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 Sustainable Agriculture website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
News & Resources
ATTRAGRAM Photo Contest Invites Entries
FDA Extends Comment Period Regarding Information on Use of Raw Manure as Fertilizer
FamilyFarmed Announces Direct Market Success Initiative
More Intensive Farming in Tropics Would Require Vast Amounts of Phosphorus
Study Shows Growing Herbicide Resistance in Waterhemp
Cornell Plans Stocker Cattle Initiative for Southern Tier of New York
Food Safety Outreach Competitive Grants Program
Specialty Crop Research Initiative Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program
Conservation Innovation Grant Program in Idaho
Value-Added Producer Grant Webinar
Local Foods for Small Campuses Gathering
News & Resources
ATTRAGRAM Photo Contest Invites Entries As part of its 40th anniversary celebration, the National Center for Appropriate Technology is sponsoring a photo contest celebrating the sustainable stewardship of the land. Amateur photographers in adult and youth divisions can enter up to three photos in each of three categories: Images of Small Farms and Livestock Operations; Portraits of Farmers and Farming Families; Marketing—Farmers Markets, Local Foods in Schools, etc. The winning photo in each category will be awarded $200.
FDA Extends Comment Period Regarding Information on Use of Raw Manure as Fertilizer The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is extending the comment period for public input to assist FDA in its plan to develop a risk assessment evaluating the risk of human illness associated with the consumption of produce grown in fields on which raw manure is used as fertilizer. The agency is extending the comment period to July 5, 2016.
FamilyFarmed Announces Direct Market Success Initiative FamilyFarmed has announced Direct Market Success, a reference guide and training program for farms selling in direct market venues, such as farmers markets, CSAs, and farm stands. Closely modeled after FamilyFarmed's Wholesale Success manual and training program, Direct Market Success is intended to be the definitive farmer's guide to selling, food safety, postharvest handling, and logistics for farmers who are seeking to enter and grow in this burgeoning consumer sector.
More Intensive Farming in Tropics Would Require Vast Amounts of Phosphorus A study led by the University of Vermont and published in Nature Plants says that if tropical countries turn to intensive agriculture to raise more food, they will require vast amounts of mined phosphorus fertilizer. Tropical soils are not only naturally low in phosphorus, but they also tend to bind available phosphorus. Maintaining crop yields would be tied to obtaining adequate supplies of phosphorus fertilizer.
Study Shows Growing Herbicide Resistance in Waterhemp The invasive broadleaf weed waterhemp has spread across the Midwest during the past 25 years, causing yield losses of 40 to 70% in corn and soybeans. University of Illinois researchers found that some populations are resistant to double doses of HPPD-inhibitor herbicides. Some populations are also resistant to ALS-inhibitors and PSII-inhibitors. Farmers are advised to control waterhemp without herbicides by letting the seed germinate and then mechanically working the soil. Related ATTRA Publication: Weed Management in Organic Small Grains
Cornell Plans Stocker Cattle Initiative for Southern Tier of New York Cornell University has launched an initiative to bring stocker beef cattle to the Southern Tier of New York. Raising stocker cattle has been identified as an emerging industry appropriate for the region, with low startup costs accessible for beginning farmers and dairy farmers looking to diversify. Cornell plans to hold regional stocker cattle summits and create a year-long training program for farmers, as well as conduct research and provide personnel to assist in beef grading and marketing. Related ATTRA Publication: Dairy Beef
Food Safety Outreach Competitive Grants Program NIFA requests applications for the Food Safety Outreach Competitive Grants Program. Awardees will develop and implement food safety training, education, extension, outreach and technical assistance projects that address the needs of owners and operators of small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, small processors, or small fresh-fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. These are audiences affected by new food-safety guidelines established under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Approximately $4.7 million in grant funding is available. Applications are due June 2, 2016.
Conservation Innovation Grant Program in Idaho The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Idaho has set aside $150,000 for the 2016 Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program. The program funds projects that demonstrate new and creative ways to conserve and sustain the state's natural resources. Matching grants up to $75,000 are available. Proposals must be received by May 31, 2016.
Value-Added Producer Grant Webinar May 6, 2016 Online USDA Rural Business Cooperative Service and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition are hosting a webinar on the Value-Added Producer Grant Program. Agricultural producers, producer entities, and other organizations that can assist in developing VAPG applications are encouraged to attend. The webinar begins at 2 p.m. Eastern. The access code is 9268341.
Local Foods for Small Campuses Gathering June 6-7, 2016 Unity, Maine Farm to Institution New England and Unity College Dining present an opportunity for small campuses to come together to share information about including local foods more intentionally and in larger volumes as a part of their menu and operation.
Livestock Workshop June 4, 2016 Poteau, Oklahoma Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture will offer a full-day workshop on grazing management and livestock water systems. Topics include benefits of controlled grazing, designing a grazing system, use of electric fencing, gravity-flow water development, and different types of livestock watering systems.
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.