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National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service
Updated: 16 hours 14 min ago

General Mills Announces Commitment to Regenerative Agriculture on One Million Acres

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 12:56
General Mills has announced its commitment to advance regenerative agriculture practices on one million acres of farmland by 2030. The company will partner with organic and conventional farmers, suppliers, and farm advisors in key growing regions to drive the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices. The company defines regenerative agriculture as a holistic method of farming deploying practices designed to protect and intentionally enhance natural resources and farming communities. General Mills is beginning with a $650,000 grant to nonprofit organization Kiss the Ground to support farmer training and coaching through Soil Health Academies, where growers will learn how to increase farm...
Categories: Ag News

USDA Solicits Public Comment on Industrial Hemp Program Via Webinar

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 11:34
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Specialty Crop Program is conducting a webinar on March 13, 2019, to solicit public comments on the multiple sections of the 2018 Farm Bill relating to industrial hemp. Up to 1,000 people at a time may view the webinar; however, time constraints will allow only 60 speakers during the webinar and it will not include a Question and Answer session. Registration is available online but limited to 1,000. For additional information on the marketing program, visit USDA’s Marketing Program for the Commercial Production of Hemp webpage.
Categories: Ag News

Planting Kura Clover Reduces Fertilizer Needs of Biofuel Crop

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 11:25
Planting a legume such as Kura clover in conjunction with a biofuel crop like prairie cordgrass improves soil microbial activity and reduces the amount of fertilizer needed, according to a 10-year study from South Dakota State University. It takes time for the clover to begin providing visible benefits, however. Study leader Vance Owens explains, “It took until the fourth year before we saw any direct benefit in terms of yield in the prairie cordgrass plots mixed with Kura clover, but by then, the nitrogen benefit from the Kura clover ranged from 20 to 80 pounds per acre across the four...
Categories: Ag News

Limonene in Marigolds Protects Tomato Plants from Whiteflies

Fri, 03/01/2019 - 12:38
Related ATTRA Resource: Companion Planting & Botanical Pesticides: Concepts & Resources Researchers at Newcastle University have published a study in PLOS ONE, showing that limonene is the component of marigolds that repels tomato whiteflies. The research team says it could be possible to develop a limonene product that could be hung in greenhouses to deter whiteflies. Study leader Dr. Colin Tosh commented, “There is great potential to use limonene indoors and outdoors, either by planting marigolds near tomatoes, or by using pods of pure limonene. Another important benefit of using limonene is that it’s not only safe to bees, but...
Categories: Ag News

Survey to Help Gauge Impact on Farmers of Produce Safety Rule

Fri, 03/01/2019 - 11:28
Related ATTRA Resource: On-Farm Food Safety and FSMA UC Berkeley Center for Diversified Farming Systems is conducting a survey of produce growers or farm operators in California who primarily grow vegetables, fruits, or nuts that are or may be covered under the FDA’s Produce Safety Rule. The survey goal is to understand how growers manage food safety risks in their farming operations, how much time and money this costs, and how food safety affects farm sustainability. The project will identify the most significant difficulties faced by farmers for each area of the Rule: water, soil amendments, worker health and hygiene,...
Categories: Ag News

Pennsylvania Governor Proposes Farm Bill for State

Fri, 03/01/2019 - 11:14
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has unveiled the PA Farm Bill, a proposal to provide support for and continued investments in the commonwealth’s agriculture industry. According to the governor’s office, the PA Farm Bill will provide for business development and succession planning, create accommodations for a growing animal agriculture sector, remove regulatory burdens, strengthen the ag workforce, protect infrastructure, and make Pennsylvania the nation’s leading organic state. The proposal also includes support for urban agriculture initiatives and a newly created state-level specialty crop block grant program to support growing industries like hemp, hops, and hardwoods.
Categories: Ag News

Regional Navigators to Help New Farmers Find Land in New York

Thu, 02/28/2019 - 14:58
Related ATTRA Publication: Finding Land to Farm: Six Ways to Secure Farmland American Farmland Trust and the State of New York have announced that 20 organizations across New York state will receive grants totaling $170,000 to support their work in helping new farmers find land and assisting landowners and retiring farmers who wish to keep their land in farming. The 20 organizations will serve as Regional Navigators for Farmland for a New Generation New York, offering support, including one-on-one assistance, workshops, and other opportunities tailored to address local needs, to help farmers find land. They will also aid farmland owners...
Categories: Ag News

University of Massachusetts Online Sustainable Agriculture Program Announces Spring Courses

Sat, 01/05/2019 - 18:09
The University of Massachusetts Stockbridge School of Agriculture offers three online degrees in sustainable agriculture: certificate, Associate of Science, and Bachelor of Science. Registration is now open for 10 courses offered during Spring 2019.…
Categories: Ag News

New York Awards Funding to Agricultural Projects to Advance Local Economies

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 21:48
New York has awarded more than $42 million through Governor Cuomo’s 2018 Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative to support the growth of farms and food and beverage industries across the state. More than 80 agriculture-related projects…
Categories: Ag News

North Dakota Extension Sets Field to Fork Webinar Series for Specialty Crops

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 21:11
North Dakota State University Extension will host the 2019 Field to Fork webinar series on Wednesdays beginning February 6, 2019, and running through April 17, 2019. In the free afternoon webinars, experts from across the region will provide information…
Categories: Ag News

Voluntary Ecosystem Services Market Development Progresses

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 21:44
Noble Research Institute has provided an update on its efforts to advance ecosystem service markets (ESM) that incentivize farmers and ranchers to improve soil health systems. The development team has offered a preview of the ESM protocol to a number of…
Categories: Ag News

World Resources Institute Proposes Actions for a Sustainable Food Future

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 21:20
World Resources Institute (WRI) has published 22 solutions to close the food, land, and greenhouse-gas mitigation gaps arising from the need to feed nearly 10 billion people on Earth by 2050. WRI presents its solutions in five topic areas: (1) reduce…
Categories: Ag News

Farmers Focus on Soil Health

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:45
Related ATTRA Tutorial: Soil Health A new generation of Heartland farmers is focusing on soil health, according to a feature in The Christian Science Monitor. Farmers working on slim margins can be reluctant to change the way they operate, notes the…
Categories: Ag News

University of Georgia Experts to Present at Georgia Organics Conference

Wed, 01/02/2019 - 20:56
University of Georgia scientists and staff members will be presenting research results at the Georgia Organics Conference slated for February 8-9, 2019, in Tifton. Topics will include high-tunnel production, cover crops, and nitrogen fertility…
Categories: Ag News

Texas Passes Heirs Property Legislation

Wed, 01/02/2019 - 20:29
Related ATTRA Podcast: Land Loss in African-American Communities In December, Texas became the tenth state to pass the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, reports KBTX-TV. The law provides inherited property protections to vulnerable, low- and…
Categories: Ag News

EcoFarm Announces 2019 Sustie and Justie Awards

Wed, 01/02/2019 - 15:50
The Ecological Farming Association will present its Steward of Sustainable Agriculture Awards (Susties) and the Advocates for Social Justice in Sustainable Agriculture Awards (Justies) at the annual EcoFarm Conference Awards Banquet on January 25, 2019.…
Categories: Ag News

Planning for Transition Period Important for Organic Switch

Mon, 12/31/2018 - 17:42
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Certification of Farms and Businesses Producing Agricultural Products Gigi DiGiacomo, co-author of Organic Transition, a Business Planner for Farmers, Ranchers and Food Entrepreneurs, offered some guidance for farmers…
Categories: Ag News

Online Exhibit Features Leaders in Preserving Heirloom Seeds

Mon, 12/31/2018 - 17:26
The stories of nine small seed companies that are leaders in preserving heirloom seeds are presented in an online exhibit from Seed Savers Exchange, The Rise of Heirloom Seeds. "This first wave of heirloom seed companies did not offer seed catalogs in…
Categories: Ag News

Goats Recycle Christmas Trees

Mon, 12/31/2018 - 17:11
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Vegetation Management Services In many parts of the country, people who are looking for a final use for their real Christmas trees are donating them to flocks of goats. Goat…
Categories: Ag News