Delaware Receives an Additional Round of Specialty Crop Grant Funds from USDA

DOVER, Del. (May 6, 2021) — The Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) received an additional round of funding to enhance the competitiveness of Delaware-grown specialty crops through USDA’s Pandemic Assistance Program. USDA awarded each state department of agriculture an allocation based upon their most recent available value of specialty crop cash receipts and acreage of specialty crop production in the state. As a result, Delaware received an additional $465,433 under H.R. 133 – the Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 133 Stimulus Funding) to distribute through a competitive grant process.

Specialty crops cover agricultural products, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, nursery crops, and floriculture. Projects should benefit the specialty crop industry as a whole, sustain the livelihood of Delaware farmers and strengthen Delaware’s economy. Applicants should look to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops through:
1. Leveraging efforts to market and promote specialty crops;
2. Assisting producers with research and development relevant to specialty crops;
3. Expanding availability and access to specialty crops; and
4. Address local, regional, and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers.

DDA is prioritizing applications under this funding that respond to needs relating to COVID-19 impacts that address local, regional and national challenges confronting the specialty crop industry. This may include projects to assist farmworkers, projects to fund farmers, food businesses, and other relevant entities to respond to risks and supply chain disruptions, and other projects.

For this specific funding round, DDA is offering grants between $5,000 and $100,000 for projects that may last one to nearly four years in length. Grant applications are due no later than 4:30 p.m. on May 26, 2021.

Agricultural producers, nonprofit organizations, government entities, for-profit companies, or educational institutions based in Delaware or with a business or educational affiliation based in Delaware can submit applications. Funding cannot be used for field crops, such as corn and soybeans, or animal agriculture. DDA’s 2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program – H.R. Stimulus Funding Request for Proposal outlines priority issues affecting the industry and needs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that applicants should consider when putting together a submission.

The grant evaluation team will review submissions, with selected projects included in the Delaware State Plan for USDA review and approval.

Past Delaware projects have included research on biological control of spider mites in watermelons, developing and testing lima bean varieties, agricultural literacy projects to increase consumption of specialty crops in youth, and growing consumer awareness of Delaware’s specialty crop industry.

The focus of many specialty crop grant projects in Delaware has often been on fruits and vegetables. However, qualified applicants should also consider projects related to Delaware’s horticultural, floriculture, and nursery crop industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program contact DDA’s Marketing Specialist Ese.Jessa@delaware.gov, or visit online at https://de.gov/scbg to obtain an application.

###


Delaware Department of Agriculture Announces Specialty Crop Grant Availability

DOVER, Del. (March 18, 2021) — The Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) is now accepting proposals for anticipated funding through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. DDA anticipates more than $344,000 to be allocated to increase the competitiveness of Delaware-grown specialty crops. Applications will be accepted through April 20, 2021.

The Specialty Crop Block Grant program is funded through the federal Farm Bill. It covers products, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, nursery crops, and floriculture. Projects should benefit the specialty crop industry as a whole and provide a positive impact with measurable outcomes. Grants are available between $5,000 and $50,000 for projects that may last between one and three years in length.

Applications should 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 based here. Funding cannot be used for field crops, such as corn and soybeans, or animal agriculture.

DDA is offering a virtual grant workshop on March 30, 2021, at 10 a.m. People interested in learning how to apply the grant’s eligibility requirements and priorities should RSVP by March 26 to Ese.Jessa@delaware.gov.

Past Delaware projects have included research on improving commercial broccoli production, expanding community-supported agriculture programs, research on growing persimmons, and marketing to promote locally grown specialty crops.

Proposals for the upcoming fiscal year must be submitted to DDA by 4:30 p.m. on April 20, 2021. The grant evaluation team will review submissions, and selected projects will be included in the Delaware State Plan for USDA review and approval.

For more information about the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, or to obtain an application, visit online at https://de.gov/scbg.

###


Delaware receives funds to increase locally grown specialty crops

DOVER, Del. — The Delaware Department of Agriculture announced today that they are seeking applications for this year’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, with nearly $359,000 allocated to assist in increasing the competitiveness of Delaware-grown specialty crops. Applications will be accepted through April 22, 2019.

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. Projects should benefit the specialty crop industry as a whole and be able to provide a positive impact with measurable outcomes. Grants are available between $5,000 and $50,000 for projects that may last between one and three years in length.

Applications should 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 on April 3 at 5 p.m. in the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Conference Center at 2320 South DuPont Highway, Dover.

Past Delaware projects have included research on improving commercial broccoli production, efforts to expand a community-supported agriculture program, research on growing persimmons, and marketing to promote locally grown specialty crops.

Applications are available at https://de.gov/scbg, or from DDA marketing specialist JoAnn Walston at 302-698-4592 or joann.walston@delaware.gov. Due to a change in the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant cycle, applications are due earlier this year. Applications must be received by 4:30 p.m. on April 22.

###

Media Contact: Stacey Hofmann, 302-698-4542, stacey.hofmann@delaware.gov


Delaware receives federal funding for agriculture research and marketing projects

Dover, Del. – The Delaware Department of Agriculture announced today that seven projects received grant funding through USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant program. Delaware received nearly $300,000 to enhance the competitiveness of Delaware grown specialty crops, defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture).

“The Specialty Crop Block Grant provides funding for research that makes a difference in the bottom line for our farmers,” said Delaware’s Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse. “Our partners do a great job in testing varieties that improve yield, identify new varieties that are suitable for production in Delaware, and develop sound marketing practices to connect the consumer with their food source.”

Selected through a competitive process, these projects focus on Delaware grown specialty crops:

> The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension vegetable program is partnering with the FMC Company to evaluate the potential for sourcing food colorants and additives from vegetable waste from Delaware farms.

>Research will be conducted by the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension Fruit and Vegetable Program to test strategies to reduce the effects of heat stress on a variety of vegetable crops and demonstrate successful techniques to growers.

>Utilizing the lima bean genome, the University of Delaware’s Department of Plant and Soil Science will identify disease resistance genes from their diversity panel and improve the marker system developed to deploy durable disease resistance genes in lima bean cultivars.

> Charlotte’s Secret Garden will plant a high density, diverse orchard with approximately 350 trees on 1 acre of land to demonstrate how small farms can provide community supported agriculture, farm markets, and farm stands with fresh, locally grown fruit from spring through the fall.

> The Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware will seek to improve awareness with consumers of its members and the specialty crops that they grow in Delaware, including a coordinated marketing and promotion effort.

> University of Delaware Weed Science will conduct research on weed control related to lima beans and pumpkins.

>Colonial School District will develop farm-based education programming on Penn Farm with a goal to increase child and adult knowledge and awareness about gardening, agriculture, healthy eating, local foods and seasonality.

For more information on the Delaware Department of Agriculture and financial assistance available for Delaware agriculture, visit online at dda.delaware.gov.

###

Media Contact: Stacey Hofmann, Community Relations Officer, (302) 698-4542, Stacey.Hofmann@delaware.gov


Grants available for education, marketing, and research of specialty crops

DOVER — Nearly $300,000 in federal grant funding is now available for projects to help increase the competitiveness of Delaware-grown specialty crops. The Delaware Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program through May 15, 2017.

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. Projects may run for one to three years. Grants are available between $5,000 and $50,000.

Applications should 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 5 p.m. April 12 at the Delaware Department of Agriculture, 2320 South DuPont Highway, Dover.

Past Delaware projects have included research on heat-tolerant lima bean varieties, efforts to expand a community-supported agriculture program, research on edible truffle mushrooms, and marketing to promote locally grown specialty crops.

Applications are available at de.gov/scbg, or from DDA marketing specialist JoAnn Walston at 302-698-4592 or joann.walston@delaware.gov. Due to a change in the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant cycle, applications are due a month earlier this year. Applications must be received by 4:30 p.m. on May 15.

# # #

Media Contact: Stacey Hofmann, 302-698-4542, stacey.hofmann@delaware.gov