Hand holding hydroponic vegetable in air in room full of hydroponic vegetables. 1540x800 RoseNoom/ThinkstockPhotos

$48 million available for specialty crop research

Deadline to apply for funding is Dec. 8, 2017.

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced $48 million in Fiscal Year 2018 funding for research and extension activities to enhance productivity, safety, and innovation in the specialty crop industry.

Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.

“To be competitive in a global market, U.S. specialty crop producers need to use sophisticated technologies and prudent practices,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “These NIFA investments support large-scale systems projects that we expect will result in knowledge, which can promote efficient and effective production, processing, and distribution practices, along with long-term solutions to specialty crop industry challenges.”

The Specialty Crop Research Initiative invites pre-applications to solve critical U.S. specialty crop issues, priorities, or problems through integrated research and extension activities that use systems-based, trans-disciplinary approaches. The SCRI program will give priority to projects that are multistate, multi-institutional, or trans-disciplinary and include clearly defined mechanisms to communicate results to producers and the public. Five focus areas for SCRI projects include research on breeding, pest and disease management, production efficiency, innovations and technology, and food safety. 

The application deadline is Dec. 8, 2017. See the request for applications for details. 

Funding is made through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. 

Source: USDA NIFA

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