FY 2018 Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Request for Pre-Application (RFA) is now available

The FY 2018 Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Request for Pre-Application (RFA) is now available for public viewing.

NIFA Funding Opportunity Page: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scri.

Grants.gov Page: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=297651. This page includes a synopsis of the funding opportunity, a link to the full announcement (RFPA) and the application package.

Stevia being explored as crop in Southeast

In Southeast Farm Press

As it stands now, there are still many questions on producing stevia in the Southeast with less than 300  acres currently planted to the crop in North Carolina. But there is a commitment and a definite interest in making stevia a viable cash crop across the Southeast.

North Carolina State University is firmly dedicated to expanding stevia production with a team of researchers working on the economics of growing stevia to varietal development to weed and disease control and more. Continue reading

NIFA Invests $35 Million in Specialty Crop Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 12 new grants totaling $35 million for science-based solutions and new technology for the specialty crop industry.  Funding is made through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Specialty crops generally fetch high value for the farmers, but require more intensive farming than conventional crops, such as wheat or corn,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA investments in specialty crop research provide high-tech solutions to the needs of farmers and processors. They foster a competitive U.S. industry that offers abundant, nutritious, safe and affordable food sources.” Continue reading

APHIS will accept proposals for FY 2018 NCPN cooperative agreements from July 17, 2017 through October 6, 2017

The NCPN provides high-quality, propagated plant material that is free of plant pathogens and pests that can cause economic losses to the American specialty crop industry. USDA’s goal is to create an effective, uniform, consistent, efficient, and highly self-sufficient network of clean plant centers serving the needs of specialty crop industry.

Funding will be provided to Land-Grant Universities, Non Land-Grant Colleges of Agriculture, State Agricultural Experiment Stations, State Governments, and Federal Agencies to support implementation and ongoing activities of the NCPN. Continue reading

USDA Announces Funding Available for Specialty Crop and Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Programs

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the availability of more than $66.5 million in funding for research and extension activities to address the needs of America’s specialty crop industry and solve critical organic agricultural production issues. The grants will be funded through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative and the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative. Both programs are administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and made available through the 2014 Farm Bill.

Continue reading