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Carl Collen


USDA backs specialty crops

Organisation announces over US$60m in grant availability for the specialty crop industry

USDA backs specialty crops

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The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is making more than US$60m in grants available to support farmers growing fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops, also known as specialty crops.

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) grants are allocated to US states and territories for projects that help support projects including research, agricultural extension activities, and programmes to address the needs of America's specialty crop industry.

Interested parties should apply directly through their state departments of agriculture, which manage the competitive grant process.

The SCBGP funding, administered by AMS, is allocated based on a formula that considers both specialty crop acreage and production value in each State and Territory.

The grants are part of USDA’s continued effort to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops and provide resources to strengthen American agriculture.

USDA encourages states to submit specialty crops projects related to the following priority areas: research; food safety; sustainability; developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops; pest and disease control; child and adult nutrition; improving efficiency of distribution systems; and helping businesses to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

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