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.
Waiting to Harvest After Rain Promotes Food Safety, Researchers Find Waiting 24 hours after rain or irrigation to harvest crops can promote food safety, according to research by Cornell University scientists. The researchers tested fields throughout New York and found that after rains or irrigation, the chances of finding Listeria were 25 times greater. After the fields dried at least 24 hours, chances of detecting Listeria dropped dramatically.
Survey Finds Student Loan Debt Preventing New Farmers The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) has released survey results showing that student loan debt is one of the key barriers preventing more would-be farmers and ranchers from entering agriculture. Farming Is Public Service: A Case for Adding Farmers to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program found that 30% of survey respondents delayed or declined to enter agriculture because of their student loans, while an additional 48% said student loans prevented them from growing their businesses or obtaining credit to invest in their farms.
Sheep Graze on Solar Farms Solar farms in New Jersey--fields that house large solar arrays that power industrial sites and institutions--are the summer grazing sites for flocks of sheep, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. The sheep graze under and around solar panels, eliminating the need for landscaping services. Meanwhile, the securely fenced sites offer safe places for sheep to graze, and the panels provide shade for the sheep during summer.
Risk Management Education Partnerships Program USDA Risk Management Agency is accepting applications for $2 million in grants to create risk-management education and training programs, including development of general nationwide crop-insurance education. The program provides organizations with resources to develop training and education tools to help farmers and ranchers effectively manage long-term risks and challenges. Applications are due by August 14, 2015.
Local Foods, Local Places Technical Assistance Local Foods, Local Places will provide direct technical support to selected communities. A team of experts will help community members develop action plans that use local foods to support healthy families and communities and to drive downtown and neighborhood revitalization. EPA, USDA, CDC, DOT, ARC, and DRA are investing $800,000 in this round of the program. Application deadline is September 15, 2015.
Conservation Practices in Northern Indiana USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for funding to improve water quality in several watersheds in northern Indiana. Through the Regional Conservation Partnership Project, NRCS is investing in the Western Lake Erie Basin and St. Joseph River watersheds to help improve water quality and strengthen agricultural operations. Applications must be received by July 17, 2015.
PASA's 2015 Soil Health Summer Conference August 6-7, 2015 Centre Hall, Pennsylvania This in-depth learning experience will dive into practical and effective practices to build and maintain soil health on your farm. Through a combination of classroom-style presentations and on-farm experiences led by a team of speakers, attendees will gain a deep insight into soil function and management strategies for any farm.
Mother Earth News Fair August 8-9, 2015 West Bend, Wisconsin These fun-filled, sustainable-lifestyle fairs deliver practical, hands-on training and experience taught by leading experts in renewable energy, organic gardening, sustainable agriculture, green home building, and more.
Irrigation and Water Efficiency Workshop August 7, 2015 Valley Center, California Join Community Alliance for Family Farms for an irrigation/water efficiency workshop at Triple B Ranches to discuss drought, rootstocks, and dry-farming wine grapes.
Weekly Harvest Archives Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest newsletters are available online.
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.
Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.