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 accepting applications for a Growing for Success Program Specialist in Montana. This project aims to expand the Harvest of the Month initiative to a broader institutional audience. Applications will be accepted through February 3, 2017, or until a suitable candidate can be identified.
News & Resources
USDA Announces Farmer Fair Practices Rules to Protect Farmers
Wind Turbines May Have Beneficial Effects for Crops, Says Research
Applications for Cover Crop Champions Requested
Report Released on Variety Trials of Storage Crops for Season Extension
Research Report Shows Rotational Grazing Supports Bird Habitat
Honey Bee Health Coalition Videos Help Beekeepers Combat Varroa Mites
Lakewinds Organic Field Fund
National Farm to School Network Core Partners RFA
North Dakota Community and School Orchards and Gardens Grants
Healthy Farms Conference
Farming for the Future Conference
GrassWorks Grazing Conference
News & Resources
USDA Announces Farmer Fair Practices Rules to Protect Farmers USDA Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) has announced updated regulations to protect the rights of farmers. The Farmer Fair Practices Rules target the most harmful practices hurting farmers and clearly outline common-sense protections to restore fairness and reduce the burden for farmers seeking justice under the Packers and Stockyards Act. GIPSA is providing opportunity for additional comment on all of the rules.
Applications for Cover Crop Champions Requested The National Wildlife Federation is accepting applications for Cover Crop Champions to promote cover crops and provide region-specific information and farming knowledge to farmers and crop advisors. Upper Midwest farmers and conservation professionals may apply as individuals or pairs/groups of farmer champions and outreach champions. Applications are due by January 15, 2017.
Report Released on Variety Trials of Storage Crops for Season Extension Organic Seed Alliance has released Vegetable Crops for Season Extension in the Pacific Northwest: 2014 – 2016 Trial Results. The report details variety trial results for storage cabbages, storage onions, overwintering chicories, and overwintering purple sprouting broccoli. The trial evaluations in Washington state focused on agronomic, storage, and culinary qualities. The full report, available online, includes nearly 90 varieties.
Research Report Shows Rotational Grazing Supports Bird Habitat Practical Farmers of Iowa reported on research conducted on bird populations on rotationally grazed pastures and a nearby prairie conservation area in Iowa. The study demonstrated that wild bird populations can thrive in properly managed working landscapes. Total numbers of birds and numbers of species were both higher on the grazed land. Related ATTRA Publication: Managed Grazing Tutorial
Honey Bee Health Coalition Videos Help Beekeepers Combat Varroa Mites The Honey Bee Health Coalition has posted a series of videos to help beekeepers promote colony health and combat costly and destructive Varroa mite infestations. The videos provide helpful visual aids and step-by-step directions on how beekeepers can monitor and control Varroa mites through an Integrated Pest Management strategy.
Lakewinds Organic Field Fund Lakewinds Organic Field Fund (LOFF) grant program provides funding for farmers who are working on the development and sustainability of organics through research and development, organic certification, transitioning farms from conventional to organic, creating new farms, and land trusts for organic farms. Preference will be given for farmers and farming organizations in Minnesota, northern Iowa, and western Wisconsin. Application deadline is February 3, 2017.
National Farm to School Network Core Partners RFA The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) is seeking partner organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. Territories to serve as Core Partners during 2017-2019 in the next phase of farm to school and ECE growth and evolution. All selected Core Partners (one per state) will receive a matching $4,000 award (Level 1 grants). Additional matching support of up to $8,000 (Level 2 grants) will be allocated to selected Core Partners representing high-need areas of the country. Applicants must be members of NFSN and demonstrate capacity for supporting local and regional procurement, food and farm education, and gardening activities. Applications are due January 26, 2017.
North Dakota Community and School Orchards and Gardens Grants North Dakota Department of Agriculture has $52,500 available to help North Dakota communities and schools plant orchards and gardens in 2017. Communities and schools are eligible to apply for grants of $500 to $7,500. Grant applications must be received by January 20, 2017.
Healthy Farms Conference January 27-28, 2017 Columbus, Nebraska Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society's annual conference features keynotes John Ikerd and Greg Gunthorp. Breakout sessions address livestock and vegetable production, farm business, and more. There is also a full program of youth activities.
Farming for the Future Conference February 1-4, 2017 State College, Pennsylvania PASA's 26th annual conference, "Hope, Farm, Heal," includes intensive full- and half-day programming, more than 100 workshops on a variety of topics, and a trade show. Keynote speakers are Janisse Ray and Gabe Brown.
GrassWorks Grazing Conference February 2-4, 2017 Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin "Resilience Through Generations" features Tom Frantzen, Joyce Turk, and Jim Gerrish. Conference tracks include dairy, all-around, and beginning grazier. There will be presentations on a wide range of topics, as well as a trade show.
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.