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 an experienced senior manager to serve as Deputy Director. The position will be located in Butte, Montana. Applications will be accepted through 2016 or until a suitable candidate can be identified.
News & Resources
Meta-Analysis Explores Effect of Tillage on Soil Microbial Activity
Micronutrients for Vegetable Crops Subject of New Publication
Study Shows GE Crops Increased Herbicide Use
American Farmland Trust Accepting Applications for Land Access Trainers
Local Foods, Local Places Program Applications Invited
Organic Farming Research Foundation Grants Program
Southern IPM Center IPM Enhancement Grants
It Takes a Region
Northeast Livestock Conference
News & Resources
Meta-Analysis Explores Effect of Tillage on Soil Microbial Activity University of Illinois doctoral student Stacy Zuber compiled and analyzed data from 62 studies across the globe to examine the effect of tillage on soil microbial activity. Microbial biomass and enzymatic activity--indicators of soil quality--were greater in no-till than in tilled systems. In tilled systems, chisel plows were associated with greater microbial biomass, depending on how they were used.
Micronutrients for Vegetable Crops Subject of New Publication Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has a free publication available, Suggested Soil Micronutrient Levels and Sampling Procedures for Vegetable Crops. It recommends that testing specifically for micronutrients should be done every four to five years. The publication includes a table with information on six different micronutrients and their roles in plants, with details on signs of deficiencies or excesses.
Study Shows GE Crops Increased Herbicide Use The largest study of genetically modified crops and pesticide use to date showed that widespread adoption has decreased the use of insecticides, but increased the use of herbicides. GE maize farmers used 11.2% less insecticide and 1.3% less herbicide, but adopters of GE soybeans used 28% more herbicides than non-adopters. Both maize and soybean farmers increased herbicide use during the last five years of the study, indicating that weed resistance is a growing problem for both groups.
American Farmland Trust Accepting Applications for Land Access Trainers American Farmland Trust (AFT) is seeking 25 experienced agricultural educators and service providers from across the country to serve as Land Access Trainers and help test and deliver a new national curriculum. Land Access Trainers receive modest compensation, training, and peer-to-peer networking. The commitment is from late fall 2016 through August 31, 2019. The deadline to apply is October 31, 2016.
Northeast Organic Ruminant Producers Granted Drought Variances USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has granted a temporary variance for the 2016 grazing season to organic livestock producers located in Northeast counties that were designated as primary or contiguous drought disaster areas. Ruminants grazing on non-irrigated pastures in designated counties of Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts must graze on organic pasture for at least 60, 90, or 100 days during the grazing season, as specified, rather than 120 days.
Local Foods, Local Places Program Applications Invited The Local Foods, Local Places program will provide selected communities planning assistance that centers around a two-day community workshop. A team of experts will help community members develop an implementable action plan that promotes local food and neighborhood revitalization. Eligible applicants include local governments, Indian tribes, and nonprofit organizations. Applications are due by November 6, 2016.
Organic Farming Research Foundation Grants Program The Organic Farming Research Foundation is accepting proposals for research on organic farming and food systems and the dissemination of these research results to organic farmers and agricultural and research communities. Projects must involve farmers or ranchers and take place on certified organic land. Priorities for funding are small grain production, soil health, social science research, and animal production. The deadline for proposals is December 10, 2016.
Fund-a-Farmer Grant Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) is accepting applications for Fund-a-Farmer grants up to $2,500. Working, independent, family farmers who raise pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens, turkeys, dairy cows, and/or beef cattle may apply for Animal Welfare Certification Projects or Pasture Improvement Projects. Applicant farms must hold or be working toward one of six specified humane certifications for their livestock or poultry. The application deadline is November 21, 2016.
Southern IPM Center IPM Enhancement Grants The Southern IPM Center is soliciting proposals that will enhance the development and implementation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in the southern region of the United States. Approximately $230,000 is available for Seed, Capstone, and Working Group grants that leverage other work. Proposals are due November 18, 2016.
It Takes a Region November 10-12, 2016 Hartford, Connecticut NESAWG's annual It Takes a Region Conference brings together farm and food systems practitioners across the 12-state Northeast region to learn, debate, collaborate, and innovate solutions to critical food systems issues. The event offers in-depth working sessions.
Tilth Conference November 11-13, 2016 Wenatchee, Washington The Tilth Conference brings together hundreds of farmers, producers, researchers, and food-system professionals to network and learn. The topic is "Change & Resiliency," and the keynote speaker is Michael Phillips. There will be more than 25 educational workshop sessions, as well as an all-day soil symposium and a farm tour.
Northeast Livestock Conference November 11-12, 2016 Watertown, New York Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County is hosting "Making Links: Producers 'Meat' Consumers." This conference will provide information through educational workshops on production quality and marketing for locally produced meats.
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.