USDA Specialty Crop Research Initiative request for applications now online

The purpose of the Specialty Crop Research Initiative program is to address the critical needs of the specialty crop industry by awarding grants to support research and extension that address key challenges of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including conventional and organic food production systems.

Projects must address at least one of five focus areas:

  1. Research in plant breeding, genetics, genomics, and other methods to improve crop characteristics;
  2. Efforts to identify and address threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators;
  3. Efforts to improve production efficiency, handling and processing, productivity, and profitability over the long term (including specialty crop policy and marketing);
  4. New innovations and technology, including improved mechanization and technologies that delay or inhibit ripening; and
  5. Methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, and respond to potential food safety hazards in the production efficiency, handling and processing of specialty crops.

Who is eligible to apply

  • 1862 Land-Grant Institutions
  • 1890 Land-Grant Institutions
  • 1994 Land-Grant Institutions
  • For-profit Organizations Other Than Small Businesses
  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS status, other than Institutions of Higher Ed
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS status, other than Institutions of Higher Ed
  • Other or Additional Information (See below)
  • Private Institutions of Higher Ed
  • Small Business
  • State Agricultural Experiment Stations
  • State Controlled Institutions of Higher Ed

Letters of intent are due April 11 and full applications are due June 20. For more information, visit the funding opportunity page.

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