Katherine & Vicki,  Please do not include Vegt CAT Alert, MSU in the "What's New in Organic Ag?"
It is fine that you include some information about the insect or disease that the Alert is telling, but do some homework & give us the organic remediations!  Do not put poison chemicals in an organic bulletin.  If you do not know the organic remediations, find out or give us some web sources like, ATTRA, where the producer can find the answers.  Again, the health of the plant begins in the soil and I see nothing in these reports that says for me to feed the soil, so that the plant is healthy. During this dry time we put extra seawead/fish foliar spray on the plants to keep them strong. We put our compost & Fertrell organic fertilizer around the roots to ward off any problem, like the squash borer.  There are approved organic insecticides  that can be  applied if you can't help the soil & plant geet the nutrients needed.
Please do not waste my time with emails about chemicals to use.  If you are paid to report on Organic Agriculture, then do that.  Keep the poisons to other departments or get another job with them.
Nancy Jones Keiser
Agriculture & Health Alive, LLC
2757 Hayes
Marne, MI  49435
> Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 15:29:53 -0400
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: What's New in Organic (Part 1 of 2)
> To: [log in to unmask]
> What’s new in Michigan Organic Ag?
> July 30 – August 14
> Compiled by Vicki Morrone and Kate Leitch
> 1. New Ag Network Newsletter (In part 1 of 2)
> 2. Vegetable CAT Alert, MSU (In part 1 of 2)
> 3. Vegetable CAT Alert, MSU (In part 1 of 2)
> 4. Vegetable CAT Alert, MSU (In part 1 of 2)
> 5. Field Crop CAT Alert, MSU (In part 1 of 2)
> 6. Fruit CAT Alert, MSU (In part 1 of 2)
> 7. Farm Service Agency announces conservation reserve program- state acres
> for wildlife enhancement (In part 1 of 2)
> 8. The Zen of Certified Organic Indiana Raised Lamb (In part 1 of 2)
> 9. Can you generate energy on your farm? The answer is blowing in the wind
> (In part 2 of 2)
> 10. Keep Antibiotics Working! House passes animal drug bill after drug
> industry blocks efforts to preserve effectiveness of antibiotics; help KAW
> urge the Senate to include provisions to protect public health (In part 2 of
> 2)
> 11. MSU Student Organic Farm seeks farm crew members (In part 2 of 2)
> 12. Cornell University seeks a full-time Senior Project Associate in Ag Sci,
> Crop and Soil Sci (In part 2 of 2)
> 13. Farmers’ Market at the Ann Arbor Antiques Market- Aug 16 and 17 (In
> part 2 of 2)
> 14. Annual Soil Building Workshop’s early-bird deadline extended- Aug 20
> and 21 (In part 2 of 2)
> 15. Mid-Michigan Pasture Walk at Straub Dairy - Aug 21 (In part 2 of 2)
> 16. Hoophouse Building Workshop with Growing Hope - Aug 22 and 23 (In part 2
> of 2)
> 17. University of Wisconsin-Madison organic workshop and field tour- Sep 4
> (In part 2 of 2)
> 18. Entrepreneurial Farm Tour- Sep 9 10 and 11 (In part 2 of 2)
> 19. Intro to Permaculture: Ecological Edible Landscapes- Sep 20 (In part 2
> of 2)
> ********
> ********
> 1. New Ag Network Newsletter
> Vol. 4, No. 8 August 13, 2008
> http://www.new-ag.msu.edu/issues08/8-12.htm
> In this issue:
> Hoop houses for season extension: Are they right for you?
> Mulch your tomatoes to fight weeds, retain soil moisture and save money
> Reports from organic growers
> ********
> 2. Vegetable CAT Alert, MSU
> Vol. 23, No. 14, July 30, 2008
> http://www.ipm.msu.edu/cat08veg/v07-30-08.htm
> In this issue
> Vegetable insect update
> Onion disease alert
> Regional reports
> Weather news
> Vegetable insect update
> Beth Bishop
> Entomology
> Corn “worms”
> Numbers of European corn borer moths captured in pheromone traps from July
> 22 to 29 have increased slightly, as the second flight has begun. No
> significant migration of corn earworm into the state has occurred during the
> past month and trap counts are low.
> Squash bugs
> Squash bug adults, nymphs and eggs have been observed in cucurbit plantings.
> Now is the time to control them. If you wait until the nymphs grow large and
> the row fills in, they are extremely difficult to control.
> Squash bugs are primarily pests of squash and pumpkins, but can sometimes
> occur on melons. Squash bugs suck juices from the plants and may cause
> leaves to die and vines to wilt. Later in the season squash bugs feed on
> fruit, causing collapse.
> Adults are three-quarters of an inch long and dark grayish brown with wings
> held flat over the abdomen. Eggs are laid in clusters on the underside of
> leaves and are orange when laid, but soon turn metallic bronze. Young nymphs
> are pale-green to white and older nymphs are grayish-white. Nymphs are
> wingless.
> Small nymphs feed in groups on the underside of leaves. Larger nymphs feed
> individually and both large nymphs and adults are very mobile. Insecticides
> applications must target the small nymphs. An insecticide application is
> warranted when one or more eggs masses per plant are present. Consult
> bulletin E312: 2008 Insect, Disease, and Nematode Control for Commercial
> Vegetables for insecticides registered to control squash bugs on your crop.
> Onion disease alert
> Mary Hausbeck
> Plant Pathology
> Downy mildew
> Downy mildew was verified by my lab yesterday afternoon from a field in the
> mid-Michigan area. This disease is not unexpected given the rains and
> cooler, moist weather that we’ve experienced this year. Unfortunately,
> downy mildew is an especially devastating disease because it spreads rapidly
> and is not readily controlled. Downy mildew of onion is caused by the
> pathogen, Peronospora destructor, and first infects older leaves, occurring
> as pale, elongated patches that may have a grayish-violet fuzzy growth.
> Symptoms of the disease are best recognized when dew is present in the
> morning. Infected leaves become pale green, then yellow and can fold over
> and collapse. Premature death of onion leaves reduces bulb size. The downy
> mildew pathogen initiates infection during cool temperatures (less than
> 72°F) and wet conditions. Multiple infection cycles can occur in a season.
> Spores are produced at night and are easily blown long distances in moist
> air. They can germinate on onion tissue in one and a half to seven hours
> when temperatures are 50°F to 54°F. High daytime temperatures and short
> or interrupted periods of humidity at night can prevent sporulation.
> Overwintering spores, called oospores, can form in dying plant tissue and
> can be found in volunteer onions, onion cull piles, and in stored infected
> bulbs. Oospores have thick walls and a built-in food supply so they can
> withstand unfavorable winter temperatures and survive in the soil for up to
> five years.
> Research studies have shown that weekly applications of mancozeb (available
> as Dithane, Manzate, or Penncozeb) protect against downy mildew when spray
> coverage is good and sprays are begun before disease appears. Some growers
> choose to include Ridomil Gold MZ in alternation with mancozeb although this
> program is more costly. We have tested Pristine 38WG in rotation with
> Ridomil Gold MZ for downy mildew control. The program with Pristine and
> Ridomil Gold MZ in alternation was effective for downy mildew, but is very
> costly. It is likely that Pristine alternated with mancozeb would also be
> effective, but needs to be tested. In addition to downy mildew, Pristine
> 38WG has activity against the leaf blights including purple blotch,
> Stemphylium, and Botrytis. In a field test for purple blotch and
> Stemphylium leaf blight, Pristine alternated with Bravo Weather Stik was a
> stand-out treatment. Newer products for downy mildew control include
> Acrobat and Reason. While I do not have Michigan field data for these
> products, I would expect them to perform well in a rotation for downy
> mildew. However, Acrobat and Reason have action only against downy mildew
> and will not control botrytis or purple blotch.
> Purple blotch and stemphylium leaf blight
> Many Michigan onion fields are showing symptoms of purple blotch. This
> disease got an earlier start than usual with the wet weather and warm night
> temperatures that we experienced a few weeks ago. Purple blotch first
> appears as small water-soaked lesions that quickly develop white centers.
> As they age, the lesions turn brown to purple, surrounded by a zone of
> yellow. Lesions can coalesce, girdle the leaf, and cause tip dieback.
> Occasionally, bulbs are infected through the neck or wounds on the scales.
> Spores of Alternaria porri can form repeatedly on lesions with cycles of low
> and high relative humidity. When free water is available, spores can
> germinate in 45 - 60 minutes at 82°F - 97°F. Spores can form after 15
> hours of high relative humidity (greater than 90 percent) and can be spread
> by wind, rainfall and irrigation. Fungal growth is favored by temperatures
> of 43°F - 93°F, with an optimum temperature of 77°F. Old and young
> leaves injured by onion thrips are more susceptible to infection. Symptoms
> can appear one to four days after infection, and new spores can appear by
> the fifth day. The pathogen can overwinter in onion debris.
> Stemphylium leaf blight is an occasional foliar problem in Michigan and has
> not yet been detected this year. Symptoms begin as small, light yellow to
> brown, water-soaked lesions that develop into elongated spots that turn dark
> olive brown to black with spore development. Coalescing spots can blight
> leaves, but rarely affect the bulb. The pathogen normally invades dead and
> dying tissue. Disease development is favored by long warm periods of leaf
> wetness. Fungicides effective against purple blotch are also effective
> against Stemphylium leaf blight.
> The following products are recommended for purple blotch: Pristine, a
> strobilurin (Quadris or Cabrio), and Rovral tank-mixed with Bravo.
> Botrytis leaf blight
> Botrytis has been detected this year in onions. It is caused by a fungus
> (Botrytis squamosa) that survives in onion trash or in soil by means of
> sclerotia (hard, black survival structures) which germinate in the spring,
> forming ascospores that begin the disease cycle.
> Germinating sclerotia are small and very difficult to find, but they have
> been reported onion leaf trash. Once the initial infections occur, spread
> is controlled by weather conditions. This fungus forms its conidia (the
> spore stage that spreads the disease) only on dead or dying tissue, and only
> after 60 to 72 hours of continuous high humidities (75 to 100 percent) at
> temperatures averaging between 54°F and 75°F.
> Conidia formed under these conditions are spread by wind currents, land on
> healthy tissue, and infect after a minimum of six hours of leaf wetness.
> The longer the leaves remain wet, the more infection that occurs. The
> fungus forms rather small, white lesions about the size of a pinhead
> surrounded by a light green halo. Most of these lesions do not enlarge, but
> a small proportion will enlarge, girdle the leaf, and cause blighting.
> The higher the humidity and the longer the periods last, the more leaf
> blighting that will occur. Bravo has always been excellent for leaf blight
> control, but mancozeb and Rovral also give good control. In previous years,
> tank mixes of Rovral with either mancozeb or Bravo have been especially
> effective where botrytis leaf blight and purple blotch are both present.
> Pristine will also do a good job when both botrytis leaf blight and purple
> blotch are a problem.
> Bacterial diseases
> Bacterial diseases are showing in many onion fields, especially those that
> experienced heavy rains earlier this summer. It is likely that
> naturally-occurring soil bacteria were washed into the bulb and leaf whorls
> where they have multiplied and now causing a rot. It will be difficult, if
> not impossible, to reach those inner onion tissues that are infected with
> the bacteria. The only product that is proven and recommended for bacterial
> diseases is copper. I’ve heard a lot of talk about spraying bleach and I
> do not recommend that growers do that. Bleach will become inactivated as
> soon as it comes in contact with leaf tissue or soil. It has no residual
> and will not protect the leaf tissue. Copper is a proven bactericide with a
> residual action which is a fact that is supported by years of studies on
> onions and other crops that are affected by bacteria. To lessen the
> concerns of phytotoxicity on onion leaf tissue, spray copper at a time of
> day when the solution can dry readily. The longer that copper stays in
> solution, the more likely that it may cause some plant tissue burning. When
> using copper sprays to combat bacterial disease, the spray interval should
> be at least every seven days.
> ********
> 3. Vegetable CAT Alert, MSU
> Vol. 23, No. 15, August 6 2008
> http://www.ipm.msu.edu/cat08veg/v08-06-08.htm
> In this issue
> Vegetable insect update
> Regional reports
> Weather news
> ********
> 4. Vegetable CAT Alert, MSU
> Vol. 23, No.16, August 13, 2008
> http://www.ipm.msu.edu/cat08veg/v08-13-08.htm
> In this issue
> Vegetable insect update
> Dont miss the sowing window for your brassica cover crops
> Regional Reports
> Weather
> Vegetable insect update
> Beth Bishop
> Entomology
> Several insect pests have been making a comeback in recent weeks. Corn
> earworm moth numbers increased, especially in southern and western Michigan,
> although they don’t come close to the hundreds of earworm moths caught
> during previous years. Weather conditions were conducive for migration of
> moths into the area and that is reflected in an increase in trap numbers.
> European corn borer
> The numbers of European corn borer moths caught in pheromone traps for the
> week of August 5 - 12 decreased slightly in most locations from those of the
> previous week (see chart), but this is most likely due to cooler weather
> reducing the activity. According to degree-day totals (base 50), we are in
> the midst of the second flight. We don’t yet know, however, how large
> this flight will be, but it will likely last for several more weeks.
> Western bean cutworm
> Western bean cutworm flight is winding down, according to field crops
> entomologist, Chris DiFonzo, (see article in the August 7, 2008 Field CAT
> Alert) some eggs have been found in sweet corn. We now have a resident
> population of western bean cutworm in the state and we can expect this pest
> to be a problem in future years.
> Aster leafhopper
> The percentage of aster leafhoppers infected with aster yellows has
> increased dramatically throughout the state. This is typical for this time
> of year. The number of infected aster leafhoppers depends on the number of
> infected plants, which depends on the number of infected leafhoppers, and
> this cycle causes an increase in infection in both plants and insects as the
> season progresses. The latest infectivity rate for aster leafhoppers from
> Mason and Oceana counties is very high, over 20 percent. Carrot fields in
> the area have many plants with aster yellows symptoms. The treatment
> threshold for this area is very low, one to two aster leafhoppers per 100
> sweeps. Infectivity rates for aster leafhoppers collected from celery
> fields in southwest Michigan range from zero percent to six percent. There
> is no dependable regional pattern to the variation in infectivity rates. In
> general, the threshold in this area ranges from five to 25 aster leafhoppers
> per 100 sweeps. If growers are noticing aster yellows symptoms in their
> fields, they should use the lower numbers as their threshold. For the rest
> of the state, growers can use thresholds of five to 25 aster leafhoppers per
> 100 sweeps for celery, 10 to 40 aster leafhoppers per 100 sweeps for
> carrots, and three to 18 aster leafhoppers per 100 sweeps for lettuce.
> Again, if aster yellows symptoms are seen in the field, growers should go
> with the lower threshold. Remember, it takes about three weeks for aster
> yellows symptoms to develop, so growers should discontinue leafhopper sprays
> three weeks before harvest.
> Aphids
> Aphids are showing up in celery. The recent hotter, drier weather is
> conducive to aphid build-up. Aphid populations can increase suddenly, and
> often appear close to harvest. There are a number of insecticides
> registered for control of aphids on celery (See Bulletin E312). It is
> important to apply insecticides only when necessary, since aphids can
> quickly develop resistance. Two selective insecticides, Fulfill ® and
> Beleaf ® act to stop aphids from feeding. Because they are selective
> insecticides, they do not affect natural enemies. Although it may take
> several days for the aphids to die, they will not damage plants. Fulfill has
> a seven-day preharvest interval and Beleaf has a zero-day phi.
> ********
> 5. Field Crop CAT Alert, MSU
> Vol. 23, No. 15, August 7, 2008
> http://www.ipm.msu.edu/cat08field/fc08-07-08.htm
> In this issue:
> Update: Western bean cutworm
> Soybean aphid - I’m not kidding!
> Spider mites showing
> Update on Michigan 2008 corn grain yield potential
> Common rust on corn
> Soybean disease update-soybean rust, white mold and root rots
> Soybean sentinel plot update
> Regional reports
> Weather news
> Soybean aphid - I’m not kidding!
> Christina DiFonzo
> Entomology
> You all know I love aphids, and that I can talk endlessly about them. But I
> really wasn’t kidding the last few weeks when I reminded you to watch
> fields for my favorite pest. Populations per plant in most of my field plots
> remained low throughout July, but the percent of infested plants was high,
> and has increased steadily - nearly 100 percent in some trials last week.
> Within the last several weeks, aphid populations increased in southern
> Minnesota, producing winged migrants that have been caught in the Midwest
> aphid suction trap network. We definitely had an aphid flight into Michigan
> last week, perhaps from the infestation in Minnesota. On July 31, I found
> winged aphids with babies on plants on campus. By the following day, Friday,
> August 1, we were finding tiny aphid babies on most of the plants in an MSU
> efficacy trial. This means even if you didn’t have aphids, you probably
> have them now. Furthermore,Bruce MacKellar in southwest Michigan, reports a
> few fields over threshold in southwest Michigan, with a high enough
> population to produce winged migrants. These fields are in the infamous
> “K-deficient” belt that in the stretches across several counties.
> Potassium deficiency is a well-documented soybean aphid risk factor. Target
> such fields for scouting immediately to catch any infestations heading over
> threshold.
> The soybean aphid threshold remains at 250 per plant, until plants are in
> the later R-stages (R5 and beyond).
> Should you spray at a lower threshold because of high crop prices?
> No. The aphid threshold was developed taking into consideration a range of
> crop prices and input costs. Even given higher returns, lowering the
> threshold doesn’t make good biological sense. We have never detected yield
> differences in treated and untreated plots when fewer aphids are present.
> And at lower aphid numbers, there still appears to be a battle going on
> between the aphids and predators. Pulling the trigger early wipes out the
> predators, so the aphids certainly win.
> Should you spray at a lower threshold because of the additional impact of
> defoliators, such as bean leaf beetles and Japanese beetles?
> No. The threshold was developed using data from plots in eight states over
> three years, including plots in Michigan. We did not keep bean leaf beetles
> or Japanese beetles out of these plots during the studies, they were there
> right along side the aphids. The yield from untreated plots in the study
> included the impact of both aphid sucking and beetle defoliation. The yields
> in treated plots included the impact of killing both aphids and beetles.
> Thus the soybean aphid threshold already includes the impact of defoliating
> pests, because we didn’t exclude them.
> What about ignoring the threshold altogether and spraying an insurance
> application?
> Bad idea. Killing beneficial insects can actually flare, or increase, an
> aphid population that was otherwise under control. Insurance applications
> may also flare spider mite (see accompanying article), which are making an
> appearance this week. Insurance applications also smoke honey bees, which
> have taken a beating in the last several years. See the August 4 edition of
> the Ohio State CORN newsletter for a cautionary article by my colleague Ron
> Hammond, “Spraying Insecticides on Soybeans and Honey Bees”.
> ********
> 6. Fruit CAT Alert, MSU
> Vol. 23, No. 15, August 5, 2008
> http://www.ipm.msu.edu/cat08fruit/f08-05-08.htm#1
> In this issue:
> Tree fruit news
> Starane Ultra labeled for pome fruits
> Small fruit news
> Botrytis gray mold control in fall raspberries
> JMS Stylet Oil can be used to knock down powdery mildew on grapevines
> Other news
> Time to collect leaf samples for nutrient analysis
> Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station Open House
> Regional reports
> Weather news
> Botrytis gray mold control in fall raspberries
> Annemiek Schilder
> Plant Pathology
> Gray mold, caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea, is one of the most
> important diseases affecting fall raspberries. Fall raspberries are usually
> at greater risk of infection than summer raspberries because of the
> prevailing weather conditions, such as lower temperatures, heavy dews and
> frequent precipitation. Cool, wet weather and heavy rains in the late summer
> and fall that keep the plants wet for extended periods are conducive to
> development of the fungus and infection of the fruit. The rainy weather this
> summer has already resulted in increased Botrytis gray mold pressure in
> raspberries.
> Typical symptoms include a brown discoloration of the fruit and the presence
> of a gray fuzzy mold, which can rapidly develop and spread to neighboring
> healthy berries. Symptoms tend to be more severe inside the canopy and on
> clusters that are closer to the ground. Even if berries look perfectly
> healthy at harvest, they can change to a moldy mass within 24 to 48 hours.
> Botrytis cinerea is a ubiquitous fungus, which is able to grow and sporulate
> profusely on dead organic matter. It overwinters in old infected canes and
> plant debris. The spores are airborne and can travel long distances on the
> wind. When the spores land on plant surfaces, they germinate and can invade
> the plant tissues directly or through wounds. Overripe berries and bruised
> berries are particularly susceptible to infection. Latent flower infections,
> even though they do occur, are not as important in raspberries as they are
> in strawberries.
> Cultural methods are very important for control of Botrytis gray mold.
> Choosing a site with good air flow can reduce humidity in the canopy
> considerably. Low-density plantings, narrow rows and trellising can also
> reduce a buildup of humidity. Good weed control and moderate fertilizer use
> to avoid lush growth are also important. Selecting a resistant cultivar or,
> at the minimum, avoiding highly susceptible cultivars will help to reduce
> the need for control measures. During picking, avoid handling infected
> berries, since spores can be transferred on hands to healthy berries. Timely
> harvesting and rapid post-harvest cooling can also help to reduce losses to
> Botrytis gray mold.
> Several fungicides are labeled for control of Botrytis in raspberries.
> Fungicide sprays during bloom are important to prevent pre-harvest
> infections, while post-harvest infections can be reduced by sprays close to
> harvest (e.g., the day before harvest). Switch (cyprodinil + fludioxonil) is
> a reduced-risk fungicide with excellent systemic and protectant activity
> against gray mold. It has a zero-day pre-harvest interval (PHI). Another
> good option is Elevate (fenhexamid), which is a reduced-risk, locally
> systemic fungicide with a zero-day PHI. Since these fungicides are in
> different chemical classes, they can be alternated for fungicide resistance
> management. My recommendation is to save Switch and Elevate for critical
> sprays, e.g., during wet periods and for sprays closer to harvest. Other
> fungicides that may be used in the spray program are Captevate (captan +
> fenhexamid) (three-day PHI), Pristine (pyraclostrobin + boscalid) (zero-day
> PHI), Captan (captan) (three-day PHI), Rovral (iprodione) (zero-day PHI) and
> Nova (myclobutanil) (zero-day PHI). To improve the efficacy of Rovral, an
> adjuvant should be added. Pristine and Nova also provide excellent control
> of late leaf rust, which sometimes infects the leaves and fruit of fall
> raspberries.
> ********
> 7. Farm Service Agency announces conservation reserve program- state acres
> for wildlife enhancement
> East Lansing, MI, July 29, 2008 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's
> (USDA) Farm Service Agency is offering financial incentives in the hope of
> getting landowners to convert cropland into valuable wildlife habitat
> through the popular Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The initiative aims
> to increase the acres of grasslands in southern Michigan and habitat for
> native pollinators in the western Lower Peninsula along Lake Michigan.
> The program, which was the result of an agreement between USDA Farm Service
> Agency, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, wildlife management
> agencies, conservation and commodity groups -- such as the U.S. Fish and
> Wildlife Service, the Nature Conservancy, Pheasants Forever, the Michigan
> Department of Agriculture, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and
> the Michigan Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association -- was announced in
> January.
> Sign-up to enroll land in the new Conservation Reserve Program practice,
> called State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (CRP-SAFE), began in Michigan on
> July 1. The goal of SAFE is to create 7,500 acres of diverse grasslands in
> 18 southern Michigan counties (Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton,
> Genesee, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lapeer, Lenawee,
> Livingston, Monroe, Shiawassee, St. Joseph and Washtenaw) and 2,500 acres of
> pollinator habitat in 22 counties in the western Lower Peninsula (Allegan,
> Antrim, Barry, Benzie, Berrien, Cass, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse,
> Kalamazoo, Kalkaska, Kent, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Muskegon,
> Newaygo, Oceana, Ottawa, Van Buren, and Wexford).
> Landowners who choose to participate in the new practice may receive 90
> percent of the cost of converting cropland into wildlife habitat, and in
> some cases 100 percent. In addition, they will receive rental payments for a
> minimum of 10 years and have the option for enrolling for up to 15 years.
> Participants will also receive a signing incentive payment equal to $100.00
> or $150.00 per acre, depending on contract length, upon enrollment into the
> program.
> “Native grasslands are one of the most threatened habitats in Michigan,”
> said Dale Allen, Conservation Chief for the USDA Farm Service Agency which
> administers the program. “A variety of non-game species, ranging from
> songbirds to butterflies, depend on grassland habitat for their survival.”
> The 18 south Michigan counties eligible for SAFE were chosen because they
> once contained most of the state’s native grasslands, said Allen. The
> western counties were selected for creating pollinator habitat because of
> the importance of pollinators to the region’s fruit and vegetable
> industry.
> “SAFE is intended to provide habitat for native pollinators. There has
> been a documented decline in many native pollinators such as bumblebees,”
> said Lynn Sampson, State Biologist for the USDA Natural Resources
> Conservation Service. “The decline of eastern honeybees due to colony
> collapse disorder has been a wakeup call to the importance of pollinators to
> our food supply. In addition, native pollinators also pollinate
> non-agricultural plants that provide food for wildlife.”
> Land enrolled for either practice must be recently cropped, or be capable of
> growing an annual agricultural commodity. Land enrolled for the pollinator
> habitat practice can include land that is part of an orchard or vineyard. To
> participate in the pollinator habitat sign-up, landowners must convert a
> minimum of 2 acres to habitat with the plot being at least 100-feet wide.
> Pollinator habitat will be planted with a variety of grasses, flowers and
> flowering shrubs. There is no maximum limit of acres that can be enrolled
> and the land can be either in a block, along a field border, or in an
> orchard/vineyard/perennial fruit producing area (i.e. blueberries,
> strawberries, raspberries, etc). Landowners do not have to be fruit or
> vegetable growers to participate.
> To enroll for the diverse grassland practice landowners must convert at
> least 30 acres of land to grassland habitat in most cases. A smaller number
> of acres can be enrolled if the land serves as a corridor between two larger
> areas of wildlife habitat. Enrolled land will be planted in a variety of
> native grasses and wildflowers with a small portion of the land planted with
> oak trees. The Michigan Nature Conservancy will provide an additional 10
> percent cost share to landowners located in an area the organization has
> identified as a high priority area for habitat creation.
> Sign-up for the SAFE practices are on a first-come first-served basis until
> the acreage targets are reached, said Allen. The USDA hopes to enroll all
> its acreage allowance within five years. The diverse grassland and
> pollinator habitat initiatives have different enrollment requirements.
> Michigan Farm Service Agency, 3001 Coolidge Rd, Suite 350, East Lansing, Mi.
> 48823
> Phone: 517-324-5110 FAX: 517-324-5168
> ********
> 8. The Zen of Certified Organic Indiana Raised Lamb
> http://www.goinglocal-info.com/my_weblog/2008/07/the-zen-of-cert.html
> July 31, 2008
> It's no secret that I love to visit farmers' markets. The only problem is
> that it takes me forever to walk through one. It's never enough for me to
> simply stop and buy something. I want to chat and learn more about the
> product and producer. I always leave these conversations educated and
> inspired.
> A few weeks ago at the Trader's Point Farmers Market, I struck up a
> conversation with Tom Zennie, co-owner with his wife, Nancy, of Zen Sheep
> Farm in Cloverdale, Indiana. We got on the topic of how to make kibbe.
> Several years ago, I was introduced to a kibbe by a friend of mine whose
> father was Syrian. It's unusual to find anyone who can talk in-depth about
> kibbe. But Tom delighted me with his knowledge and enthusiasm for both the
> dish and his certified organic raised lamb.
> I spoke with Nancy this week who told me that their journey into raising
> certified organic lambs started in 1982 when they moved from Boston to
> Indiana for Tom's post-doctoral work. They rented a farm house in New
> Richmond. One day, a neighbor told Nancy that she was going to a livestock
> auction and asked if she wanted anything. Nancy jokingly told her to bring
> her back some lambs. That afternoon, the neighbor called Nancy to come over
> and pick up her lambs. Nancy felt she had no alternative but to take the
> lambs and raise them. When people came over for dinner, they raved about the
> lamb and told Nancy and Tom they should sell the meat. So, they bought a
> flock, began to raise the meat commercially, and were certified organic in
> 1996. Their commitment to raise certified organic meat was fueled, in part,
> by their growing family and a desire to feed their children healthful food.
> After Tom's post-doctoral work was completed, the couple moved to Michigan
> and continued to organically raise and market lamb, pork, ducks, and
> chicken. But in 2003, a job change for Tom challenged the couple with a move
> to Indiana. Their biggest concern was their ability to retain their
> certified organic status when they moved the flock. After a long search,
> they found land that had been a wildlife habitat in Cloverdale where nothing
> had been done to the ground for 17 years. There they've established Zen
> Sheep Farm where they raise certified organic lamb and certified organic
> rocambole garlic.
> The flock is fed a 100% plant based feed formula which was developed by Tom
> whose credentials in organic farming are extremely impressive. Zen Sheep
> Farm's certified organic lamb is USDA inspected, GMO free, and is raised
> without hormones or antibiotics. The lamb is sold by the cut as well as
> whole or half lambs. You'll find their lamb at several Indiana retail
> outlets and the Traders Point Farmers' Market.
> I used their ground lamb to make ground lamb pita sandwiches. The lamb
> cooked up beautifully and was deliciously sweet. You'll find that recipe in
> the Summer Recipe section of this site. Additional recipes, including one
> for Tom's favorite way to make a grilled leg of lamb, can be found on the
> Zen Sheep Farm site.
> Tom and Nancy are delighted with the customer response to their lamb and
> plan to increase the size of their flock in the coming year. They love
> having visitors to the farm and welcome everyone to come out and visit.
> Zen Sheep Farm
> Tom and Nancy Zennie
> 4963 E CR 900 S
> Cloverdale, Indiana 46120
> Phone: 765-795-5526
> www.ZenSheepFarm.com
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