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The ATTRA Blog


Posted on November 13, 2020
All across the South and as far north as USDA Climate Zone 5, fall planting of fruit trees can help get fruit trees off to a big head-start compared to fruit trees planted in spring. Why? The answer is a…





Posted on October 29, 2020
In my work on NCAT’s Soil for Water Project, I’ve tried a lot of different ways of monitoring land and soil health. For years, I’ve been hearing about LandPKS (Land Potential Knowledge System), a mobile app that has been under…





Posted on October 16, 2020
What is not so much fun is when you have an animal that does not feel well. An animal that is lethargic, disinterested in grazing or in being with the flock, is depressed and slow-moving or having trouble standing is…



Posted on October 8, 2020
Part of my role as an NCAT Agriculture Specialist is to connect farmers to the resources that they need, so I always include USDA agencies in our Armed to Farm trainings for military veterans and other educational events we organize.…



Posted on October 1, 2020
You see, people don’t always behave rationally. And certainly not around the things we buy. We buy products not because they make the most economic sense, but because of the meaning around those products. We buy gendered products, products that…



Posted on September 24, 2020
Like many of our favorite movies, the sequel to the Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program (CFAP2) is an expansion and improvement of the original. About $14 billion has been made available to fund this relief effort. By Jeff Schahczenski, NCAT Agricultural…



Posted on September 17, 2020
Back in the day, I learned beekeeping at Prairie View A&M University Greenhouse where I started their apiary. Cecil Fry, one of the university’s electricians, started me off and even gave me a hive. With his training as a launch…







Posted on September 2, 2020
As we round the corner from summer into fall, I always like to look back and assess how we did on our farm during the busy summer months. We did not suffer a bad drought this summer, though it was…



Posted on August 27, 2020
I've spent most of my life working in large-scale crop production. Through this work, I've developed a passion for growing food and feeding people, which feels even more important right now, during the COVID-19 pandemic. By Andrew Coggins, NCAT Rocky…









Posted on July 24, 2020
My passion for working in sustainable agriculture came out of a love of being in nature with friends, whether it was going on back-country backpacking trips, kayaking Texas’s beautiful rivers, mountain biking, or sometimes escaping to nature for my own…





Posted on July 16, 2020
The most amazing thing I have seen come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is our ability to adapt and mobilize into positive action, regardless of the circumstances. By Kara Kroeger, NCAT Agriculture Specialist



Posted on July 10, 2020
Resilience is the latest buzzword in the lexicon of sustainable agriculture... and for good reason. Resilience is the ability to recover or bounce back after a challenge or setback.By Guy Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist



Posted on July 2, 2020
While we never have a problem selling what we have available, we also don’t usually have an overwhelming demand. As soon as COVID-19 hit, though, people who have never bought meat from us before began reaching out to see if…



Posted on June 25, 2020
Like all plants, avocados have secrets to share; understanding the plants we grow can unlock their potential and bring a deeper understanding of the ecology in our own back yards. Here are a few considerations for your backyard avocados, as…



Posted on June 22, 2020
I don't grow peaches. That unhappy confession is despite the fact that I grow peach trees. And rot. I grow a lot of brown rot. By Guy Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist



Posted on June 18, 2020
This week, I will be sending a young dairy goat named Caramel to a lovely family. The seven-year-old girl who will be in charge of the goat is so excited; she and her parents have planned for shelter, pasture, and…



Posted on
Layered upon the pandemic and a national economic freefall, the murder of George Floyd and so many other Black Americans has sparked frustration, anger and sorrow across the country, not least here at NCAT.



Posted on June 10, 2020
Value-added enterprises are one way to increase the profitability of growing those vegetables. And, in fact, in a recent survey of 400 ATTRA clients, the number one topic they wanted to see covered in more detail on our website was…



Posted on June 4, 2020
I developed a love of plants as a young boy, helping my father in his yard-of-the-month winning front yard. I hated pruning roses, but everything else was so amazing to me. I think the thing that really hooked me was…





Posted on May 22, 2020
We have a livestock farm in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, but we’re always looking for ways to diversify our operation. Mushrooms seemed like a good fit. We manage over 100 acres of forest, a ready source of both material…



Posted on May 18, 2020
No, the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) is not food for the nation’s hungry, but rather assistance for the nation’s food producers. Details of how U.S. farmers can apply for this assistance are still scarce, but the most important message…



Posted on May 15, 2020
Earlier this spring, my wife and I got a 12x16 foot greenhouse for our small farm to use for starting vegetable and flower transplants for our garden. The greenhouse arrived just in time, before COVID-19 restrictions went into place in…



Posted on May 8, 2020
Vegetable growers are hustling to start seeds in order to have transplants ready to go in to the ground once the soil has warmed up and dried out. By Andy Pressman NCAT Northeast Regional Director



Posted on May 1, 2020
Adaptive grazing improves forage availability and ecosystem functioning, and strengthens grazing landscapes with diversity and resilience. ATTRA has brought together a suite of resources for farmers and ranchers, of all scales and for all species of grazing animals, who are…



Posted on April 29, 2020
I’m seeing peach leaf curl in my orchard. It’s April, but the calendar date is not as important as the growth stage of the peaches.By Guy K. Ames NCAT Horticulture Specialist In Northwest Arkansas



Posted on April 22, 2020
When I am faced with a less than ideal growing situation, rather than fight with Nature, I'll build a raised bed. I've built many of them over the years to suit different purposes. By Justin C. DuncanNCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist





Posted on March 23, 2020
Here on my farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia, I am extremely eager to get my garden started. Due to the uncertain times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am motivated to achieve greater self-sufficiency and…



Posted on March 19, 2020
I can hardly think of a perennial fruit easier to grow than elderberries. And I can hardly think of a food item with a stronger claim to health benefits. Coupling the ease of growing with this fruit’s new popularity as…