From growing chickpeas in western Nebraska to reducing pesticide use in apple orchards in Nebraska City, 12 specialty crop projects across the state will receive nearly $600,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP). Administered by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) using funding from the grant, the program supports research, development and marketing of specialty crops.
“Nebraska’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program offers resources to those interested in enhancing and diversifying the state’s agricultural industry through specialty crops,” said NDA Director Greg Ibach. “This year’s projects contribute to Nebraska’s overall agricultural economy by maximizing the value of specialty crops and by keeping production and research in the state.”
Specialty crops are generally defined as fruits, vegetables, nuts, honey and some turf and ornamental crops. (See full list of specialty crops at www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp/specialty-crop.)