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
Soil Management Could Help Mitigate Climate Change Impacts
CSA Member Agreement Workbook Offered by Farm Commons
Topic Brief on High Tunnels and Season Extension Available from SARE
Research Finds Black Tarps Suppress Weeds for Organic Vegetables
Penn State Research Shows Eggs from Small Flocks More Likely to Be Contaminated with Salmonella
Orchard Management Can Produce More Desirable Hard-Cider Apples
New York Farm Viability Grants
CISA Emergency Farm Fund
Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant Program
Montana Governor's Local Food and Agriculture Summit
Treasure Coast Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference
South Dakota Local Foods Conference
News & Resources
Soil Management Could Help Mitigate Climate Change Impacts Research from the University of Illinois and collaborating institutions shows that climate effects on maize yield can be mitigated by soil water-holding capacity and soil organic matter. Researchers suggest a number of practices to increase soil organic matter, including using cover crops, avoiding excessive soil disturbance, increasing crop rotation length, and adding composted manures. Related ATTRA Publication:Sustainable Soil Management
Topic Brief on High Tunnels and Season Extension Available from SARE Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) has published a new topic brief titled High Tunnels and Other Season Extension Techniques. Topics covered in the print brief and its online companion topic room include structure types and construction, cultivar selection, and management of fertility, pests, water, and temperature. The collection of practical resources is useful for experienced growers and those who are new to season extension. Related ATTRA Publication: Season Extension Techniques for Market Gardeners
Research Finds Black Tarps Suppress Weeds for Organic Vegetables Research at the University of New Hampshire showed that a growing system combining cover crops with black tarps provides weed suppression for no-till organic vegetable production. At the Woodman Horticultural Research Farm, researchers planted a cover crop of rye and hairy vetch and later covered the flattened mulch with black tarps, clear tarps, or no tarps. "The weed suppression where there was a black tarp is nearly 100% six weeks after transplanting," agroecology doctoral student Natalie Lounsbury reported.
Orchard Management Can Produce More Desirable Hard-Cider Apples Cornell University research is revealing ways in which apples grown with specific orchard management practices can produce more desirable hard cider. For hard cider, a heavier crop load, with smaller, bitter fruits may be better because the smaller apples have a higher concentration of polyphenols.
New York Farm Viability Grant New York Farm Viability Institute is accepting proposals for grants up to $150,000, for projects that help New York farms become more economically viable. Eligible applicants include farmer groups, researchers, educators, organizations, agencies, and businesses. Applications are due by November 10, 2016.
CISA Emergency Farm Fund The Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) Emergency Farm Fund is accepting loan applications from farm owners who have experienced loss or damage to crops as a result of the drought conditions in the summer of 2016; are Local Hero member farms or reside and operate in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties in Massachusetts; and whose gross annual sales for 2015 were $20,000 or more. Loans from $5,000 to $10,000 are available. Application deadline is October 21, 2016.
Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant Program Applicants may request up to $75,000 from the Noxious Weed Trust Fund for Research, Education/Development, and Local Cooperative projects. Applicants collaborate with an organization to administer the grant, such as a conservation district, county weed district, extension service, or educational institution. Applications are due by December 1, 2016.
Montana Governor's Local Food and Agriculture Summit October 28-29, 2016 Bozeman, Montana This summit will examine local food systems and explore opportunities for expanding them. Five tracks are offered: Challenges of Food and Agriculture Manufacturing, Processing, and Local Distribution; Positive Economic and Health Benefits of Communities Becoming Markets for Local Food; Creating a New Generation of Farmers; Resilience in Agriculture; and Marketing Montana Products.
Treasure Coast Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference November 1-2, 2016 Fort Pierce, Florida Join the UF/IFAS Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Extension Team for an educational event for Florida fruit and vegetable producers and stakeholders of local food systems. The event begins with a bus tour, then offers tracks for beginning farmers and advanced farmers, as well as a track on alternative crops and diversification.
South Dakota Local Foods Conference November 3-5, 2016 Mitchell, South Dakota This conference is meant to continue the dialogue on local foods among producers, growers, consumers, school nutrition programs, grocers, restaurants, and resource providers. In-depth pre-conference sessions, marketing and business tracks, and keynote speakers are scheduled.
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.