Alternative Agriculture News
Henry A. Wallace Center for Agricultural & Environmental Policy at Winrock
9200 Edmonston Road, Suite 117
Greenbelt, MD 20770 USA
Phone: (301) 441-8777, Fax: (301) 220-0164
Web site: www.hawiaa.org
* * *
If You Are Interested in Sustainable Agriculture . . .
In addition to this monthly newsletter, the Henry A. Wallace Center for
Agricultural & Environmental Policy at Winrock International (formerly the
Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture) publishes the
American Journal of Alternative Agriculture, a quarterly, peer-reviewed
journal of research on alternative agriculture. It is a scientific forum
for disseminating technical, economic, and social research findings about
the character and requirements of alternative farming systems.
The development of more effective conservation farming systems through
participatory on-farm research is examined in the first article of the
current issue of the American Journal of Alternative Agriculture (Volume
14, No. 3). Other articles cover supplementation of mid- gestation swine
grazing alfalfa; crop-yield and economic comparisons of organic, low-input,
and conventional farming systems in California's Sacramento Valley;
comparison of organic and conventional dairy farms in Ontario; global land
resources and population-supporting capacity; and organic farming in Austria.
For U.S. subscribers, one volume (four issues) costs US$44 for libraries,
US$24 for individuals, and US$12 for students; foreign rates are also
available. For more information, contact the Wallace Center, 9200 Edmonston
Road, Suite 117, Greenbelt, MD 20770 USA; (301) 441- 8777;
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
USDA Revives Fund for Rural American With $60 Million, p. 1
Iowa State Names First Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair Holder, p. 2
Proposed Ag Conservation Budget Totals $1.3 Billion, p. 3
Pesticide Use Fell in 1997, According to EPA Report, p. 3
Positions, p. 3
USDA Gets Poor Report Card on Small Farms Recommendations, p. 4
EPA Announces Rules for Bt Corn, p. 4
New Advisory Committee on Ag Biotechnology Named, p. 4
Resources, p. 4
Upcoming Events, p. 5
USDA REVIVES FUND FOR RURAL AMERICA WITH $60 MILLION
The Fund for Rural America, whose funding had been deleted by Congress in
the 1999 and 2000 Fiscal Year budgets, was revived last month with $60
million in funding from the USDA, to be spent for research and economic
development. USDA legal staff have argued that although funding was deleted
for FY1999, it was statutorily available to be spent in two years and,
therefore, could be used in FY2000. Of the $60 million, $45 million will
fund programs that had been previously cut by budget measures, and research
centers that had already been designated before funding was deleted in
1998. The remaining $15 million will fund existing backlogged projects that
were in the pipeline two years ago, according to Ferd Hoefner of the
Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.
Here is USDA's breakdown of how the $60 million will be spent:
--$20 million will be shared during four years by five research centers:
the Center for Minority Land and Community Security, led by Tuskegee
University; the Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship, led by Cornell
University; the Center for Manure and Animal Waste Management, led by North
Carolina State University; a Consortium for Site-Specific Resource
Management, led by the University of Minnesota; and the National Resource
Center for Rural People in Forest Communities, led by the Forest Trust of
Santa Fe, NM.
--$25 million to offset budget cuts in the rural water and waste projects
--$5.2 million for outreach and technical assistance for socially
--$3 million for new water and wastewater disposal projects.
--$2.5 million for farm labor housing projects in three or four
--$2 million for community facilities grants that may include health, child
care, and emergency equipment facilities.
--$1.3 million for business and industry loan guarantees, which will
support about $40 million in loans.
--$1 million in Rural Business or Rural Business Opportunity Grants.
USDA also awarded $120 million to the new Initiative for Future
Agriculture and Food Systems, which will fund competitive research,
education, and extension grants that will focus on production agriculture,
natural resource management, farm efficiency, and profitability,
emphasizing family farms.
IOWA STATE NAMES FIRST HOLDER OF HENRY A. WALLACE ENDOWED CHAIR
Iowa State University has named Lorna Michael Butler the first holder of
the Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture. Dr. Butler,
who had been an Extension anthropologist and professor in the Department of
Rural Sociology at Washington State University, joins the faculty this
month. The Wallace Chair is named for Henry A. Wallace, an Iowa State
University alumnus, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and Vice President
under Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Chair was established in 1997 with a $1
million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a $500,000 gift from the
Wallace Genetic Foundation, and support from Iowa State University's
Leopold Center and College of Agriculture. "Dr. Butler has a distinguished
career in national and international work," said David Topel, dean of Iowa
State's College of Agriculture. "Her background in agricultural
anthropology and rural sociology will help strengthen an already
high-quality program in sustainable agriculture at Iowa State. She has a
sincere interest in working directly with farmers and agricultural
industries, particularly in relation to rural development in Iowa."
PROPOSED AG CONSERVATION BUDGET TOTALS $1.3 BILLION
The Clinton Administration last month proposed spending $1.3 billion on
conservation programs in FY 2001 that would "help farmers take steps to
protect water quality and the environment, and to preserve farmland,"
according to the USDA. The proposed initiative would fund a new $600
million Conservation Security Program in FY 2001 and 2002 to provide
additional income to family farmers who voluntarily adopt comprehensive
plans to curb erosion and protect water supplies from pesticide and
nutrient runoff. The program, as proposed by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA),
would provide annual payment levels based on the range and
comprehensiveness of the practices implemented. Eligible practices would
include comprehensive nutrient management, prescribed grazing, and partial
field conservation practices such as grassed waterways and windbreaks.
The proposal would also increase the Environmental Quality Incentives
Program funding by $125 million per year, to $325 million; increase the
Wetlands Reserve Program to enroll 250,000 acres per year; increase the
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) by 4 million acres to 40 million
cumulative acres; increase bonuses for buffers under the CRP continuous
sign-up by $100 to $125 million per year during FY 2000-2002; increase the
Farmland Protection Program to $65 million per year; increase the Wildlife
Habitat Incentives Program to $50 million per year; and provide the
necessary USDA technical assistance to implement these programs.
The Conservation Security Program and CRP expansion are new proposals; the
others have been included in the Administration's budgets for the past
three years. All the proposals, except for RP bonuses, would require
legislation and appropriations. More information on the proposals is
available on the USDA's Web site at www.usda.gov/news/releases.
PESTICIDE USE FELL IN 1997, ACCORDING TO EPA REPORT
Agricultural pesticide use declined in 1997 to the 1995 level of 770
million pounds, according to a biennial pesticide usage report released
last month by EPA. In 1996, agricultural pesticide use was 806 million
pounds, an increase from the 1995 level. "This increase in agricultural
pesticide usage was due largely to acreage increases for corn and other
major field crops," according to the report. The 806 million pounds used in
1996 represented the highest amount since 1980; the lowest amount of
pesticides used since 1980 was in 1987, when 658 million pounds were used.
Of the $11.9 billion spent on pesticides, 70 percent, or $8.3 billion, was
used in agriculture, an average of nearly $4,400 per farm.
Agriculture accounts for more than three-fourths of the pesticide volume
used; pesticides are used on 940,000 of the nation's 1.91 million total
farms, which represent more than one-half of U.S. farms with cropland and
about two-thirds of U.S. farms with harvested cropland, the report said.
The report is available from the National Service Center for Environmental
Publications, P.O. Box 42419, Cincinnati, OH 45242; 1-800-490-9198; or on
the Internet at www.epa.gov/oppbead1/pestsales.
Southwest Research and Outreach Center, University of Minnesota, seeks a
postdoctoral research associate in alternative farming systems; for more
information, see the Center's Website at swroc.coafes.umn.edu or contact
Elizabeth Dyck, (507) 752-7372; Dyckx002@tc.umn.edu.
Community Alliance with Family Farmers seeks a Program Administrator with
strong computer skills; contact CAFF in Davis, CA, (530) 756-8518, ext. 10;
USDA GETS POOR REPORT CARD ON SMALL FARMS RECOMMENDATIONS
The USDA last month received poor grades on the second annual report card
from the Time to Act Campaign, formed to promote the recommendations of the
National Commission on Small Farms and made up of people who are Commission
members. The report card measures USDA progress during the past year in
implementing the recommendations. According to Chuck Hassebrook of the
Center for Rural Affairs and a Commission member, the Campaign gave the
agency a "D" on ensuring fair market access to family farmers. Other grades
were: Beginning Farmers B-; Civil Rights D; Conservation C; Credit C; Farm
Workers D-; Market Development B+; Research and Extension C-; Outreach and
Organization C; and Risk Management C+. For a copy of the report, contact
Marie Powell at the Center for Rural Affairs, (402) 846-5428, or visit the
Center's Web site at www.cfra.org.
EPA ANNOUNCES RULES FOR MANAGING BT CORN
EPA last month announced restrictions on the cultivation of Bt corn, which
is genetically engineered to produce its own insecticide. The regulations
for the 2000 growing season, which are effective immediately, require
growers to plant a minimum structured refuge of at least 20 percent non-Bt
corn; for Bt corn grown in cotton areas, registrants of Bt corn must ensure
that farmers plant at least 50 percent non-Bt corn. Registrants must expand
monitoring in the field as an early warning system to detect any potential
resistance, and will communicate voluntary measures that will protect
non-target insects, particularly the Monarch butterfly. There will also be
sales and planting restrictions in certain limited geographical areas for
some products. More information on the regulatory program is available on
the Internet at www.epa.gov/pesticides/biopesticides.
NEW ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON AG BIOTECHNOLOGY NAMED
A newly-formed USDA Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology was
created last month with 38 members and the role of advising the Secretary
on policy related to the creation, application, marketability, trade, and
use of agricultural biotechnology. Chair of the committee is Dennis Eckart,
former Congressman from Ohio. The Committee will hold its first meeting,
which will be open to the public, on March 29-30 in Washington. A full
listing of Committee members is available on the Internet at
"The European Market for Organic Products: Economics and Policy" is
described, with ordering information, on the Internet at
"The Multiple Functions and Benefits of Small Farm Agriculture in the
Context of Global Trade Negotiations" is available from Food First, 398
60th St., Oakland, CA 94618; (510) 654- 4400, or on the Internet at
"Designing a Report on the State of the Nation's Ecosystems" is available
from the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment, 1001
Pennsylvania Ave., NW, #735 South, Washington, DC 20004; (202) 737-6307; on
the Internet at www.us-ecosystems.org.
"Farmers and Their Diversified Horticultural Marketing Strategies," a
49-minute video, is $15 plus $3.75 shipping; "Sustainable Vegetable
Production from Start-Up to Market," 280 pages, is $42 plus $5.50 shipping;
both from Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service, 152
Riley-Robb Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853; (607) 255-7654.
"Implications of ‘Freedom to Farm' for Crop System Diversity in the
Western Corn Belt and Northern Great Plains" is available from South Dakota
State University, Economics Department, Box 504A Scobey Hall, Brookings, SD
57007; (605) 688-4141.
"Protecting Groundwater from Pesticides: A Clean Water Action Guide" is
available from Friends of the Earth, (202) 783-7400; or on the Internet at
March 1 is the deadline to apply for the International Short Course on
Agroecology, Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems,
University of California, Santa Cruz, to be held August 7-18; full course
announcement is available on the Internet at
March 4, "Eat Locally, Think Globally," Northeast Organic Farming
Association of Connecticut's End of Winter Conference, will be held in
Hartford, CT; contact NOFA/CT at (203) 484-2445.
March 6, "Entrepreneurial Urban Agriculture in North America" will be held
in Philadelphia, PA; contact Sally McCabe, Philadelphia Green, (215)
March 6-8, "Reach Goals and Expand Profits with Composting and Organics
Recycling," will be held in San Diego, CA; contact BioCycle, Emmaus, PA
18049; (610) 967-4135; on the Internet at www.biocycle.net.
March 7-9, "Farming and Ranching for Profit, Stewardship and Community,"
sponsored by Western Region SARE, will be held in Portland, OR; contact
Gina Hashagen, Oregon State University, (541) 737-5477;
email@example.com; on the Internet at wsare.usu.edu/2000.
March 8, "Salinas Row Crops Conference" will be held in Salinas, CA;
contact Jo Ann Baumgartner, Committee for Sustainable Agriculture, (831)
763-2111; on the Internet at www.csa-efc.org.
March 8-15, Basic Farm/Process inspector training will be held with the
Annual Meeting of the Independent Organic Inspectors Association in
Orlando, FL; contact IOIA, (406) 436- 2031; firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 13-16, "Land Stewardship in the 21st Century: The Contributions of
Watershed Management" will be held in Tucson, AZ; contact Peter Ffolliott,
University of Arizona, Biosciences East 325, Tucson, AZ 85721; (520)
March 16-18, "Organic Agriculture at the Crossroad," Upper Midwest Organic
Farming Conference 2000, will be held in LaCrosse, WI; contact Liz Rose,
(608) 734-3349; email@example.com.
March 17, "Hands-On Planning, Building and Managing Your Hoop-Style
Greenhouse" will be held in Buena Vista, VA; contact Andy Lee, Good Earth
Farm School, (540) 261-8775.
March 18, "How to Grow Your Farmers' Market Business" will be held in
Verona, VA; contact John Ishee, Bittersweet Farmstead, (540) 886-9394;
March 23-25, "New Income Opportunities from Specialty Products:
Agroforestry in the Northeast" will be held in Portland, ME; contact Velma
Orcutt, Down East RC&D, P.O. Box 210, Cherryfield, ME 04622; (207)
March 23-26, "Natural Products Expo West" will be held in Anaheim, CA;
contact Expo West, P.O. Box 671, Boulder, CO 80306; (303) 998-9118; "Fresh
Ideas Organic Marketplace" will be held at the Expo on March 23; contact
Organic Trade Association, P.O. Box 1078, Greenfield, MA 01302; (413)
March 27-29, 2000, "Soil, Food and People: A Biointensive Model for the
New Century," co-sponsored by the Wallace Center, will be held in Davis,
CA; contact the University of California, Davis, Extension, 1-800-752-0881;
on the Internet at www.universityextension.ucdavis.edu/biointensive.
To Unsubscribe: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
"unsubscribe sanet-mg". If you receive the digest format, use the command
To Subscribe to Digest: Email email@example.com with the command
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at:
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Feb 06 2000 - 12:00:29 EST