More than $336,000 in federal grant funding is now available for projects to help produce, market or access Delaware-grown fruit, vegetables and certain other crops. The Delaware Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program through Monday, June 9.
The program, funded through the federal Farm Bill, covers products known as specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. Delaware has just over $336,000 available for grants, an increase of more than $100,000 over last year. Projects may run for one to three years.
Applications must be submitted by agricultural producers, nonprofit organizations, government entities, for-profit companies or educational institutions based in Delaware or with a business or educational affiliation here. Funding cannot be used for field crops, such as corn and soybeans, or animal agriculture.
An informational grant workshop will be held from 4 to 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 14, at the Delaware Department of Agriculture, 2320 South DuPont Highway, Dover.
Past Delaware projects have included research on heat-tolerant lima bean varieties, work to improving sales of local produce in Wilmington, expanding a community-supported agriculture program, research on blueberry varieties, and advertising to promote locally run farm stands.
Applications are available at de.gov/scbg2014, or from DDA marketing specialist JoAnn Walston at 302-698-4592 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications must be received by 4:30 p.m., June 9. A review team will rank applications for a final decision.