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 August 1, 2016.
News & Resources
Teaching Manual Available for Small Farmers Scaling Up to Wholesale
Study Examines Transportation Efficiency of Local Food
Microbes Found to Influence Wine's Chemical Profile
Extension Publication Advises on Commercial Production of Pak Choi
EPA Accepting Public Comment on Draft Guidance on Managing Pesticide Resistance
Three Water Technology Farms Established in Kansas
Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers
Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund
AgrAbility - Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities
In Her Boots: Farm Start-up Strategies for Women Farmers
Study Examines Transportation Efficiency of Local Food Researchers at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture published a study that compared the transportation efficiencies of the conventional and local fruit and vegetable transportation networks in the Knoxville area. The study found that farms located within 25 miles of the downtown market tend to deliver their produce to market at least as efficiently as conventionally distributed foods from California. Related ATTRA Publication: Food Miles: Background and Marketing
Microbes Found to Influence Wine's Chemical Profile University of California, Davis, researchers collaborating with two Napa Valley wineries have published a study indicating that bacteria and fungi associated with local climate and environmental conditions influence a wine's terroir. A study author suggest that there may be economic incentives for using sustainable practices to protect regional microbial biodiversity in many different agricultural areas besides just wine production.
Extension Publication Advises on Commercial Production of Pak Choi A new publication by Ajay Nair of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Commercial Production of Pak Choi, highlights the types of Pak choi that can be grown, as well as the management techniques necessary to produce a strong crop. The four-page publication is available free online in PDF.
EPA Accepting Public Comment on Draft Guidance on Managing Pesticide Resistance The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting public comment on two draft Pesticide Registration Notices aimed at combating pesticide resistance. The first is titled "Draft Guidance for Pesticide Registrants on Pesticide Resistance Management Labeling" and the second is titled "Draft Guidance for Herbicide Resistance Management Labeling, Education, Training, and Stewardship." Comments are due by August 2, 2016.
Three Water Technology Farms Established in Kansas Three demonstration Water Technology Farms have been established in Kansas to allow the installation and testing of the latest irrigation technologies on a whole-field scale. Kansas Water Office is providing financial support for the installation of equipment and Kansas State University will provide technical support. The three farms are all set up with slightly different systems, designed to match the priorities of the owners. All will have soil moisture sensors installed in the fields. Related ATTRA Publication: Soil Moisture Monitoring: Low-Cost Tools and Methods
Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers The overall goal of this program is to assist socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers in owning and operating farms and ranches while increasing their participation in agricultural programs and services provided by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. A total of $8.4 million is available to assist eligible community-based and non-profit organizations, higher education institutions, and tribal entities with grants of $1,000 to $200,000 for providing outreach and technical assistance. Applications are due by July 29, 2016.
Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund The Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund offers financial support to rural-serving nonprofit organizations that promote statewide and regional planning, economic and community development, and agricultural and forestry education. For Fiscal Year 2017, the fund is interested in proposals that address the following: Agriculture, Energy, Rural Broadband, Healthcare, Youth Engagement, and Workforce/Economic Development. Applications are due July 15, 2016.
AgrAbility - Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities The AgrAbility program supports projects between State Cooperative Extension System and private non-profit disability organizations who work in partnership to provide agricultural education and assistance directed at accommodating disability in farm operations. Applications may be submitted only by Cooperative Extension Services at 1862 Land-Grant Colleges and Universities and 1890 Land-Grant Colleges and Universities. Applications are due by August 2, 2016.
In Her Boots: Farm Start-up Strategies for Women Farmers August 5, 2016 Browntown, Wisconsin An inspiring day of advice, ideas, and seasoned perspectives from experienced women farmers at the Wisconsin Soil Sisters. Stay for the full Soil Sisters weekend, including additional workshops, culinary events, farm tours, and more.
Farm Walk: Organic Orchard Management August 8, 2016 Kettle Falls, Washington This Tilth Producers Farm Walk visits Cliffside Organic Orchard. Owners will share how they got started, the process of maintaining organic certification, their techniques for managing pests and disease and building soil quality, and their secrets for building loyal customers.
Farmer Olympics August 9, 2016 Vershire, Vermont Individual farm teams will show off their finely honed skills in events ranging from physical to cerebral to plain ridiculous, at this NOFA Vermont event.
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.
Armed to Farm in the West NCAT is accepting applications from military veterans who want to attend our free, week-long training August 29 - September 2, 2016, in Great Falls, Montana. Apply by July 22!