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
USDA Seeks Comment on Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule
California Farm Demonstration Network Forms
IPM Guide for Stink Bugs Published
Documentary Highlights Work of Farm Advocates
Danish Research Studies Impact of Conservation Agriculture
Study Identifies Obstacles in Marketing to Restaurants
Southern SARE Research & Education Grants
AFRI Foundational: Animal Health and Production and Animal Products
California Coastal Conservancy Proposition 1 Grant
North Carolina A&T Small Farms Field Day
The Below Ground Livestock Soil Health Tour
Midwest Commercial Sheep Production Workshop
News & Resources
USDA Seeks Comment on Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule USDA Agricultural Marketing Service is asking the public to comment on possible actions USDA should take regarding the disposition of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule. The Final Rule amends the organic livestock and poultry production requirements in the USDA organic regulations. This Final Rule was originally set to take effect on March 20, 2017, and is now being extended to November 14, 2017. Comments will be accepted until June 9, 2017.
California Farm Demonstration Network Forms The California Department of Food and Agriculture, California Farm Bureau Federation, California Association of Resource Conservation Districts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, UC Davis, and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources have signed a memorandum of understanding to form the California Farm Demonstration Network. The formal agreement is designed to better connect the state's farmers with each other and with science-based information sources to assure the sustainability of the state's agricultural systems.
IPM Guide for Stink Bugs Published The open-access Journal of Integrated Pest Management has published a profile of several of the most common stink bug pests. The guide offers methods for differentiating species, summaries of stink bug life cycles and behaviors, and guidance for monitoring and managing them. Stink bugs, which have historically been more prevalent pests in the Southeast, are emerging as an increasing threat to corn and soybeans in the Midwest. Related ATTRA Publication: Stink Bugs - Botanical Control Formulations
Documentary Highlights Work of Farm Advocates A new documentary film produced by Farm Aid, Homeplace Under Fire, celebrates 30 years of work by Farm Advocates. A Farm Advocate works one-on-one with individual farmers to help them navigate the complex world of farm lending, state and federal regulations, contracts, and government programs. The film is being screened at events around the country. A trailer is available online. Related ATTRA Publication: Financing Your Farm: Guidance for Beginning Farmers
Danish Research Studies Impact of Conservation Agriculture The American Society of Agronomy reported on an Aarhus University project that studied the impact of conservation agriculture techniques over a span of 11 years on two different Danish farms. Researchers found that growing permanent cover crops aided in air and water infiltration and created a beneficial environment for soil life.
Study Identifies Obstacles in Marketing to Restaurants University of New Hampshire students recently conducted a study to identify what restaurants in the Seacoast area of the state know about their local food industry and whether or not they are taking advantage of the available supply. The students concluded that many of the obstacles to increased purchasing of local food arose from a lack of communication. Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Selling to Restaurants
Southern SARE Research & Education Grants Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) is accepting systems research-based or education-based pre-proposals for the Research & Education Grants program. SSARE is looking for systems research pre-proposals of around $300,000 and education pre-proposals of around $50,000. The deadline for submitting pre-proposals is June 2, 2017.
AFRI Foundational: Animal Health and Production and Animal Products USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for the AFRI Animal Health and Production and Animal Products program area. New knowledge gained from this research will facilitate better management strategies for both conventional and organic production systems to enhance production efficiency and animal well-being, improve animal health, and develop healthy animal products for human use. Six program area priorities are identified in the Request for Applications. Approximately $34.8 million is available. Applications are due by June 15, 2017.
California Coastal Conservancy Proposition 1 Grant These grants fund multi-benefit ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration projects along the entire length of California's coast, within the watersheds of rivers and streams that extend inland, and throughout the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Priority project types include water sustainability improvements, anadromous fish habitat enhancement, wetland restoration, and urban greening. Applications are due May 31, 2017.
North Carolina A&T Small Farms Field Day June 15, 2017 Greensboro, North Carolina This free field day will include demonstrations of insect screening and trellising for high-tunnel organics, high-tunnel ginger production, small-scale organic pecan production, converting agricultural wastes into energy, artificial insemination of beef cattle, and pasture pork production, as well as displays and posters on other topics.
The Below Ground Livestock Soil Health Tour June 13-14, 2017 Conrad, Montana This tour will feature Dr. Ray Ward, owner and founder of Ward Laboratories, and Marlon Winger, NRCS Soil Health Specialist for Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. "A Range Ramble," a range and weed workshop sponsored by the Blackfeet Natural Resources Conservation District and the Blackfeet Tribe, will be held in Browning, Montana, on June 15-16, 2017.
Midwest Commercial Sheep Production Workshop June 17, 2017 Ames, Iowa This day-long workshop will focus on the Let's Grow goals and objectives campaign from the American Lamb Board. Topics will include lamb finish and grazing cover crops.
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.