7.  Deal reached on Senate version of farm bill

Wednesday, October 17, 2007, 3:30 PM
From Brownfield Ag News for America
by Peter Shinn

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin of Iowa said Wednesday
he had reached a deal with Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad of
North Dakota and ranking Agriculture Committee Republican Saxby
Chambliss of Georgia on the Senate version of the farm bill. That means
the Senate Ag Committee will mark-up its version of the farm bill next

According to Harkin, highlights of the measure include an extra $4.2
billion for nutrition, an additional $1.3 billion for cellulosic ethanol
research and development, and a $4 billion increase in conservation
generally plus $1.2 billion for the Conservation Stewardship Program,
currently known as the Conservation Security Program (CSP). That
additional funding, Harkin said, would allow him to meet his previously
stated goal of getting 80 million acres enrolled in CSP by the end of
the next farm bill.

The Senate farm bill will also include an optional revenue-based
counter-cyclical program, known as Average Crop Revenue (ACR), an
approach similar to one advocated by the National Corn Growers
Association. And a clearly delighted Harkin said the Congressional
Budget Office had determined including ACR actually saved between $3-3.5
billion over the life of the next farm bill. Those additional savings,
said Harkin, allowed everyone to get almost everything they wanted in
the next farm bill.

"Well, with that savings, then we were able to then provide no cuts in
direct payments, plus use the money for energy and conservation and some
other things," Harkin explained. "So it really helped us out a great

Harkin added that that he sees a real advantage in how the Senate plans
to pay for its version of the farm bill. Because the approach is
agreeable to Republicans, Harkin said he'll have the leverage when the
farm bill reaches a House-Senate conference committee.

"Our bill is funded with real money - the House bill is not," Harkin
asserted. "And so the House bill, they're going to have come a lot our
way because, simply, we have the money!"

Meanwhile, the World Trade Organization (WTO) this week ruled the U.S.
hadn't done enough to modify the U.S. cotton program after losing a WTO
case in 2005 brought by Brazil. Harkin suggested, while the Senate
version of the next farm bill wouldn't directly address the WTO ruling,
the combination of policies advanced by the next farm bill should help
ameliorate those WTO-related issues. 

"Hopefully in the next few years, areas of the country that are planting
cotton will begin to shift their crops and begin to grow other things,"
said Harkin. "As I've often said, you know, farm bills don't take sharp
turns, but we do try to bend the rails a little bit."

8.  New Voices Contest Seeks Innovative Vision for Sustainable


Win free trip to SARE's 20th Anniversary New American Farm Conference


SARE is proud to announce its New Voices contest, which will give "New
Voices" in agriculture the opportunity to share their ideas with the
leaders of the sustainable agriculture community at SARE's 20th
Anniversary New American Farm Conference to be held March 25-27, 2008 in
Kansas City, Missouri. Visit
<>  for official rules
and submission guidelines. Deadline is December 7, 2007


* How can we advance sustainable practices and innovations to the whole
of American agriculture? 

* What if you had just five minutes to share your vision with the
leaders of the sustainable agriculture community? 


SARE seeks written, audio, and/or video submissions that articulate
emerging perspectives and illustrate an inspirational and pioneering
vision for the advancement of sustainable agriculture over the next 20
years. The winning entry will be presented at the closing plenary
session of the conference. Top finalists will also be invited to
participate in leadership sessions at the conference at SARE's expense.


We particularly encourage submissions from:


* farmers or ranchers

* emerging leaders in the field of advocacy, education or research

* beginning farmers and ranchers

* students

* minorities and other under-represented audiences


Enter SARE's New Voices Contest today!

9.  Seeking farms to demonstrate habitats for beneficial insects.


I am working on a brochure about providing habitat features for pest
management.  Habitat features include insectary strips, beetle banks,
native plantings, cover crops,  etc.   I am now scouring the Eastern
half of the country for growers who utilize some of the pest management
practices, who farm at least 50 acres, and who are willing to provide a
short quote (about 30 words) we could consider using in the brochure.
Do you all know -- or are you -- a well-spoken grower who has put these
habitat practices in the ground?

Ideally, the final quote we choose will address some mix of the
following:  a specific crop, a specific practice, a moment of insight,
and a specific benefit to the grower. I wrote four examples to give
folks a sense of what I'm looking for (see below).  In all likelihood,
whatever quote we get we will need to edit for space and content.  So,
if 30 words is too short, we can take a longer quote and edit it down.
Then we would get it back to the grower for final approval.

All submissions may be sent to me, along with information about the farm
(location, size, crops grown, etc.) and the practices that have been put
in the ground (ideally, including the area of the habitat features).

Thanks so much for any help or connections you can provide.  

Mace Vaughan 

Examples of quotes on the value of conservation biological control
(approximately 30 words)

"Planting strips of (native) flowers to help feed good bugs has changed
the way we see insects on the farm. We recognize more and more
beneficial insects and we use pesticides less and less."
"When managing pests in (crop type), experience has taught us the value
of habitat on our farm. We maintain more flowers and use fewer
pesticides, and save money at the same time."
"We use many practices--such as flower-rich hedgerows, insectary strips
and cover crops--to support the good bugs on our farm so that they in
turn feed upon our (crop type) pests and reduce our need for

"Until we started looking for the beneficial insects visiting the
insectary plantings around our farm, we had no idea there was such a
variety and that they were providing such a service. We are using fewer
pesticides now than at any other time in our operation."10 



10.	Fall a good time to sample for nematodes

Oct 16, 2007 10:31 AM, By Elton Robinson
Farm Press Editorial Staff  Delta Farm Press online
It's fall, and the best time of the year to focus on a pest that may
very well be the next limiting factor for cotton yields. The pest is -
drum roll, please - the nematode.

The pest "has been 'discovered' by everyone the last few years," says
Arkansas Extension plant pathologist Terry Kirkpatrick. "Of course, it's
been here all along. But in the past, we had to deal with weevils taking
the crop, and the morningglories covering it up. It was hard to worry
too much about a nematode. It took the science and technology to solve
other problems, and now we've bumped the next ceiling." The pests can
slow development of the cotton plant and cause significant yield
reductions. With root knot nematode damage, galls form on roots.
Severely infected plants may have damaged taproots and lateral roots.
Nematode-caused root problems grow progressively worse through the
season. Water absorption is significantly decreased and translocation of
nutrients is inefficient.  If you suspect that damage may be due to
nematodes, Step 1 is to take nematode samples to figure out if the pest
is present, and which pest is out there - root knot, reniform, or both.


"Root knot has always been the major problem in the upper Mid-South and
it has been holding steady. Reniform nematode is a newcomer and it seems
to keep moving north and spreading out," Kirkpatrick said. "It is by far
the greatest problem in Louisiana and Mississippi. We've found reniform
as far north as the Missouri Bootheel. Wherever we grow cotton, we're
going to wind up with reniform sooner or later."

The best time to sample for nematodes is late summer or early fall, when
populations are the highest, according to Kirkpatrick. "Obviously,
weather is a factor. If it's dry and you can't get a soil probe in the
ground, you're not going to do a good job sampling. So when you have
moisture out there, get out there and get it done.

"Also, if you wait until the soil temperature drops, and you've been two
to three months without live cotton roots in the soil, you won't have a
good indication of what was there because the detectable population has

Site-specific control of root knot nematode shows good potential in the
Mid-South because the pest is hardly ever uniformly distributed in a
field, rather it resides in hot spots. Yield in these hot spots can be
reduced by 25 percent to 30 percent, while 100 feet away, there are no
yield-reducing populations.

Reniform nematodes are usually more uniformly distributed throughout a
field, even though there will be some areas were populations are
extremely high and other areas where they are not.

Kirkpatrick pointed to research in Louisiana which has demonstrated that
in certain soil types, no matter how high the reniform nematode
population is, there is no response by the crop to putting out soil
fumigation as a control measure. "That's telling us that there are
certain soil types where reniform nematodes are not going to be an
economic problem whether the populations are high or low."

But whether the correlation is root knot nematodes and hot spots or
reniform and soil type, "the information begs to be harnessed and
modeled as a site specific system, where a farmer can focus his
expenditure for nematicide just in the zones in a field where the
nematodes are the yield limiting factor.

"Our science needs to catch up. We can deliver any amount of nematicide
that we want to any point in the field. But we don't quite know what to
hang our recommendation on. Is it soil type? Is it population density,
last year's yield? There are things we still need to work out."

Deciding where to pull samples is an area where more research is needed
as well, according to Kirkpatrick. "One thing we're looking at is
electrical conductivity mapping carts to draw a soil EC map of each
field. This gives you an indication of where natural changes in soil
type occur in the field. We're looking at using those maps as a guide
for deciding where to take samples.

"If that level of sophistication is not available, and you know where
the differences in soil type are, sample them separately. If not, break
the field into the smallest increments that you can practically sample."

Nematodes can be found very deep in the soil profile, "but the largest
populations will be concentrated where the cotton roots were. So make
sure you're into the root zone."

After you identify the type of nematode in a field, "match your crop to
the nematode you're dealing with," Kirkpatrick said. "If you have a root
knot problem in your cotton and you grow corn, you're going to have a
worse root knot problem when you come back into cotton.

"If you have a reniform problem in your cotton, you help tremendously by
going to corn for a year. There are some reniform- and root
knot-resistant varieties that will help. There is not much land that
lends itself well to a cotton/rice rotation, but it would be a heck of a
rotation if you could do it.

"If it's economically attractive to rotate, that's my recommendation.
Get on a program where you can keep the nematodes at a low enough level
where they're not going to be a factor in the years when you're going to
grow cotton.

Unfortunately, there is a lot more land that has a bad problem and needs
to be in cotton than is going to be rotated in any given year. That is
going to have to be dealt with with a nematicide."

Kirkpatrick noted that while root knot nematode is still far and away
the more widespread pest, reniform nematodes are increasing in Arkansas
fields. "In the late 1980s, a few Arkansas fields in Monroe, Jefferson
and Lonoke counties had reniform nematode populations. Last year, based
on thousands of nematode samples taken, there are now 11 counties in the
state with reniform and they run from Mississippi County to Chicot
County. They are on the move."

e-mail: [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> 

11. Upcoming events

Organic Beekeeping at the Pfeiffer Center
<>  Session
November 9, 2007 - November 10, 2007 
Learn about the lives of honeybees, the current plight of honeybee
colonies, and the intrinsic value of nurturing these amazing creatures.
Attendees will learn what they can do to help the threatened honeybee
Location: Chestnut Ridge, New York 
Scope: National
Website: [log in to unmask]
<http:[log in to unmask]> 


November 29, 2007 
Tri-State Locally Grown Conference
This conference is designed for farmers, consumers, chefs, retailers,
educators and others who are interested in building and supporting a
sustainable local food system. Experts from Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and
beyond will share their research and experiences in local food system

Location: Quincy, Illinois 
Scope: Statewide
Website 2:


January 24, 2008 - January 27, 2008 
The 27th Annual Guelph Organic Conference
The 27th Annual Guelph Organic Conference

Title: "Building Sustainable Organic Business" - January 24-27, 2008 -
Guelph University Centre

Highlighting - 'The Business of Organics' which shows successful
Canadian organic businesses and co-ops striving for TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE:
economic, social... 
Location: Guelph, Canada 
Scope: International


Michigan Family Farm Conference-New Times, New Opportunities

Jan 19, 2008 Battle Creek, MI at Lakeview High School

Keynote is David Kline, author of "Great Possessions:  An Amish farmers
journal." Visit for more information



The 8th annual Northern Michigan Small Farm conference will be Saturday,
January 26, 2008 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Grayling High School in
Grayling.  Cost to attend is $40 for the first person from each
operation and $25 for each additional participant.  Registration
deadline is January 19.  Late and walk-in registrations will be charged
an additional $5 per person.  For more information, or to register, call
the Antrim County MSU Extension office at 231-533-8818 or visit online



Farmers looking to transition the family farm to the next generation
should plan on attending one of the Farm It Forward Workshops to be held
on December 7-8 and January 11-12 in Birch Run.  For more information
contact Dennis Stein at 989-672-3570.






12. .  Do food miles make a difference to global warming?




Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:50am EDT


powered by Sphere




By Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent




WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. local food movement -- which used to be
elite, expensive and mostly coastal -- has gone mainstream, with a boost
from environmentalists who reckon that eating what grows nearby cuts
down on global warming.




But do food miles -- the distance edibles travel from farm to plate --
give an accurate gauge of environmental impact, especially where
greenhouse gas emissions are concerned?




"Food-miles are a great metaphor for looking at the localness of food,
the contrast between local and global food, a way people can get an idea
of where their food is coming from," said Rich Pirog, associate director
of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State


"They are not a reliable indicator of environmental impact," Pirog said
in a telephone interview. "What one would want to do is look at your
carbon footprint across a whole food supply chain."




The problem with food-miles is that they don't take into account the
mode of transport, methods of production or the way things are packaged,
and all of these have their own distinct impact on emissions of carbon
dioxide, a climate-warming gas.







END Hope you have a great weekend!!


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