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.
Join the NCAT Team! The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is seeking a Sustainable Agriculture Specialist who can make an immediate contribution to our efforts to promote soil health and better grazing management in Texas, New Mexico, and the Southwest. This regular, full-time position will be based in San Antonio, Texas. Apply by July 4, 2016.
News & Resources
Increasing Pollinator Diversity Can Increase Cotton Production
Oregon Pasture Network Launches
Research Explores Effects of Climate Change on Farmland Values
Adding Rice Husk to Soil Can Reduce Arsenic Levels in Rice
Report on Growing Summer Broccoli in the Southeast Available
Infographic Highlights Benefits of Small Grains in Crop Rotations
Organic Crop Improvement Association Research & Education Micro Grants
Montana Farm to School Summit Scholarships
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Grants Program
Women Farmers: The Risk of Farming
Organic Seed Production: Trials and Selection
Managing Great River Landscapes
News & Resources
Increasing Pollinator Diversity Can Increase Cotton Production A University of Texas at Austin study shows that increasing the diversity of pollinator species, including bees, flies, and butterflies, can increase cotton production by as much as 18%. Researchers recommend several ways to increase the diversity of pollinators: plant wildflowers between crop rows or on the edges of the crop field, introduce flowering crops in rotation, and reduce pesticide spraying. Local governments can focus on protecting and providing pollinator habitat. Related ATTRA Publication: Alternative Pollinators: Native Bees
Oregon Pasture Network Launches The Oregon Pasture Network (OPN) is a program of Friends of Family Farmers, designed to support the growth of pasture-based farming. OPN is a community of farmers, ranchers, food business owners, and consumers who share similar values, believing that sustainable, humane, pasture-raised, animal agriculture is the best way to produce animal products. Membership for farmers and ranchers is free in 2016.
Research Explores Effects of Climate Change on Farmland Values University of Illinois researchers explored the effects of climate change on farmland values in the Southwestern United States, where climate changes are expected to make farming even more difficult than in other regions. Their study found that climate change will disproportionately affect both crop and livestock producers, in terms of both production and land value.
Adding Rice Husk to Soil Can Reduce Arsenic Levels in Rice Researchers at the University of Delaware found that incorporating rice husk in soil can decrease toxic inorganic arsenic levels in rice grain by 25 to 50% without negatively affecting yield. The silica in rice husk uses the same uptake pathways as arsenic, thereby preventing some arsenic intake, and at the same time providing nutrients that make plants more resistant to disease.
Report on Growing Summer Broccoli in the Southeast Available Researchers at North Carolina University have issued their final report on on a four-year participatory organic broccoli project funded by the Organic Farming Research Foundation. Researchers tested four varieties of fast-maturing broccoli to identify their suitability for summer production in North Carolina, evaluating yield, quality, disease resistance, and insect tolerance. The full report is available online.
Infographic Highlights Benefits of Small Grains in Crop Rotations A new infographic available online in PDF from Practical Farmers of Iowa highlights the benefits of adding a small grain crop to a corn-soybean rotation. The infographic discusses how growing small grains in rotation can improve soil health and water quality, cut pesticide and energy use, and diversify farm income.
Organic Crop Improvement Association Research & Education Micro Grants The Organic Crop Improvement Association Research & Education is calling for micro grant proposals up to $1,500. Projects must pertain to organic research and/or education and be of benefit to OCIA-certified members. Proposals are reviewed each March 15 and November 15, but may be submitted year-round.
Montana Farm to School Summit Scholarships Montana Farm to School Summit: Sprouting Success will be held on September 22-23, 2016. Learn and share how Montana schools and programs are sprouting success through the core elements of farm to school--serving local foods, school gardens, and nutrition, agriculture, and food education. Scholarships to support costs of attending the conference are available through a USDA Farm to School Training grant, and can cover registration, lodging, and travel. Scholarship application deadline is June 30, 2016.
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Grants Program The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is accepting pre-proposals for its competitive grants program. Investigators representing any Iowa nonprofit organization, agency, and/or educational institution with innovative ideas for research projects that impact water, soil, crops, and the land are encouraged to submit a pre-proposal. The deadline for submitting a pre-proposal is July 7, 2016.
Women Farmers: The Risk of Farming July 18, 2016 Chambersburg, Pennsylvania Women farmers are at risk for many kinds of physical and emotional challenges that can affect the long-term financial health of their farms. Join Penn State Extension to learn more about the risks women farmers face.
Organic Seed Production: Trials and Selection July 19, 2016 Online A new six-webinar series on organic seed production, offered by Organic Seed Alliance and the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture, will cover a range of topics, from planting to harvest to the economics of seed production. The free webinars are open to the public and appropriate for farmers, interns, students, and others.
Managing Great River Landscapes July 24-27, 2016 Louisville, Kentucky The 71st International Annual Conference of the Soil and Water Conservation Society will provide a forum for exploring and promoting science-based knowledge about management practices that protect land and river ecologies and make them productive and more resilient.
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.