Nearly $10 million has been awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to 11 multi-state projects that seek to boost the competitiveness of specialty crops.
The projects were funded through the Specialty Crop Multi-State Program, reauthorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, according to a news release.
The program, according to the USDA, considers projects related to food safety, crop protection, and marketing programs that expand opportunities for fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and other horticulture and nursery crops.
Some examples of projects funded this year are:
- The California Department of Food and Agriculture was awarded $885,000 to fund research strategies for increasing marketable yield in California and Florida pomegranate orchards;
- The Arizona Department of Agriculture was awarded $487,000 to fund research work with the University of Arizona and University of California Cooperative Extension to advance commercial mushroom production by increasing the use of local agricultural/industrial wastes as production substrates; and
- The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services was funded about $850,000 to fund research with the University of Florida, the Pennsylvania State University, and the USDA-ARS to study disease resistance and diversity to improve lettuce cultivars against bacterial leaf spot through breeding, genetics, and study of the BLS-lettuce interaction.
A full list of grant recipients and their project descriptions is available at the USDA website.
For more information about the program, contact Martin Rosier at Martin.Rosier@usda.gov