Technical Assistance Project to conduct workshops that will help potential grant applicants understand, develop, and submit their applications for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program. A list of upcoming grant workshop dates and locations in all regions of the country can be found online.

Biological Controls Stabilized by Systems Approach
A new study from University of Michigan researchers suggests that intraguild predation, or competition between different biological controls, strengthens and stabilizes biological control systems. This study, published in Nature Communications, shows that separately unstable control agents can combine to create an effective pest-management program with a stability that is similar to natural systems.

Animal Welfare Approved Introduces 'Certified Grassfed' Label
Animal Welfare Approved has announced the availability of a new standard and label for grassfed meat. The "Certified Grassfed" label guarantees that food products come from animals fed a 100% grass and forage diet, raised outdoors on pasture or range for their entire lives, and managed according to the highest welfare and environmental standards in the U.S. and Canada.

Alyssum Intercropping with Lettuce Provides Pest Control
The Organic Farming Research Foundation reported on the work of USDA researcher Dr. Eric Brennan, who has developed an "additive intercropping" technique for aphid control in lettuce. Brennan established that planting one or two alyssum plants per every 50 lettuce plants provides adequate aphid control without reducing yields.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic IPM Field Guide

Sowing Patterns, Crop Density Aid in Weed Control
Research from the University of Copenhagen suggests that weed control can be conducted more sustainably by adjusting sowing patterns and crop density. Studies demonstrate that modified sowing patterns and closer crop spacing results in a reduction of total weed biomass. The trick is to increase crop-weed competition and utilize the crop's head start, so that it gains a large competitive advantage over the neighboring weeds.
Related ATTRA Publication: Sustainable Weed Management for Small and Medium-Scale Farms

Maps Total Global Cropland, Measure Field Size
Two new maps provide insight into the amount of land used for crops globally, says Live Science. To create the maps, information from satellite images, regional maps, video, and geotagged photos was compiled by volunteers in a crowdsourced, online game called "Cropland Capture." One of the new maps reveals the world's agricultural lands to a resolution of one kilometer, showing the amount of cropland worldwide in 2005. The other provides the first look at the sizes of fields worldwide.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Conservation Innovation Grants
USDA is accepting applications for up to $20 million in Conservation Innovation Grants through a national competition. For 2015, approximately half of the funding is available for environmental markets and conservation-finance projects that engage agricultural producers. USDA is also soliciting proposals for projects to stimulate natural resource improvements. Non-Federal governmental or nongovernmental organizations, Tribes, or individuals may apply. A webinar for potential applicants will be held February 4.
Pre-proposals are due February 24, 2015.

Frontera Farmer Foundation
The Frontera Farmer Foundation will award capital improvement grants of up to $12,000 to small and medium-size, individually owned farms that sell their food products to customers in the Chicago area. Farmers must have been in business for at least three years and must demonstrate how the grant will improve both their farm's viability and the availability of locally grown food products.
Grant applications must be received by March 1, 2015.

Good Food Financing Fair
Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Good Food Financing Fair at the Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference that will be held March 19 in Chicago. This is a juried fair, and farm and food businesses must apply to participate. Companies participating in the conference the past three years have raised more than $8 million in debt and equity financing.
Applications are due February 2, 2015.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

MOSES Organic Farming Conference
February 26-28, 2015
La Crosse, Wisconsin

The MOSES Conference is the largest event in the U.S. about organic and sustainable farming. Expand your farming knowledge, discover new resources and tools, make connections, and find support. The event includes an Organic University, keynote speaker John Jeavons, and numerous workshops and roundtables. It is preceded February 25-26 by the first Organic Agriculture Research Symposium.

Western Regional Grazing Conference: Grazing for Change
February 27-28, 2015
Chico, California

Meet leading holistic management practitioners, scientists, and agricultural "solutionaries" and learn how these leaders are using livestock to improve soil, decrease dependence on water, grow more grass, and improve profits. Gain access to their methods through small breakout workshops and hands-on learning opportunities.

West Virginia Small Farm Conference
February 26-28, 2015
Charleston, West Virginia

This year the conference includes 11 tracks with more than 180 classes, covering meat, fruit, certification, energy, season extension, farmers markets, and much more.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest newsletters are available online.

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Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2015 NCAT

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New ATTRA Publication
Drought and Disaster Resources for Texas Producers

Question of the Week
Can I dig up fruit trees and pot them in very early spring to sell in the fall?

Ask a Sustainable Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online

ATTRA Webinars
Now on our website: New Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Policy
NCAT, NSAC, and RAFI-USA discuss the Risk Management Agency's new Whole Farm Revenue Protection insurance policy.

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's Spanish-language e-newsletter

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MEETING: Future scenarios for row crops in the Southeast

Future scenarios for row crops in the Southeastern USA

Tri-state row crop learning network.  Hear from experts and contribute to discussions about future scenarios for row crop production based on past trends, potential changes in climate, competing land uses and water availability. Identify possible strategies that different stakeholder groups might use to anticipate and prepare for changes.


When: Feb. 9, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Where: 2000 Levy Ave., Research Building A, Tallahassee, FL


Who: Row crop growers, advisors and stakeholders interested in agriculture trajectories in the Southeastern USA. Producers, industries, cooperatives, universities, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Bureau, water management districts.


Contact: RSVP by Feb. 2nd to Dr. Wendy-Lin Bartels at or 352-392-1864 ext.237.


For more information on the Tri-state group, visit our blog



Renee Bodine


Public Affairs Florida

Desk 352.338.9565

Cell 352.514.8292

Conservation Stewardship Program Applications due Feb. 27

Applications for Conservation Stewardship Program due Feb. 27

Farm Bill conservation program seeks producer participation


GAINESVILLE, Fl.,  Jan. 27, 2015—Farmers, ranchers and forest landowners have until Feb. 27 to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which provides financial and technical assistance to conserve and enhance soil, water, air and related natural resources on their land. Producers earn higher payments for higher performance.


The 2014 Farm Bill brought changes to CSP including an expanded conservation activity list that will offer participants greater options to meet their conservation needs and protect the natural resources on their land. These conservation activities, called enhancements, include cover crops, intensive rotational grazing and wildlife friendly fencing.


CSP will also help increase the impacts of NRCS’ Landscape Conservation Initiatives by including practices that address goals specific to the initiative. In Florida, this applies to the Longleaf Pine Initiative, and also covers Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

Nationally the following initiatives are included:

·         Sage-Grouse Initiative - Applicable states: California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

·         Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative – Applicable states: Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

·         Ogallala Aquifer Initiative - Applicable states: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is funding $100 million nationally to CSP this year with up to 7.7 million acres of private lands projected to be enrolled.


“CSP is a way of incentivizing farmers, ranchers, and private forest managers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship,” said Florida State Conservationist Russell Morgan.


A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if the program is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, stewardship threshold requirements and payment types.


While local NRCS offices accept CSP applications year round, to be eligible for this year’s enrollment, producers must have their applications submitted to NRCS by the closing date.


Learn more about CSP by visiting the NRCS website or a local NRCS field office.


Event calendars: Florida State Technical Advisory Committee Meeting

Florida State Technical Advisory Committee Meeting

Public, ag producers, natural resource interest groups invited. Hosted by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

March 12, 10 a.m.-noon, Doyle Conner Building, 1911 SW 34th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608

Contact: Jeff Woods, 352-338-9515.




Renee Bodine


Public Affairs Florida

Desk 352.338.9565

Cell 352.514.8292


Natural Resource Meeting Explains New Farm Bill, Seeks Recommendations

Natural Resource Meeting Explains New Farm Bill, Seeks Recommendations


Gainesville, FL., Jan. 29, 2015 – In an effort to assist agricultural producers in meeting their land management goals while protecting our natural resources,  the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will conduct a State Technical Advisory Committee Meeting March 12, 10 a.m.-noon at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Doyle Conner Agriculture Building Auditorium.  Located at 1911 S.W. 34th Street, Gainesville, Fla. 32608, the Doyle Conner Building is approximately two blocks north of Archer Road.


The meeting is open to the public and will give an overview of the 2014 Farm Bill programs, discuss the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program and explain Conservation Compliance requirements. The committee will solicit recommendations for establishing technical guidelines, program criteria and priorities for conservation practices in Florida.


Chaired by Florida State Conservationist Russell Morgan, the committee is composed of individuals and groups who represent a diverse group with interests in a variety of natural resource sciences and occupations. Although the State Technical Advisory Committee has no implementation or enforcement authority, USDA gives strong consideration to the Committee's recommendations.


Individuals requiring special accommodations or materials in an alternative format or language or wanting to present information at the meeting should contact Jeffrey Woods, 352-338-9515. 


Additional information on NRCS and programs is available on our website at or at your local USDA NRCS office.



PMN Update 155


Brought to you by APS / ACSESS

Issue 155: January 28, 2015 

In this Issue

"From the Network" News

PMN Publishes 2014 Crop Management Seminar Webcasts

Discussions from the biennial Crop Management Seminar, organized by Cotton Incorporated and held in Tifton, Georgia, on November 2014, are now freely available 24/7 in webcast format through PMN. These eight presentations given by industry experts during this two-day general session help growers, practitioners, and applied scientists in all cotton-growing regions keep up on the latest technologies and best crop management practices. Browse all webcasts.

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"Focus on" Webcasts


Corn Earworm Management in Corn - Robert Bowling, Texas A&M University


Cotton Nutrition in the Southeastern U.S. - Charles C. Mitchell, Auburn University

Role of Seedling Diseases and the Efficacy of Fungicide Seed Treatments in Stand Establishment of Cotton - Craig S. Rothrock, University of Arkansas


Soybean Focus: Soil Sampling to Make Fertilizer Recommendations -Dave Mengel, Kansas State University


Sanitation for Bacterial Ring Rot - Gary Secor, North Dakota State University 

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PMN Crop News

Agronomy and Horticulture

Understanding the Fate of Nitrate in Perennial Filter Strips ?  American Society of Agronomy

Three Verdesian Products Earn Approval for Use in Canada ?  SFP

Fertilizer Placement Affects Nutrient Leaching Patterns ?  American Society of Horticultural Sciences

Crop Varieties

DuPont Pioneer Introduces New Sorghum Hybrids for 2015  ?  DuPont Pioneer

Bollgard II XtendFlex TM Cotton Expected on Over 500,000 Acres ?  Monsanto Company

Bayer CropScience Offers New FiberMax and Stoneville Cotton Varieties for 2015 With GlyTol LibertyLink TwinLink Technology ?  Bayer CropScience

Phytogen Introduces 2015 Cottonseed Varieties With New Yield Protection Traits ? Dow AgroSciences

Noble Foundation Releases Four New Small Grains Forages ?  The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

Insect Pests / Entomology

Resistance Problems Not Limited to Weeds and Insects ?  University of Nebraska

Pest-Resistant Maize and its Potential Health Benefits ?  American Society of Agronomy


Announcing Two Exciting Consecutive Scientific Meetings on Insect Vectored Plant Pathogens and Innovative Strategies in Their Management ?  University of California, Davis

UF/IFAS Study: Wheat Yield to Decline as Temperatures Increase ?  University of Florida

The Sky's the Limit for UAVs in Ag ?  University of Missouri

Understanding the Genetic Basis for Drought-Tolerant Soybeans ?  American Society of Agronomy


Controlling the Harmful Effects of Nematodes ?  United Soybean Board

NIMITZ Nematicide Approved by EPA ?  ADAMA

Plant Diseases

Bayer CropScience Expected to Receive Registration for New Cotton and Peanut Insecticide ?  Bayer CropScience

Abscisic Acid Treatments Can Prevent Tomato Blossom-End Rot ?  American Society of Horticultural Sciences

Early Protection, Fungicide Effectively Reduce Downy Mildew in Basil ?  American Society of Horticultural Sciences

New Syngenta Solutions Effective Against Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome ? Syngenta Crop Protection-US

Fight Fungicide Resistance With Seasonal BMPs ?  United Soybean Board

A Challenging Curing and Stripping Season ?  Penn State University

Study Reveals Causes of Apple Skin Spot ?  American Society of Horticultural Sciences

Turf Management

Turf Professionals Observe Powerful First-Season Results With Xzemplar Fungicide and Lexicon Intrinsic Brand Fungicide ?  BASF Crop Protection 

Nitrogen in Reclaimed Water Can Benefit Turfgrass ?  American Society of Horticultural Sciences

Weed Management

Trait Deregulation Clears the Way for New BASF Weed Control Option in Cotton and Soybeans ?  BASF Crop Protection

Weed Out the Competition ?  United Soybean Board

Dormant Winter Weeds Could Cause Planting Problems During Spring ?  United Soybean Board 

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Featured Journal Articles


Evaluation of Weed Species from the Northern Great Plains as Hosts of Soybean Cyst Nematode

Maryblyt v. 7.1 for Windows: An Improved Fire Blight Forecasting Program for Apples and Pears

Evaluating Boxwood Susceptibility to Calonectria pseudonaviculata Using Cuttings from the National Boxwood Collection

Geosmithia morbida Found on Weevil SpeciesStenomimus pallidus in Indiana

Estimating Yield Losses Due to Barley Yellow Dwarf on Winter Wheat in Kansas Using Disease Phenotypic Data


Assessing the Effect of Vernalization on the Detection ofPhytophthora ramorum from Native Soil, Potting Media, and Cull Piles in Oregon Nurseries 

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Last Month's Most Popular Journal Articles


Plant Health Progress: Survey and Detection of 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' in a Citrus Nursery Facility in South Texas

Forage and GrazinglandsField Drying-Rate Differences Among Three Cool-Season Grasses

Crop ManagementStacked-Gene Hybrids Were Not Found to Be Superior to Glyphosate-Resistant or Non-GMO Corn Hybrids

Applied Turfgrass ScienceVolatility of Broadleaf Weed Herbicides When Applied to Turfgrass 

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Job/Internship Listings

Submit new employment/intern listings online. It's free for partners!

  • Fertilizer/Chemical Applicator
  • Postdoctoral Associate
  • Regional Agronomy Specialist and County Program Director

View these postings at the PMN Employment/Internship Posting Service.  

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