Minnesota specialty crop growers get $1 million boost

Specialty crop growers in Minnesota are receiving a $1 million boost in the form of a block grant funded through the Farm Bill, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) said in a recent news release.

MDA said specialty crops, which include nuts, fruits, vegetables and horticultural and nursery crops, comprised approximately 6 percent of Minnesota’s total crop production in 2015.

David Weinand, MDA grants coordinator, said the grants through the Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) Program give farmers, producers and researchers a way to increase the demand for their specialty crops.

“This year’s projects are maximizing the value of specialty crops and contributing to Minnesota’s greater agricultural economy. It’s exciting to see so many innovative projects receive funding,” Weinland said.

Grant money is being awarded to a wide variety of projects, such as breeding short season specialty crop varieties as well as mitigation research and statewide marketing campaigns.

Government agencies, nonprofit organizations and universities in addition to growers receive funding to further a specialty crop industry or one of its segments through the SCBG Program. SCBG funding distribution began in November.

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Minnesota Department of Agriculture

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