Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) RFA is available

The purpose of the SCRI program is to address the critical needs of the specialty crop industry by awarding grants to support research and extension that address key challenges of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including conventional and organic food production systems. Projects must address at least one of five focus areas:

  • Research in plant breeding, genetics, genomics, and other methods to improve crop characteristics
  • Efforts to identify and address threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators
  • Efforts to improve production efficiency, handling and processing, productivity, and profitability over the long term (including specialty crop policy and marketing)
  • New innovations and technology, including improved mechanization and technologies that delay or inhibit ripening
  • Methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, and respond to potential food safety hazards in the production, efficiency, handling and processing of specialty crops.

Deadline: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 5 PM ET

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Secretary Vilsack Announces $36.5 Million for Specialty Crop Research and Extension Investments

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced 19 grants totaling $36.5 million for research and extension to support American farmers growing fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops including floriculture. The grants are funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Specialty Crop Research Initiative, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“America’s specialty crop farmers face many challenges ranging from a changing climate to increasing production costs. Investing in cutting edge research helps uncover solutions to keep their operations viable and ensures Americans have access to safe, affordable and diverse food options,” said Vilsack. “The universities, state departments of agriculture and trade associations that partner with USDA address challenges at the national and local levels to help sustain all parts of America’s food and agriculture system, whether the farms are small or large, conventional or organic.” Continue reading

Impact Spotlight: Tackling citrus greening

From the National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Huanglongbing, or citrus greening disease, is a disease that causes citrus trees to produce small, bitter fruit that drop prematurely and cannot be sold or used for juice. It is caused by a bacterial disease that is transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid, which feeds on the stems and leaves of citrus trees.

Citrus greening continues to impact the Florida citrus industry. The state has lost approximately 100,000 citrus acres and $3.6 billion in revenues since 2007. Continue reading

USDA Awards $20 Million in Grants for Citrus Greening Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today awarded $20.1 million in grants to university researchers for research and extension projects to help citrus producers fight Huanglongbing (HLB), commonly known as citrus greening disease. This funding is available through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program (CDRE), which was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and is administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Continue reading

USDA Announces $48 million in Available Funding for Specialty Crop Research and Extension Programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of $48 million in grants to solve critical specialty crop challenges through the integration of research and extension activities. The grants will be funded through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI), administered by NIFA and made available through the 2014 Farm Bill.

“The SCRI program addresses the critical needs of the specialty crop industry by funding projects that address key challenges in sustaining all components of food and agriculture production systems,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “Ultimately, this research will ensure a safe and secure food supply for our growing population.”

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Specialty Crop Research Initiative RFA now available

The FY 2014 Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) RFA is now available for public viewing.

Please note that this year, in response to guidance from Secretary Vilsack, the SCRI program, as well as AFRI and other NIFA programs, welcomes applications relating to organic systems as well as conventional systems.

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