Sustainable Ag News

National Organic Program Launches Spanish Resources Web Page

ATTRA - Thu, 05/06/2021 - 14:28
Related ATTRA Resource: ATTRA Agricultura Sustentable The National Organic Program (NOP) launched a new web page that compiles resources available to Spanish speakers seeking information about organic certification in one place. The new resource repository includes Spanish translations of the Organic Foods Production Act, organic regulations, the NOP Handbook and a variety of other fact sheets, videos and training resources.
Categories: Ag News

Help Preserve History of Sustainable Agriculture by Identifying Key Figures

ATTRA - Thu, 05/06/2021 - 14:23
A graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is collecting and preserving the history of organic/sustainable agriculture in the midwestern and northeastern United States. She is identifying key people, publications, and organizations that helped shape and promote organic/sustainable agriculture. You can help by filling out a brief online questionnaire about how you became interested in organic/sustainable farming. Any identifying/contact information that you provide will be kept confidential.
Categories: Ag News

Fashion Industry Increasingly Considering How Materials Are Produced

ATTRA - Tue, 05/04/2021 - 21:18
Fast Company reports that fashion companies such as Patagonia, Allbirds, Timberland, Mara Hoffman, Christy Dawn, and Kering are not just considering where their raw materials are sourced, but are investing in regenerative agriculture. Although the companies produce only a small amount of their materials on regenerative farms, support for the idea is growing. The article highlights examples of how forward-thinking fashion companies are leading the way, and explores what impact the “farm-to-closet” concept could have on the fashion industry and on agriculture.
Categories: Ag News

Organic Farm Criticized for Soil Erosion

ATTRA - Tue, 05/04/2021 - 21:03
National Public Radio’s All Things Considered reported that a large organic farm in South Dakota is receiving criticism for soil management practices that lead to erosion. Gunsmoke Farms covers 53 square acres, and it is owned by investors that have hired a series of managers to run the operation. Farm owners intend to supply General Mills with organic wheat, peas, and other crops, which they first planted in 2020. Critics say the farm hasn’t followed plans that were designed to protect the area’s fragile soils and minimize erosion. In addition, 2020 was a dry and windy year that created conditions...
Categories: Ag News

Study to Assess Business Case for Sheep and Honeybees on Solar Power Sites

ATTRA - Tue, 05/04/2021 - 20:11
The American Solar Grazing Association (ASGA) has announced that it will collect and analyze data on the agricultural, economic, and environmental impacts of co-locating agricultural enterprises such as commercial beekeeping and sheep grazing on photovoltaic sites. The project is being funded by a $198,000 research grant from the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority. ASGA has already begun recruiting beekeepers, shepherds, and solar sites and will continue enrollment throughout the 2021 growing season. The study will collect data from co-located sites, as well as conventional, stand-alone operations for comparison purposes. Data will be collected during the 2022 and...
Categories: Ag News

Enrollment Opening for Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

ATTRA - Tue, 05/04/2021 - 20:01
The Federal Communications Commission announced that it will begin enrollment for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program on May 12, 2021. This program will provide eligible households with discounts of up to $50 a month for broadband service, and up to $75 a month if the household is on Tribal lands. It also will provide a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet for eligible households. Under the law, the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is open to households that participate in an existing low-income or pandemic relief program offered by a broadband provider; Lifeline subscribers, including those...
Categories: Ag News

USDA to Hold Listening Session on COVID-19 Impacts on New Farmers

ATTRA - Tue, 05/04/2021 - 16:45
USDA announced a virtual listening session on May 6, 2021, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. ET, for beginning farmers and ranchers. USDA wants to learn how COVID-19 impacted beginning farmers’ operations and get their feedback on USDA assistance. Registrants also have the optional opportunity to provide written feedback. This feedback will inform USDA preparations for outreach strategies, programmatic needs, technical assistance and accessible program delivery for beginning farmers and ranchers through Pandemic Assistance for Producers.
Categories: Ag News

Million Acre Challenge Aims for Healthy Soil Practices in Maryland

ATTRA - Sat, 05/01/2021 - 21:14
Future Harvest CASA, Fair Farms Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and other founding partners introduced the Million Acre Challenge, an effort to achieve one million agricultural acres in Maryland using healthy soil techniques by 2030. The voluntary program is helping to connect farmers with each other and helping them find the best tools and management practices to address their unique challenges and set and achieve their soil health goals. The Million Acre Challenge website offers soil health information and research to help farmers build organic matter, reduce compaction, and create healthy soil biological communities.
Categories: Ag News

Land Stewardship Project Farm Beginnings Course Accepting Applications

ATTRA - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 21:24
One of the most successful beginning farmer training programs in the country is now accepting applications for its 2021-2022 course session. Land Stewardship Project Farm Beginnings classes will take place in an online setting December through March, with on-farm educational events to follow later in 2022. Applications that are accepted before August 15, 2021, will qualify for a $100 discount, and scholarships are available. Farm Beginnings provides community-based training that focuses on the goal setting, marketing, and financial skills needed to establish a successful and sustainable farm business in the Upper Midwest.
Categories: Ag News

Scottish Farm Family’s Video Wins Climate Friendly Farming Competition

ATTRA - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 15:34
The National Farmers Union of Scotland announced that farmer Patrick Barbour won its Next Generation Climate Change competition that encouraged Scotland’s farmers and crofters to record on video the many steps they are taking to reduce emissions and deliver wider environmental benefits. Barbour’s three-minute video features his brother and sister and stunningly illustrates the benefits of tree planting, species-rich grassland, rotational grazing for cattle and sheep, and stitching nitrogen fixing crops into pastures on the family farm. The winning video is posted online.
Categories: Ag News

Sustainable Agriculture Conference Accepting Session Proposals

ATTRA - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 15:14
Pasa Sustainable Agriculture is accepting session proposals for its 31st Sustainable Agriculture Conference until June 14, 2021. The 2022 conference is planned for February 10–12, 2022, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with a virtual pre-conference taking place in January and early February. The goals of the conference are to provide training and education that promote the environmental, economic, and social wellbeing of farms, food systems, communities, and the environment; serve as an outlet for sharing cutting-edge research and science-based solutions, while preserving and passing on traditional farming knowledge and heritage; be a venue where people, businesses, and organizations from across the sustainable...
Categories: Ag News

Minnesota Project to Bring Innovative Conservation to Irrigated Lands

ATTRA - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 14:43
Related ATTRA Publication: Measuring and Conserving Irrigation Water Minnesota Department of Agriculture and project partners received a $3.5 million grant from USDA through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to implement conservation measures on irrigated lands. The five-year project will focus on 20 counties across the state of Minnesota. The MDA project, “Implementing Innovative Irrigation Practices to Protect Groundwater Quality and Quantity,” will work directly with agricultural producers using irrigation to implement conservation practices that protect groundwater and promote expanded precision-irrigation practices.
Categories: Ag News

New England Soil Health Project Receives Funding

ATTRA - Thu, 04/29/2021 - 15:41
Related ATTRA Tutorial: Soil Health The largest soil health program in New England history has received funding from USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program. The project will be led by NRCS and American Farmland Trust (AFT), working with numerous additional partners. It matches a $7.4 million award from NRCS with partner and donor contributions of more than $7.6 million to incentivize adoption of regenerative agriculture practices in western New England. Over the next five years, AFT’s Western New England Regenerative Agriculture project will work closely with hundreds of farms, covering tens of thousands of acres of cropland, on soil conservation, including...
Categories: Ag News

Report Highlights Importance of Advancing Conservation on Rented Land

ATTRA - Thu, 04/29/2021 - 15:31
A new report from American Farmland Trust calls attention to the importance of speeding the implementation of conservation practices on rented farmland and ranchland. “Advancing Understanding of Conservation on Rented Land” was published in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. The article notes that with nearly 40% of farmland in the United States rented or leased from agricultural landowners, understanding who these landowners are and how they think about conservation is key to getting more conservation practices implemented on rented agricultural lands.
Categories: Ag News

USDA Planning Food Loss and Waste Innovation Fair

ATTRA - Thu, 04/29/2021 - 14:50
USDA announced that it will hold the first-ever Food Loss and Waste Innovation Fair on May 26, to showcase USDA investments and business leadership in reducing food loss and waste throughout the food system. The free, virtual event will present businesses and research teams that have received USDA funding to research or commercialize cutting-edge food loss and waste solutions. USDA agencies will discuss their food loss and waste activities. Additionally, the event will feature several U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions, businesses that have committed to reducing food loss and waste in their operations by 50% by 2030.
Categories: Ag News

USDA Announces Regional Conservation Partnership Program Awards

ATTRA - Tue, 04/27/2021 - 20:44
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the award of $330 million in 85 locally driven, public-private partnerships through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Projects will address climate change, improve the nation’s water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat, and protect agricultural viability. The Department anticipates that these investments will generate at least $440 million in additional conservation funds by communities and other partners.
Categories: Ag News

Cost Study Released for California Organic Alfalfa Hay

ATTRA - Tue, 04/27/2021 - 15:13
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Alfalfa Production The University of California has released a new study that outlines costs and returns of establishing and producing organic alfalfa hay. The new study estimates the costs and returns of establishing and producing organic alfalfa using flood irrigation in the Sacramento Valley, north and south San Joaquin Valley, and the Intermountain Region. The 100 acres of organic alfalfa is rented for $345 per acre annually and the alfalfa stand life is four years after the establishment year. Demand for organic alfalfa is high in California as an organic dairy input. “This cost study provides...
Categories: Ag News

GlobalGAP Introduces GGN Label Applicable to Produce

ATTRA - Tue, 04/27/2021 - 15:02
Leading global certification program GlobalGAP c/o FoodPLUS GmbH has launched a new GGN label for consumers. Previous GGN labels were specific to aquaculture and floriculture products, but the new label applies to fruits and vegetables, as well. All products with the GGN label come from a farm whose production process has been independently certified according to international GlobalGAP standards or one of the standards that is recognized by GlobalGAP as equivalent. These standards are holistic in nature and cover food safety, sustainability, environmental protection, animal welfare, workers’ health and safety, and supply chain transparency.
Categories: Ag News

Timing Manure Application Can Reduce Nitrous Oxide Emissions

ATTRA - Mon, 04/26/2021 - 21:17
Researchers at Penn State University explored how using dairy manure and legume cover crops in corn crop rotations can increase emissions of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide. The increase was largely due to the typical timing of manure application, before planting the corn crop. This study found that farmers could reduce nitrous oxide emissions if they could apply manure after the crop is planted, closer to when the corn begins to take up nitrogen. In this study, better timing for nitrogen application allowed for a reduced total nitrogen application, including use of less inorganic nitrogen fertilizer.
Categories: Ag News

FieldWatch Expands SeedFieldCheck Registry to More States

ATTRA - Mon, 04/26/2021 - 19:21
FieldWatch, Inc., a non-profit company that promotes improved communication and stewardship among crop producers, beekeepers, and pesticide applicators, is expanding its SeedFieldCheck registry into Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan for the 2021 growing season. SeedFieldCheck integrates into the existing FieldWatch crop and apiary registry and enables seed companies to more effectively communicate the location and presence of seed field workers to pesticide applicators. SeedFieldCheck enables seed companies to register the locations of their field crews daily. Users mark registered fields as “planned” or “occupied” to alert pesticide applicators when there may be crews in the area. The free mapping program...
Categories: Ag News
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