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
National Cover Crop Survey Results Published
Exclusion Netting Tested for Spotted-Wing Drosophila Control in Raspberries
Buckwheat Planted with Squash Could Help Keep Pests at Bay
Nominations Open for MOSES Organic Farmer of the Year
Plant Diversity a Key to Soil Health
ARS Develops Cold-Tolerant Faba Beans
California Regional Conservation Partnership Program—Rice Stewardship Partnership
Young Farmers Conference Scholarships
Pennsylvania Community Conservation Partnership
SILT Showcase: Southern Iowa
Diversify Your Marketing: Managing Grass Dairy and Meeting Consumer Needs
Open Gate Field Day
News & Resources
National Cover Crop Survey Results Published The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program and the Conservation Technology Information Center have released results of their fourth annual national cover crop survey. Insight from 2,020 farmers across the country reflected enthusiasm for cover crops and found a yield boost in corn and soybeans following cover crops. The full report is available online.
Exclusion Netting Tested for Spotted-Wing Drosophila Control in Raspberries Scientists from Michigan State University have published research on using exclusion netting to prevent infestation of raspberries by Drosophila suzukii. Exclusion netting applied to commercial-size high tunnels resulted in a significant reduction in overall D. suzukii infestation in raspberries, as well as a three-week delay in the average first detectable fruit infestation. This may be sufficient to allow the production of insecticide-free or organically certified berries without damage from the insect.
Nominations Open for MOSES Organic Farmer of the Year The Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) is accepting nominations for its 2017 Organic Farmer of the Year award. This award recognizes organic farmers who practice outstanding land stewardship, innovation, and outreach. Nominees must be certified organic and farming in a Midwest state. Online nominations are due by September 15, 2016.
Plant Diversity a Key to Soil Health Research led by Lancaster University in the UK shows that plant diversity is key to maintaining soil health. Scientists tested soil's structural stability when planted with a variety of different grasses, herbs, and legumes. They found that soil structure improved with higher plant diversity and that the diverse properties of different plant roots were the key factor in keeping soil healthy.
ARS Develops Cold-Tolerant Faba Beans USDA Agricultural Research Service scientists have co-developed four cold-tolerant faba bean germplasm lines. The new varieties will add flexibility in using nitrogen-fixing faba beans as an annual winter cover crop or green manure. The winter-hardy faba beans could be used by growers in rotation with wheat and other cereal grains.
California Regional Conservation Partnership Program—Rice Stewardship Partnership USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications from California landowners in 10 Central Valley counties for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)—Rice Stewardship Partnership. This program provides financial and technical assistance opportunities to rice farmers to help improve the efficiency of irrigation water use and minimize water-quality impacts while also benefiting wildlife. For fiscal year 2016, the cutoff date for funding is August 19, 2016.
Young Farmers Conference Scholarships Stone Barns Center is offering farmer scholarships to the 2016 Young Farmers Conference set for December 7-9, 2016, in Pocantico Hills, New York. Scholarships cover the cost of conference registration; recipients are expected to cover the cost of their lodging and travel expenses to and from the conference. Online applications are due by August 20, 2016.
Pennsylvania Community Conservation Partnership Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is dedicating $500,000 to a pilot grant program for planting trees along streams in Pennsylvania to improve water quality. DCNR is piloting a multi-functional buffer option to provide greater flexibility in landowner eligibility, buffer designs, widths, and plant species, and to offer the option of planting some income-producing crops in the buffer zone. Applications are due by September 15, 2016.
SILT Showcase: Southern Iowa September 12, 2016 Corydon, Iowa Designed for landowners interested in leaving a legacy of sustainable food production, each Sustainable Iowa Land Trust showcase day includes a farm tour, presentations by an appraiser and an attorney, and a locally sourced lunch.
Open Gate Field Day September 7, 2016 Parkfield, California HMI's fun, informative, and interactive field days feature innovative and regenerative agricultural topics and practices. Each day is hosted by an experienced Holistic Management practitioner. This event takes place at the V6 Ranch.
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.