Sustainable Ag News

Organic Trade Association reaching out to more organic farmers

Organic Trade Association - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 11:47

OTA launches new Farmstead Membership category

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 21, 2014) – The Franklin family has been farming in southern Vermont for nine generations. A family operation with one son helping full-time and two others pitching in on weekends, the certified organic dairy farm stays busy raising and milking some 52 dairy cows, along with producing fresh organic eggs and farm-raised organic beef, and some of the best-tasting organic maple syrup in Vermont.

Categories: Ag News

USDA Awards Small Business Innovation Research Grants

ATTRA - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 11:08
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has awarded more than $18 million in grants through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. NIFA awarded 100 grants to small businesses for high…
Categories: Ag News

EPA Finds Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments of Little or No Benefit to U.S. Soybean Production

ATTRA - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 10:58
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released an analysis of the benefits of neonicotinoid seed treatments for insect control in soybeans that concludes that there is little or no increase in soybean yields using most neonicotinoid seed tre…
Categories: Ag News

Honey Bee Health Coalition Releases ‘Bee Healthy’ Roadmap

ATTRA - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 10:49
The Honey Bee Health Coalition, a coalition of more than 30 organizations and agencies from across food, agriculture, government and conservation, has released Bee Healthy Roadmap, a plan to improve honey bee health. The Bee Healthy Roadmap lays out spec…
Categories: Ag News

Plant Communities Produce Greater Yield than Monocultures

ATTRA - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 15:00
Diverse plant communities are more successful and enable higher crop yields than pure monocultures, a European research team headed by ecologists from the University of Zurich has discovered. The scientists are convinced that the cultivation of crop mixt…
Categories: Ag News

"Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate" Offered as Free, Online Course

ATTRA - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 14:24
Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate is offering a free, online course for anyone who works in the animal agriculture industry, particularly extension educators. With the instructor on camera, the course feels more like a lecture than a computer cour…
Categories: Ag News

Researchers Progress with Microirrigation Research

ATTRA - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 13:55
Related ATTRA Publication:The California Microirrigation Pocket GuideA long-running microirrigation project involving 18 universities and laboratories has been advancing water-conserving technology over the past 25 years, according to New Mexico State Un…
Categories: Ag News

Whole Foods Market Introduces "Responsibly Grown" Produce Rating System

ATTRA - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 19:54
Whole Foods Market has announced the launch of "Responsibly Grown," an industry-leading tiered produce rating system that assesses growing practices that impact human health and the environment. The new rating system labels fresh fruits, vegetables, and…
Categories: Ag News

Opportunities to Preserve California Agricultural Land Identified

ATTRA - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 19:41
The California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment (CRAE) recently issued A Call to Action to Preserve California Agricultural Land . California farmland is being converted to nonagricultural uses at a rate of 30,000 acres per year, threatening…
Categories: Ag News

National Geographic Announces Multiyear Initiative Focusing on Food

ATTRA - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 19:29
The National Geographic Society has announced a multi-year commitment to exploring issues relating to food security and how we create sustainable food systems. The initiative grows out of an eight-month National Geographic magazine series looking at how…
Categories: Ag News

USDA Announces Measures to Help Farmers Diversify Weed Control Efforts

ATTRA - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 19:40
USDA has announced several steps that it is taking to address the increase of herbicide resistant weeds in U.S. agricultural systems. USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) will offer financial assistance under its Environmental Quality Ince…
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EPA Announces Final Decision to Register Enlist Duo, Herbicide Containing 2, 4-D and Glyphosate

ATTRA - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 19:26
The EPA is registering the herbicide, Enlist Duo for use in controlling weeds in corn and soybeans genetically engineered (GE) to tolerate 2,4-D and glyphosate. According to an EPA press release, the approved formulation contains the choline salt of 2,4-…
Categories: Ag News

USDA Agriculture Census Reports on Organic Farm Sector

ATTRA - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 19:15
New 2012 Census of Agriculture data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) says that certified organic agriculture producers in the United States sell directly to consumers, produce on-farm renewabl…
Categories: Ag News

UT-Pan American Dedicates Organic Research Garden

ATTRA - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 19:22
The University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) has dedicated a new Agroecology Garden, believed to be the first USDA-certified organic garden on any college or university campus in the state of Texas. The Agroecology Garden and adjacent greenhouse and commu…
Categories: Ag News

National Organic Program Announces Results of ANSI Peer Review

ATTRA - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 19:10
The USDA organic regulations and NOP's quality system requires periodic peer reviews to assess NOP's accreditation program and to see how well it aligns with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011. In 2014, the NOP contracted with the American National Standa…
Categories: Ag News

Fact Sheet Focuses on Opportunities for Increasing Local Meat in Schools

ATTRA - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 18:47
The USDA Farm to School Program has issued a new fact sheet titled Local Meat in Schools: Increasing Opportunities for Small and Mid-Sized Livestock Ranchers and Fishermen. The fact sheet presents examples, tips, and information for putting local meat on…
Categories: Ag News

Amish Organic Farmers Focus on Building Plant Immune Systems

ATTRA - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 13:21
The Atlantic recently featured the work of Amish farmers who are focusing on building plant immune systems through providing balanced nutrition. The method allows the farmers to avoid chemical pesticide use and obtain organic price premiums for their pro…
Categories: Ag News

ERS Report Considers Climate Change Effect on Dairy Production

ATTRA - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 13:10
In the United States, climate change is likely to increase average daily temperatures and the frequency of heat waves, according to a report from USDA Economic Research Service. ERS researchers note that dairy cows are particularly sensitive to heat stre…
Categories: Ag News

Mississippi Launches Agritourism App

ATTRA - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 11:43
In celebration of October being Agritourism Month, the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce has launched a new mobile app to promote agritourism. The mobile app is an easy-to-use tool for discovering and locating agritourism operations in M…
Categories: Ag News

Environmental Defense Fund Launches Initiative to Reduce Fertilizer Pollution

ATTRA - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 12:56
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has launched a new, collaborative initiative to eliminate fertilizer pollution as a major environmental concern in the United States. The effort will engage farmers and businesses throughout the supply chain to transform…
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