Hoeven Encourages Ag Researchers, Industry to Apply for Specialty Crop Funding

Pre-Applications Due by November 15

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee and Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced that the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making $48.1 million available through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative. This program supports research and extension projects to address challenges in plant breeding, pest management, production efficiency, new innovations and technology and food safety in production and processing. Eligible crops include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. North Dakota is a leading producer of several specialty crops, including dry beans and peas, lentils, sunflowers and honey.

“Specialty crops provide a good opportunity for our state to diversify its economy, both in their production and through value-added activities,” Hoeven said. “This program will support a wide range of ag research in the public and private sectors to improve the efficiency of growing these crops as well as finding new ways to use and distribute them.”

Pre-applications are due by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on November 15, 2016, and may be submitted by institutions of higher education, research institutions, Cooperative Extension Services, State Agricultural Experiment Stations, private organization and individuals. More information can be found on USDA’s website or grants.gov.