Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture
9200 Edmonston Road, #117
Greenbelt, MD 20770
Table of Contents
USDA, EPA Sign Agreement to Reduce Pesticide Risks 1
Groups Urge Conference to Support Senate Budget Positions 2
Software Program Matches Farmers, Research 2
Iowans Question Growth in Large Hog Farms, Poll Finds 3
New Local Food System Project Seeks Grant Applications 4
Weed-Killers Can Promote Pests and Disease, Study Finds 4
Upcoming Events 5
USDA, EPA SIGN AGREEMENT TO REDUCE PESTICIDE RISKS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental
Protection Agency last month signed a Memorandum of Understanding
committing their agencies to "providing the agricultural
community with pest management techniques and tools that reduce
pesticide risks to public health and the environment, while
ensuring economically sound agricultural production," according
to EPA. It "complements a detailed pesticide and food safety
reform package presented by the Clinton Administration to
Congress in the spring," said EPA (see Alternative Agriculture
News, May, 1994).
"This agreement will enable EPA to speed up the registration
process for pesticide alternatives developed by USDA," said USDA
Secretary Mike Espy. The agreement also "responds to legitimate
concerns from farmers that they be involved when a determination
is made that a pesticide poses a risk to human health or the
environment," said EPA Administrator Carol Browner.
The agreement includes provisions to increase research for
alternative and effective pest control management techniques and
practices that will help reduce unacceptable risks to farmworkers
and consumers. Within six months, USDA and EPA will jointly
identify the pesticides for which potential regulatory action
might affect a farmer's ability to fight a pest problem. USDA
will work with the agriculture and research communities to
identify and develop alternative pest control methods. In
looking for alternatives, EPA will seek pest control methods that
significantly reduce risks to human health and the environment.
If it is determined that the alternative pest control method
requires an EPA registration, EPA will expedite review of that
"The Administration is taking a leadership role to improve
food safety within our existing authorities," said EPA
Administrator Browner. "I want to be absolutely clear that this
agreement is not a substitution for legislation. It is
imperative that Congress reform our nation's pesticide laws to
ensure that our regulatory programs provide more protection from
GROUPS URGE CONFERENCE MEMBERS TO SUPPORT SENATE BUDGET POSITIONS
Eight agriculture and environmental groups, including the
Wallace Institute, have written to members of the House-Senate
Agriculture Appropriations Conference Committee, urging their
support for the Senate budget positions on critical sustainable
agriculture and conservation items in the Fiscal Year 1995 USDA
appropriations bills. They urged support of an appropriation of
$8.825 million for the SARE program, equal to the President's
request and the Senate level, and $1.4 million more than the
House level. Arguing that "science and education in sustainable
agriculture continues to be severely underfunded," they urged
support of the sustainable agriculture extension program at the
Senate level of $3.963 million, $1 million more than the House
level and $1 million less than the President's request. For the
Wetlands Reserve Program, the groups urged that the Senate
language lifting the artificial acreage cap for both FY 94 and FY
95 be accepted in conference. They also urged support for
funding SCS Conservation Operations at this year's level of $591
million, $14.5 million more than the House level and $46.9
million less than the President's request. The Conference
Committee is expected to meet this month to work out the
differences between the House and Senate bills.
SOFTWARE PROGRAM MATCHES FARMERS, RESEARCH
Farmers often use information from the research center
geographically closest to them, not realizing that the research
center may have different environmental conditions -- crop and
soil recommendations from that research center may therefore
prove unsatisfactory. An interactive matching software program,
developed by researchers at Montana State University, is helping
farmers locate agricultural research centers with growing
conditions similar to their own. Farm and Research Center
Matching System (FARMS), developed with help from the SARE
program, includes 122 research centers, 15 environmental factors,
and 72 research programs.
Given correct input data, FARMS can match any semi-arid farm
or ranch with the most similar research center in Alberta,
British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Colorado, Idaho,
Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma,
Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. The 3.3
version of the FARMS software accelerates sustainable agriculture
technology transfers over the Great Plains through a linkage of
site-specific information and research centers.
The project's objectives include modifying the FARMS program
to facilitate subsequent additions of new research centers,
improving user interface, and updating and publishing a FARMS
program manual and software. Copies of FARMS are available for
$30 from Jeff Jacobsen or Diana Cooksey, Project Coordinators,
Department of Plant and Soil Science, Montana State University,
Bozeman, MT 59717; (406) 994-5684.
National Center for Appropriate Technology seeks an
Information Specialist to work at the Appropriate Technology
Transfer for Rural Areas program in Fayetteville, AR; send cover
letter, resume, and application form by September 30 to ATTRA
Program Manager, P.O. Box 3657, Fayetteville, AR 72702; (501)
Lightstone Foundation Inc. seeks a 12-month intern in
Sustainable Agriculture Enterprise; apply by October 15 to
Lightstone Foundation, HC 63, Box 73, Moyers, W.V. 26813; (304)
Chesapeake Bay Foundation seeks a Project Coordinator to
assist with a four-year collaborative project to strengthen
sustainable agriculture in Maryland; send resume and salary
requirements by September 30 to Personnel/AG, Chesapeake Bay
Foundation, 162 Prince George St., Annapolis, MD 21401.
Chesapeake CSA, on Clagett Farm, Upper Marlboro, MD, seeks a
gardener and several interns; for more information, contact Gina
Russo, 4903 Ritchie Marlboro Road, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772;
(301) 627-4766 or 627-4393.
Massachusetts Audubon Society's Drumlin Farm seeks an
assistant farm manager to oversee 12-acre organic vegetable
production, to start in October; send resume and references to
John Pilson, Drumlin Farm, South Great Road, Lincoln, MA 01773;
Center for Rural Affairs seeks a Project Leader to engage in
advocacy, organizing, and analysis to reform federal agricultural
research and extension policy, and to serve as co-director of the
Consortium for Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education;
call the Center, Box 406, Walthill, NE 69067, (402) 846-5428 for
full announcement; deadline is November 1.
Center for Rural Affairs seeks a Communications and
Development Director; send resume to the Center, Box 406,
Walthill, NE 69067; (406) 846-5428.
IOWANS QUESTION GROWTH IN LARGE HOG FARMS, NEW POLL FINDS
A majority of Iowans -- 53% -- questioned in a new poll say
Iowa laws should discourage the growth in large hog farms in the
state, according to the results of a new Iowa Poll published in
The Des Moines Register last month. Only 34% of those polled say
that state laws should encourage large hog operations. Rural
residents are more likely than the public generally to feel that
state laws should discourage large hog operations, with 62% of
rural residents holding that view, according to the Register;
about half of Iowans living in cities and towns believe the large
hog farms should be discouraged. Sixty-four percent of Iowans
polled agree that neighbors shouldn't have to put up with the
odors from large hog confinements, and that large hog lots should
be required to eliminate the bad odors, according to the poll.
NEW LOCAL FOOD SYSTEM PROJECT SEEKS GRANT APPLICATIONS
The Local Food System Project, a new project to strengthen
local food system reform efforts in the United States, is seeking
grant applications to be received by December 1. The Minnesota
Food Association, which is conducting this three-year project, is
seeking letters of inquiry from groups and cities that wish to
develop a structure which facilitates the development of local
food policies, and bring attention to longer term food system
issues in their city, town, or region. Non-profit groups and
public agencies are eligible to apply, and joint applications are
strongly encouraged. Send letters of inquiry to request
applications by October 14 to Minnesota Food Association, 2395
University Ave., Room 309, St. Paul, MN 55114. For further
information, contact Ken Dahlberg, (616) 387-5686, or Anne de
Meurisse, (612) 644-2038.
WEED-KILLERS CAN PROMOTE PESTS AND DISEASE, DANISH STUDY FINDS
Weed-killers create better conditions for some plant
diseases and pests, concludes a new report commissioned by the
Danish EPA entitled, "The Unintentional Effects of Pesticides on
Mildew and Greenfly." The investigation, which covered the weed-
killer isoproturon and the growth regulator ethephon, found that
isoproturon seemed particularly popular with mildew in winter
wheats; it also found that the situation deteriorated as dosage
increased, with even minimal dosage having a visibly encouraging
effect on mildew colonies. Both compounds proved to have a
profound effect on the reproductive capacity of greenfly,
particularly in barley fields. A story on the report was
published in Danish Environment, Danish Environmental Protection
Agency, Strangade 29, 1401 Copenhagen K, Denmark.
"Integrated Pest Management: The Path of a Paradigm," by
James Cate and Maureen Hinkle, 39 pages, is available for $5 from
National Audubon Society, 666 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, #200,
Washington, D.C. 20003; (202) 547-9009.
"Livestock for a Small Earth: The Role of Animals in a Just
and Sustainable World," 111 pages, is $10 from Heifer Project
International, 1015 S. Louisiana St., Little Rock, AR 72202.
"Protecting Groundwater Quality in Citrus Production,"
#21521, is $5 from ANR Publications, University of California,
6701 San Pablo Ave., Oakland, CA 94608; (510) 642-2431.
"Greenbook '94," about the sustainable agriculture on-farm
demonstration grant program, is available from Wayne Monsen,
Energy and Sustainable Agriculture Program, Minnesota Department
of Agriculture, 90 West Plato Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55107;
"An Agriculture That Makes Sense: Profitability of Four
Sustainable Farms in Minnesota," a joint project of the Land
Stewardship Project and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's
Energy and Sustainable Agriculture Program, is $5 plus $2.90
shipping/handling from LSP, 14758 Ostlund Trail North, Marine on
St. Croix, MN 55047; (612) 433-2770.
"The Industrialization of Agriculture: Policy, Research, and
Education Needs -- A Symposium" is available from Tracy Irwin
Hewitt, Council on Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics (C-
FARE), 9200 Edmonston Road, #117, Greenbelt, MD 20770; (301) 441-
October 2-6, "Bioenergy '94," hosted by the Western Regional
Biomass Energy Program, will be held in Reno, NV; contact WRBEP,
Western Area Power Administration, A7100, P.O. Box 3402, Golden,
CO 804010; (303) 275-1704.
October 7-9, "Biodynamic Compost & Preparations: Sustaining
Health for the Future" will be held in Oak View, CA; contact Bio-
Dynamic Farming and Gardening Association, P.O. Box 550,
Kimberton, PA 19442; 1-800-516-7797.
October 16, World Food Day will be held worldwide; contact
U.S. National Committee for World Food Day, 1001 22nd St., NW,
Washington, D.C. 20437; (202) 653-2404.
October 21 is the deadline for paper abstracts for
"Versatility of Wetlands in the Agricultural Landscape," to be
held September 18-20, 1995, in Tampa, FL; contact George
Vellidis, University of Georgia, Bio. & Agr. Eng. Dept., Coastal
Plains Experiment Station, Tifton, GA 31793; (912) 386-3377.
October 23-26, "Protecting Rural America's Water Resources:
Partnerships for Pollution Solutions" will be held in Washington,
D.C.; contact Ben Grunewald, Ground Water Protection Council, 827
NW 63rd St., #103, Oklahoma City, OK 73116; 1-800-762-0190.
October 29, Annual Urban-Rural Day, sponsored by Michael
Fields Agricultural Institute, will be held in Pewaukee, WI;
contact Gail Kahovic, MFAI, (414) 642-3303.
November 4-5, Second Annual Small Farm Today Seminar & Trade
Show will be held in Columbia, MO; contact Small Farm Today, 3903
W. Ridge Trail Rd., Clark, MO 65243; 1-800-633-2535.
November 4-6, "Sustainable Biointensive Mini-Farming" will
be held in Willits, CA; contact Mary Campagna, Ecology Action,
5798 Ridgewood Road, Willits, CA 95490; (707) 459-0150.
November 5-6, Fifth Annual Farmer to Farmer Conference will
be held in Bar Harbor, ME; contact Maine Organic Farmers and
Gardeners Association, Box 2176, Augusta, ME 04338; (207) 622-
November 9-11, "Vision 2000: The Path to Sustainable
Development" will be held in Baltimore, MD; contact Wildlife
Habitat Council, 1010 Wayne Avenue, #920, Silver Spring, MD
20910; (301) 588-8994.
November 10, "On and Off the Land: A Public Symposium to
Examine Agriculture from Urban & Rural Perspectives" will be held
in Portland, OR; contact David Milholland, Oregon Tilth, P.O. Box
3588, Portland, OR 97208; (503) 285-8279.
November 11-13, "Telling the Story: Celebrating Tilth's
First Twenty Years" will be held in Portland, OR; contact Tilth,
P.O. Box 3588, Portland, OR 97208; (503) 285-8279.