New York, Pennsylvania Specialty Crop Growers Grants

New York, Pennsylvania Specialty Crop Growers Grants

Check this quick run-down on the approved grants in your states.

You've been hearing more and more about specialty crops as the trend toward more locally produce food continues to intensify. Here's a capsulized look at the latest round of U.S. Department of Agriculture block grants to state ag departments in New York and Pennsylvania.

Specialty crop producers throughout the Northeast will benefit directly from most of the 139 projects of 739 approved nationwide. Specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).

A capsulized look at the latest round of U.S. Department of Agriculture block grants to state ag departments in New York and Pennsylvania.

Coupled with another $17.61 million recently funneled to Northeast for specialty crop research (see yesterday's story), serious money is being put up for development of specialty crops and markets.

In this round of block grants, substantial dollars are being committed to training farmers and small processors about the coming wave of food safety regulations, a consequence of the Food Safety Modernization Act, which begins to kick in this year.

New York – $1,060,084

Increase awareness of the newly developed on-line directory/database of producers and value-added processors

Develop a new mobile application for smart phones, I-phones and other mobile devices

Create a targeted commercial trade component/portal addressing purchasing specifications and other sourcing needs of large commercial buyers, institutions and distributors

Enhance regional "Buy Local" campaigns by raising consumer awareness of regional specialty crops

Cornell University to develop a tool to predict chemical thinning of apples to maximize crop value

Cornell to test budwood for latent fire blight bacterial threatening nursery trees and new plantings

Cornell to conduct statewide survey to determine whether corn earworm populations are resistant to pyrethroids

Cornell to test insecticides against the brown marmorated stink bugs

Cornell to develop cost effective, practical management options for controlling garlic stem and bulb (bloat) nematode

Cornell to develop a sustainable, cost-effective control for Japanese beetles

Cornell to evaluate biological control program for plum curculio using insect-attacking nematodes in organic apple orchards

Cooperative Extension to develop a statewide stink bug monitoring

network across multiple specialty crop commodities

Pennsylvania – $1,043,305

Pennsylvania State University to evaluate microbial food safety risks of irrigating specialty crops and develop accurate procedures for farmers to test water

American Mushroom Institute to continue developing growers' food safety protocols, and training tools needed to comply with safety requirements

Apple Marketing Board to build consumer awareness of direct farm markets and an electronic system for consumers to find orchards and markets

Wine Association to continue developing the Pennsylvania Wine Quality Initiative

Fay-Penn Economic Council to establish a Local Economy Initiative promoting specialty crop sales via farm-to-consumer, farmers markets, and other sustainable agriculture via marketing tools and signage

Sterman Masser and Pennsylvania Cooperative Potato Growers to develop generic round white and round yellow potatoes brands specific to Pennsylvania growers

Fair Food to promote and serve Pennsylvania-grown specialty crops to Philadelphia school

Vegetable Marketing and Research Program to provide "Simply Delicious" point-of-purchase materials to direct-marketing vegetable growers and enhance its consumer website

Develop new markets or expand existing outlets for fresh fruit and vegetable and other specialty crop sales

Increase access for food insecure persons in underserved areas who need of food assistance to supplement their diet

Support educational programs for specialty crops through programs such as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) cost share program, Penn State University Market Marker, and the PA Preferred state branding program

Host chef demonstrations to educate the public on healthy eating habits and food safety via demonstrations during Pennsylvania Farm Show

Pennsylvania State University to improve detection and management of bacterial

spot of tomato and pepper, Puccinia horiana that causes chrysanthemum white rust, and Phytophthora isolates collected from ornamental samples

Assess and update Pennsylvania's virus certification program for fruit tree nursery stock

Pennsylvania State to train conifer growers in pest management techniques to reduce pesticide use and/or use reduced-risk products to control armored scale pests

Pennsylvania State to purchase and/or construct seven additional

high tunnels and provide hands-on training on construction, production and operation for year-round production of greens and other cool season vegetables to help eliminate Philadelphia's "food deserts".

Association for Sustainable Agriculture to develop a Northeast Pennsylvania "Food Hub", to increase production and sales of Pennsylvania grown specialty crops
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