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Hello. I don't know if it's our WTO-Cancun coverage, or what, but the number of visitors to our site has increased by 40 percent in the last week. We've added dozens of stories on the issues and events of the World Trade Organization meeting in Cancun since our last newsletter, including daily audio files and informal grassroots journal entries provided daily by members of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference delegation. Check them out if you're interested in fair trade, subsidies and other issues playing out in Cancun. All of our Cancun coverage is listed on our home page.

Our Grassroots OPX--prices direct from producer only farmers markets around the country, straight to you--continues this week, and we've added a volunteer couple from South Dakota. Jacob and Holly Limmer moved to South Dakota after college. This winter, in February, they bought a six acre farm, with no intentions of going to market the first year--but here they are, near the end of a season with too much water, then too little. In an email to us they shared their background and details of their first season. We decided to reprint that email on the web site. If you're interested, click here.

Also this week: WEED CONTROL! We have a very nice piece on what Minnesota farmers are discovering about rye cover crops as a weed suppressant in no-till soybeans. We've also shared our own experiments with rye cover crops here at The Rodale Institute--including information on a front mounted roller we developed to crimp and kill the rye at planting. For more on our cover crop coverage, see below.

Farm Aid was great. We gave away lots of New Farm patches and brochures, met some great Ohio farmers, signed up dozens of people for the email newsletter, and rocked to some incredible music, including music by a band you may not know about: Los Lonely Boys out of Texas. Check them out. We also chatted with folks from Patchwork Farms, a Missouri cooperative of hog farmers who are going gangbusters with organic pork. And there was the guy representing a successful organic dairy cooperative in Wisconsin ... We'll share these and other stories with you in coming issues of the web site.

--Chris Hill, Executive Editor

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


WEED FREE! Soybeans into no-till rye (more below)

Japanese agricultural history, part 3 (more below)


Fresh today from The New Farm®

Weed Free! An ode to rye

Minnesota researcher Paul Porter is working with five farmers to figure out the best way to use a rye cover crop as an effective weed suppressant for soybeans. No-till planting in rye is looking really strong as a strategy. At right: farmer Robin Brekken finds no weeds in his rye.


Weed FREE!



Rye lessons learned here at The Rodale Institute

We describe our own variation on planting soybeans into a rye cover. Hint: it involves a roller, and only takes one pass.


Rye lessons

Dr. Don Research Update: More on
cover crop roll-downs

Organic no-till with cover crop roll-down is viable in Kentucky research
  Organic no-till

A city girl takes the plunge and buys the farm

Twelve years ago Janet Hahn returned to Ohio to care for her mother and fell in love with the life of an organic farmer.


City girl in OHIO


Shumei Natural Agriculture:
Farming to create heaven on earth

Part 3--The evolution of Natural Agriculture: Not a farming method, but a shared vision for a better world

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this three-part series, Lisa M. Hamilton sketched the history and culture of farming changes in Japan through the 1980s. In this final installment, she explains how the Shumei practice of Natural Agriculture has evolved in the late 20th century out of the founder's ideas.


Japanese farming



Act before September 19!

Continue the fight for country-of-origin labeling

The House tried to freeze COOL by cutting its funding but the Senate said, I don't think so. Now the future of COOL lies in the fiscal balances. Act now to let congress know this is something you would actually like to see your tax dollars spent on.


Action alert!



This month, The New Farm Certification Team tackles questions about chlorine regulations in the organic production and handling system, the $5,000 or less income exemption and livestock bedding rules.




Grassroots OPX
Take a look at what farmers are getting for their goods at farmer's markets across the country. This week: 4 markets. And thanks again to all the readers who have helped us with this venture.


Grassroots OPX

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