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Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for October 02, 2013

ENERGY NEWSBRIEFS is a weekly current awareness service provided by the WSU Extension Energy Program Library and written by Angela Santamaria, WSU Energy Library Manager, to assist users in tracking developments in the energy field. To view past issues or to subscribe to receive an email notification of the publication of a new issue, go to the Energy Newsbriefs home.

Please be aware that although every URL is checked for accuracy prior to the publication of Energy Newsbriefs, URLs are, for various reasons, subject to change. Further, servers sometimes fail to connect to working URLs.


BIOFUELS/BIOMASS

Grains & Oilseeds website

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension recently launched a new website, Cooperative Extension: Grains & Oilseeds, with information on growing small grains and oilseeds for food use, animal feed, and energy feedstock. The new site contains the monthly Maine Grain and Oilseed Newsletter; a fact sheet and video section; and links to further resources. Although oriented toward Maine growers, much of the information on the site could be applicable to other regions.

Ethanol in antique tractors

A webinar archive, Ethanol Use in Antique Tractors and Other Legacy Engines, is available for viewing on the eXtension.org website. The webinar took place on August 30, 2013; it examines the interaction of ethanol fuel with older engines. The operation, care, and maintenance of the older engine are addressed in relation to fuel choice.

Oilseed conference 2014: Sponsorships still available

The 2014 Oilseed and Direct Seed Cropping Systems Conference will take place January 20-22, 2014, in Kennewick, Washington. Topics will cover all areas of oilseed production, direct seeding management practices, and crop rotation with cereal grains. The conference is presented by the Biofuels Cropping Systems Research and Extension project at Washington State University, and the Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association. Conference sponsorships are still available; scroll down for details.

SOIL MANAGEMENT

Payoffs from soil carbon management

When Managing for Soil Carbon Really Pays,” by Chad Kruger, was posted to the WSU Organics blog on September 27, 2013. It contains case examples of effective soil carbon management strategies gathered by researchers at WSU Cook Agronomy Farm in Whitman County, Washington. In particular, it documents how no-till practices can increase soil water recharge and improve the retention of soil nutrients in dryland soil.

Prairie strips between row crops

The Cost of Prairie Conservation Strips” is a two-page fact sheet published in August 2013 by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. It calculates the cost of establishing strips of prairie between row crops, and suggests that the strategy is a cost-effective and low-input conservation practice for Midwest farmers. The research found that converting just one-tenth of a farm field to prairie strips resulted in an over 90 percent reduction in soil and nutrient runoff.

LOCAL SOURCING

Food hubs expanding

According to results from a 2013 National Food Hub Survey conducted by Michigan State University researchers, food hubs are a viable and expanding option for consumers throughout the United States who are interested in obtaining locally sourced food. The survey found that many or most food hubs are financially viable, contributing significantly to the growth of their local economies, creating jobs, supporting regional producers, and contributing to food access. To learn more, see “Food Hubs Seen as Profitable Businesses, National Survey Shows,” published September 17, 2013, at CRFS News.

GRANTS AND FUNDING

Emerging Research grants: Deadline approaching

Applications for the Emerging Research Issues for Washington Agriculture FY-2014 Internal Competitive Grant Program are due by October 21, 2013. The grant program is administrated by the WSU Agricultural Research Center, and provides seed money for selected projects that address an emerging regional or national issue faced by the agricultural sector in Washington State. Greater consideration will be given to issues which further the research goals of WSU, are not currently being addressed, or are under-invested.

Conservation Innovation grants awarded by USDA

On September 10, 2013, the USDA announced $13.3 million in funding for projects which accelerate the conservation of private lands. 33 winning projects were selected which demonstrate innovative approaches to improve soil health, conserve energy, manage nutrients, and enhance wildlife in balance with productive agricultural systems. To learn more, read the USDA press release, or see the list of projects.

REAP funds announced

On September 25, 2013, Tom Vilsack announced funding for projects in 22 states under the USDA Rural Energy for America (REAP) program. Grant money will help farmers and rural businesses reduce their energy consumption and/or adopt renewable energy technologies. To learn more and access the full list of funded projects, see the USDA press release.


Past issues of Energy Newsbriefs are available here. Generally, subscription information for the journals cited above can be found at the home page of their web sites. © 2013 Washington State University Extension Energy Program. This publication contains material written and produced for public distribution.