Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
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News

September 11, 2020 – Discontinued: MOFGA will no longer add posts to this news feed. Please continue to enjoy the archival information posted here that is provided as a free service to MOFGA members and the greater worldwide community. Thank you for reading. You may donate to MOFGA here to support our work.

Unfair Food Pricing Is Killing Family Farms and Regenerative Farming

June 30, 2019 – By Elizabeth Henderson, Truthout – In February, a dairy farmer friend sent me a note confiding that a few farmers she knows are living on cereal until their milk checks arrive. Yet, the recently released census of agriculture shows that the number of young farmers is growing even as the average age of farmers also increases, and there are uplifting articles about young Black farmers connecting with the land and enjoying the self-empowerment that comes with being an independent farmer.

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NRCS, UC Davis Announce Release of SoilWeb 2.0 App Update

June 26, 2019 – USDA NRCS – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the University of California at Davis Soil Resource Laboratory today announced the release of the iOS and Android SoilWeb app, version 2.0. The app now has a cleaner and more modern interface with GPS-location-based links to access detailed digital soil survey data (SSURGO) published by the NRCS for most of the United States. The newly updated SoilWeb smartphone application is available as a free download on Google Play offsite link image and Apple App Store offsite link image.

 

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Could Hemp Be a Cash Cow for Dairy Farmers?

June 26, 2019 – By Elizabeth Hewitt, Civil Eats – For most of his life, Dale Grossen has milked cows on the Wisconsin dairy farm his grandparents bought. But these days, the payoff for milking his 55 Holsteins, which he does largely by himself, isn’t what it was.

 

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Production-related contaminants (pesticides, antibiotics and hormones) in organic and conventionally produced milk samples sold in the USA

June 26, 2019 – By Jean A. Welsh et al., Public Health Nutrition – Consumption of cow’s milk, which is associated with diet and health benefits, has decreased in the USA. The simultaneous increase in demand for more costly organic milk suggests consumer concern about exposure to production-related contaminants may be contributing to this decline. We sought to determine if contaminant levels differ by the production method used.

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Training our next generation of organic dairy farmers

June 26, 2019 – By Peggy Keyser, News Center Maine – Tierney Lawlor didn't have much experience with dairy cows, but that didn't stop her from applying to the Wolfe's Neck Center Organic Dairy Farmer Apprentice Training program when she discovered it in her job search. She had worked on a horse farm in high school and studied agriculture in college, but had no experience with cows.

 

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Organic farming enhances honeybee colony performance

June 26, 2019 – Press release, The French National Centre for Scientific Research – A team of researchers from the CNRS, INRA, and the University of La Rochelle is now the first to have demonstrated that organic farming benefits honeybee colonies, especially when food is scarce in late spring. The scientists analysed six years of data collected through a unique system for monitoring domesticated bees that is unparalleled in Europe. Their findings are published in the Journal of Applied Ecology (26 June 2019).

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The ‘Botanical Triad’: The Presence of Insectary Plants Enhances Natural Enemy Abundance on Trap Crop Plants in an Organic Cabbage Agro-Ecosystem

June 22, 2019 – By Binita Shrestha, Insects – Habitat manipulation through the incorporation of non-crop plants such as trap crops (to lure pests away from the cash crop) and insectary plants (to provide resources for natural enemies) into agro-ecosystems is an ecological approach to pest management. In a field-scale study, we quantified the effects of integrating the use of trap crops with insectary plants as a novel method to control pest herbivores in an organic cabbage agro-ecosystem.

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Intact Forests in the United States: Proforestation Mitigates Climate Change and Serves the Greatest Good

June 11, 2019 – By William R. Moomaw et al., Frontiers in Forests and Global Change – The recent 1.5 Degree Warming Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change identifies reforestation and afforestation as important strategies to increase negative emissions, but they face significant challenges: afforestation requires an enormous amount of additional land, and neither strategy can remove sufficient carbon by growing young trees during the critical next decade(s). In contrast, growing existing forests intact to their ecological potential—termed proforestation—is a more effective, immediate, and low-cost approach that could be mobilized across suitable forests of all types. Proforestation serves the greatest public good by maximizing co-benefits such as nature-based biological carbon sequestration and unparalleled ecosystem services such as biodiversity enhancement, water and air quality, flood and erosion control, public health benefits, low impact recreation, and scenic beauty.

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