This blog is for Polk County Florida small farms and pesticide applicators as a method of communication and sharing information. This blog is administered by the University of Florida IFAS Extension Polk County Extension Agent, Mary Beth Henry.
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
News & Resources
Sustainable Vegetable Production Website Introduced
FDA Issues Draft Guidance Regarding Salmonella Prevention in Eggs from Layers with Outdoor Access
USDA-Approved Mobile Chicken Processor Debuts
Research Says Increasing Agricultural Productivity Sustainably Is Best Route to Cutting Greenhouse Emissions
Agritourism Economic Impact Doubled, Says Tennessee Study
Farmers Share Concerns About Proposed FSMA Rules
Small Business Innovation Research Program--Phase I
Ben and Jerry's Foundation Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program
New York Energy Management & Bioenergy Grants
National Heirloom Exposition
Are You Crazy? Retail Farm Market & Agri-Tourism Bus Tour
Eat Local Month
News & Resources
Sustainable Vegetable Production Website Introduced A new Sustainable Vegetable Production website from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach shares the results of research by Ajay Nair of the ISU Department of Horticulture. Nair has explored the use of soil amendments such as compost and biochar, various ways to extend the growing season, cover cropping systems, and transplant production. Project results, publications, videos, and other resources can be found at the site. Related ATTRA Publication:Resource Guide to Organic and Sustainable Vegetable Production
FDA Issues Draft Guidance Regarding Salmonella Prevention in Eggs from Layers with Outdoor Access The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued draft guidance to egg producers on FDA's final rule "Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production, Storage, and Transportation," concerning the management of production systems that provide laying hens with access to the outdoors. Producers with fewer than 3,000 laying hens and those that sell all of their eggs directly to consumers are exempt from the egg rule. A comment period on the draft guidance will be open for 60 days.
USDA-Approved Mobile Chicken Processor Debuts The first USDA-approved mobile chicken processing unit in the nation is ready for use in northern New York. The unit, owned by North County Pastured, will make it possible for local poultry producers to access new markets such as Clarkson University, restaurants, and consumers. The unit can be set up for humane and certified organic slaughter.
Research Says Increasing Agricultural Productivity Sustainably Is Best Route to Cutting Greenhouse Emissions Research published in Environmental Research Letters investigated the effects of crop yield and livestock feed efficiency scenarios on greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Modeling showed that yield increase could mitigate some agriculture-related emissions growth, but these improvements are dependent upon the technological path by which yield increases are achieved. Sustainable land intensification would increase greenhouse gas savings by one-third when compared with a fertilizer-intensive pathway.
Agritourism Economic Impact Doubled, Says Tennessee Study A study of Tennessee's agritourism industry estimates that the economic impact of agritourism in the state more than doubled between 2006 and 2012. Visitors to Tennessee agritourism operations in 2012 were estimated to have spent more than $34.4 million directly and more than $54.2 million when multiplier effects are included in the sum. Results of the study are now available online in A Snapshot of Tennessee Agritourism: 2013 Update. Related ATTRA Publication:Entertainment Farming and Agri-Tourism
Farmers Share Concerns About Proposed FSMA Rules Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture recently convened a meeting for farmers on the Food Safety Modernization Act rules proposed by FDA. FDA estimated that the cost to comply with the rules would be $4,697 for small farmers who make between $25,000 and $250,000 and about $13,000 for mid-sized farms who make between $250,000 to $500,000. Some farmers say that costs will be higher and call some provisions in the rules unworkable for small farmers. The public comment period on the proposed rules has been extended to September 16.
Small Business Innovation Research Program--Phase I USDA invites science-based small business firms to submit research applications for up to $100,000 under this program solicitation. The Phase I application should concentrate on research that will significantly contribute to proving the scientific or technical feasibility of the approach or concept. Applications are due by September 26, 2013.
Ben and Jerry's Foundation Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program This program supports non-profit grassroots, constituent-led organizations that are using direct action, grassroots community-organizing strategies. The program considers proposals that are aligned with the Foundation's broad interests in social justice, environmental justice, and sustainable food systems. The program funds organizations with budgets of $500,000 or less. Grant awards are up to $20,000 for a one-year period. The next deadline for new applicants is September 13, 2013.
New York Energy Management & Bioenergy Grants New York Farm Viability Institute is accepting proposals for grants up to $150,000 that focus on practical, applied research and outreach education on energy issues from the farmer's perspective. These may include on-farm energy conservation, bioenergy feedstock production, balance and integration of energy systems and animal agriculture, integrated food and energy systems, and bioenergy systems optimization. Eligible applicants include farmers, producer groups, researchers, educators, organizations, agencies, and businesses. Applications are due August 11, 2013.
National Heirloom Exposition September 10-12, 2013 Santa Rosa, California The National Heirloom Exposition is a not-for-profit event centered around the pure food movement, heirloom vegetables, and anti-GMO activism. The event will feature more than 100 speakers, and highlight over 3,000 heirloom varieties of produce and livestock.
Are You Crazy? Retail Farm Market & Agri-Tourism Bus Tour September 10-11, 2013 Allentown, Pennsylvania Penn State Extension is coordinating this opportunity to visit 12 premiere retail farm marketers in northern New Jersey and Connecticut that are major providers of fruits, berries, vegetables, prepared foods, and agri-tourism. The emphasis is on seeing what others are doing, peer networking, sharing, and learning.
Eat Local Month September 1-30, 2013 Whatcom County, Washington Celebrate the bountiful harvest and eating local all month long with festive and delectable events, family farm tours, cooking classes, and special dinners at farm-to-table restaurants, all as part of the Eat Local First Campaign.
Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.