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Dear [name]. Hunting season is on for the elusive federal grant, and we’ve been huddled in our grant blind, hoping to bag a few as they fly by. As a result, July was a spotty month for adding new articles. But we’re back on track now with a host of new offerings, and with many more to come in the following weeks. Before getting to the details of what you’ll find on the home page, some thanks and reminders:

Thanks to all of you who filled out our reader survey. We’re still reading through the hundreds of useful comments and suggestions you added when you filled out the survey. We’re also pleased that the vast majority of those who responded are very happy with the site overall. 96 percent of you said you’ll continue to use the site ... and will recommend it to someone else. 23 percent consider New Farm the best farm site available. A majority of you visit at least once a week, and 27% check us out several times a week. At a later date we’ll share more details of the results, as well as some of your personal comments and suggestions.

The Grassroots OPX™ is still cooking: This effort by New Farm reader/volunteers to provide us with farm market prices from around the country is working well. Last week we had nine markets represented. This week there are only four markets, but we expected some fluctuation in reporting as people get busy on their farms and don't have time to report. We’ve also archived prices from previous weeks. Click here to check out the Grassroots OPX. You might want to check out the OPX plus while you’re at it. We have organic prices for 47 different fruits, vegetables and herbs. That’s in addition to the 40 core products we have conventional and organic price comparisons on.

Thanks again to all the readers who have helped us with the Grassroots OPX. If you're inspired, and would like to help us with this initiative, e-mail us at amanda.kimble-evans@rodaleinst.org.

The New Farm Locator™ keeps growing. We continue to add new farms to the Farm Locator, our directory of farms that is searchable by product, type of marketing, county and state. There are close to 300 farms listed now. Be sure to add your own. In future months we plan to start marketing this service to restaurants, food services, wholesalers and others who are looking for good sources of local produce. Go directly to the Farm Locator by clicking here.

New Poll! Remember when Representative Nathan Deal, a Georgia Republican, slipped a paragraph into a $397 billion spending bill that would allow farmers to give livestock non-organic feed but call their meat, eggs and milk "organic" anyway? He was trying to help a chicken farmer and contributor concerned that organic feed would not be available. That provision was successfully repealed, but it inspired the National Organic Program (NOP) to look into the availability of organic feed. Their research concluded that it was widely available at reasonable prices. So here’s the poll question: Do the NOP results match your reality? To take our poll, click here to go the New Farm home page. For more on the NOP research, see “featured research,” below.

--Chris Hill, Executive Editor

Don't forget to check out our latest Organic Price Index.


 

Minnesota dairyman halves production, makes more money (more below)

Jersey girls on the fast track to managing organic farms (more below)

Fresh today from The New Farm®
     

Extension & Organic: The Dialogue Begins
4 ways organic & sustainable producers can help extension serve them better

1st in a series of essays from Extension: Florida State Extension vegetable specialist Elizabeth Lamb says Extension people really do want to help organic farmers ... but a little hand up from growers to speed the learning curve sure wouldn’t hurt.

 

Extension

     

SPECIALTY CUT FLOWER CORNER
Getting through summer

The summer sweat is on. You're seriously considering putting the weeds up for sale because they’re looking better than your flowers. Don't stress. Mel Devault tells you how to handle burnt-out blooms, disheveled beds and those "oh no, I'm running out of flowers" moments.

 

Cut flowers

 

   

Japanese consumers hungry for more organic food

Strict certification rules stifle domestic production in Japan, and demand for organic exceeds supply. Food and farming expert Claire Cummings teams up with a Japanese housewife to take us on a tour of the organic products retail stores are offering.

 

Japan


     

1st IN AN OCCASIONAL SERIES
ON WOMEN IN FARMING

Landed Jersey Girls
In East Coast lore, “Jersey Girls” are known for lots of things, but farming isn’t one of them. Yet, in central New Jersey, more young women are getting into farming—and thriving. Is it part of a national trend?

 

Jersey girls

     
Minnesota dairy grazier likes low-cost feeds, wintering cows outdoors
12 years ago, Dan Middendorf switched from a conventional stall barn dairy operation to year-round grazing. He tripled his herd size, halved his per cow production, and says its the only thing that makes sense.
  Minnesota dairy
     

ACTION Alerts

We say, "Grants for everyone improving farming!"— and the USDA should too
Value-added producer grants will give farmers money to finance new ideas for improving farming if the USDA keeps them eligible. Act before August 12!

Bring a "Farm-to-Cafeteria" program
to a school near you!

Nutritious food for our children. Reinforced community ties for our farmers. A boost for our local economies. Food to Cafeteria programs provide a little something for everyone, and now you have a chance voice your support for federal legislation that will fund the creation of such programs.

 

Producer grants

Farm-to-cafeteria

     

GLEANINGS
A Growing Concern: Hazardous Waste in Fertilizer

This is a story about corruption, collusion and conflicts of interest. About tight-lipped regulators, paranoid lawyers, muzzled journalists and federal loopholes big enough to drive nuclear waste trucks through. About regular people who have been threatened, harassed and shunned because they dared to speak out. Oddly enough, this is a story about fertilizer.

 

Hazardous waste

     

Featured research:

USDA study finds organic feed grains
to be available and affordable

An NOP study released earlier this month showed that with a few exceptions farmers could get organic feed for less than twice the price of conventional. Now the question is, "is there a market for the feed?

Locally grown food: Tastes great . . .
and less mileage, too
A new report from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Iowa shows food from a conventional source travels 27 times farther then locally grown.

Study Shows Factory Farms Lower Neighboring Homes' Property Values

New OFRF report shows rapid increase in organic research

 

Organic feed

Food mileage

Property values

Organic research

     
 
   
   
     
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