PNW Awarded $8.75M in Specialty Crop Block Grant Funding

USDA announced Thursday it is investing $169.9 million through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The goal of the program is to support farmers growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts and nursery crops. Of the nearly $170 million distributed nationally, the Pacific Northwest was awarded roughly $8.75 million.

The Idaho state Department of Agriculture was awarded $2,033,776.00, which will be distributed to a variety of projects, including:

  • Evaluation of the spatial variability of E. coli in irrigation canals for the FDA Produce Safety Rule
  • Collect and Identify Pollinators That Enhance Idaho Specialty Crops
  • Building Awareness, Demand, and Increasing Sales of Idaho Apples through Media and Retail Promotions
  • Short Tree Architectures for Pedestrian Apple Orchards to Improve Yield, Quality, Nutrients, and Labor Cost
  • Developing rapid molecular diagnostic tests for bacterial diseases of Phaseolus and Non-Phaseolus bean specie
  • Increasing Sales and Building Awareness of Idaho Cherries through Instore Promotions and Social Media
  • Developing integrated disease management strategies for pink root disease of onions

The Oregon Department of Agriculture will receive $2,056,469.28, which will be used to fund:

  • Converting Beverage Processing Byproducts into High Value, Sustainable Packaging Products
  • Development of Sprout Inhibitors or Growth Suppressants in Potatoes
  • Enhancing Specialty Seed Production in Oregon through Outreach and Education
  • Enhancing Turfgrass Carbon Sequestration to Improve Sustainability and Expand Market Access
  • Gardening for Justice: Building Sustainable Vegetable Gardens in Correctional Facilities in Oregon
  • Gorge Grown Mobile Market: Increasing Access to Specialty Crops in the Columbia Gorge
  • Increasing Oregon Grown Fruits and Vegetables in the School Marketplace
  • Integrated Control of Cabbage Maggot in Vegetable and Seed Crops
  • Market Development for Processed Oregon Caneberries and Strawberries in Japan
  • Market Research and Crop Development to Reinvigorate Oregon’s Vegetable Industry
  • regon Blueberry Retail and Foodservice Promotions in Southeast Asia
  • Oregon Food as Medicine: Expanding the Market for Vegetable CSA’s
  • Oregon Small Food & Beverage Business Alignment Project
  • Seeking Alternatives to Chlorpyrifos: Addressing Needs for Sustainable Insect Management

The Washington state Department of Agriculture has been awarded $4,651,634.78 by USDA to fund a variety of projects:

  • Air, Soil and Pollinators: Outreach and Opportunities for Okanogan County Orchardist
  • Assessing the Economic Contributions of Washington’s Tree Fruit Industry and the Important Role of Export
  • Building Capacity and Support for PNW Radicchio Production Through Market Expansion and International Exchange
  • Building Skills, Networks and Markets to Expand Organic Specialty Crops
  • Developing a PhenologyBased Recommendation Program for Pear Psylla
  • Developing a Washington Blueberry Market in Southeast Asia
  • Domestic Promotion of Washington Asparagus
  • Elevating Bilingual Land Access, Financial & Employment Training & Technical Assistance for Experienced Beginning Specialty Crop Producers
  • Enhancing the Competitiveness of Washington Peas in a Plant-Based Protein Market
  • Epidemiology of the X-Disease Phytoplasma
  • Evaluating the Effect of Soil Fumigation and Cover Crops on Soil Health in Potato Field
  • Market Access in the Time of COVID-19: Supporting Adaptive Strategies for Local and Direct Marketing Specialty Crop Producers
  • New Tools for Improving Biological Control of Pear Psylla by Trechnites Parasitoids
  • PMA Booth for WA State Specialty Crop Producers
  • Production of Consistent Quality Fresh Sliced Pears
  • Validation of Sanitizer Disinfection of Wash Water in Dump Tank Operation of Apple Packing Line
  • Vancouver Farmers Market Community Supported Agriculture Program
  • Washington Ag History for Specialty Crops
  • Washington Native Plant Probiotics for Increased Sustainability & Climate Change Adaptation of Specialty Crops
  • Washington Red Raspberry Baking Collaborative

Click Here for a complete breakdown of the projects receiving funding across the Northwest, or nationwide. Since 2006, USDA has invested more than $880 million through SCBGP to increase the long-term success of producers and broaden the market for specialty crops in the U.S. and abroad.

If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail [email protected]

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