USDA Announces $48 million in Available Funding for Specialty Crop Research and Extension Programs
WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2015 - 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.”
Specialty crops are defined in law as "fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture." This program develops and disseminates science-based tools to address the needs of specific crops across the entire spectrum of specialty crops production, from researching plant genetics to developing new production innovations and developing methods to respond to food safety hazards.
An example of a previously funded SCRI project is the University of Florida Gulf Coast Research and Education Center’s Strawberry Advisory System, an online web tool which helps farmers spend less money on fungicides and achieve better results with what they do spray.
NIFA recently announced more than $50 million in funding for the fiscal year 2015 SCRI grantees.
SCRI pre-applications are due Dec. 3, and full applications are due March 11, 2016. Please see the request for applications for specific program requirements.
Funding for the SCRI program is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.
NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and extension and seeks to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. To learn more about NIFA’s impact on agricultural science, visit nifa.usda.gov/impacts or follow us on Twitter @usda_nifa, #NIFAimpacts.