Summary: Ten projects focused on supporting specialty crop producers recently received funding through the specialty crop block grant program funded by USDA. More than $1.25 million was awarded.
- Specialty crops represent tremendous opportunities for North Carolina farmers, and we have seen production increase for specialty crops and interest in growing them increase.
- Some examples of specialty crops include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, turfgrass and sod, Christmas trees and nursery and greenhouse crops
- Projects focusing on microgreens and truffles are also included in this year’s funding cycle.
- Ten projects from universities, nonprofits and commodity associations received over $1.25 million in funding.
- Recipient projects focus on improving pest and disease management practices for tomatoes, sweet potatoes, apples, Fraser fir Christmas trees and truffles.
- One project includes outreach and education resources for grapes and wine, and others looking to expand the market for specialty crops and underserved producers.
- Funding will go for:
- six projects at N.C. State University,
- one project at North Carolina A&T State University,
- one project with Carolina Farm Stewardship,
- and one project with both the N.C. Potato Association and the N.C. Sod Association.
- The money for this comes from USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant program with the department managing the application and distribution for the program.
I know this funding will be put to good use to help increase production and marketing opportunities for specialty crop growers.