7. Deal reached on Senate version of farm bill
8. New Voices Contest Seeks Innovative Vision for Sustainable Agriculture
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 http://www.sare.org/2008Conference/newvoices.htm 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
* 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.
of quotes on the value of conservation biological control
(approximately 30 words)
“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 declined.”
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.”
11. Upcoming events
Organic Beekeeping at the Pfeiffer Center
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 population.
Location: Chestnut Ridge, New York
Website: [log in to unmask]" target="_blank">[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 work.
Location: Quincy, Illinois
Website 2: https://webs.extension.uiuc.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=1092
NORTHERN MICHIGAN SMALL FARM CONFERENCE
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 at www.antrimcounty.org.
FARM IT FORWARD WORKSHOPS
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 University.
"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!!