specialty crops Tag

Related ATTRA publication: High Tunnel Grapes: Establishment University of Minnesota Extension has a new online course, Growing Cold Climate Grapes, available for grape growers, vineyard managers, gardeners, and prospective vineyard owners. The free course is not scheduled, so students can utilize the course materials at their own pace. The course contains 11 modules. Each module covers a different topic about vineyard management, from planting to harvesting and everything in between. The modules include a variety of videos, interactive images, and written content. At the end of each module, a quiz invites participants to test their knowledge of the topic. ...

Cultivating Our Communities, a partnership with the Illinois Lt. Governor's Office, the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Illinois Specialty Growers Association, and the Illinois Department of Agriculture, has launched its 2022 campaign spotlighting unique individuals, farms, and businesses. Since 2020, Cultivating Our Communities has showcased more than 85 food and farm businesses through Illinois Farm Bureau Partners and FarmWeekNow.com articles that demonstrate the many ways these businesses uplift rural, suburban, and urban communities across the state. This year's campaign will focus on farms and markets in different regions across the state. ...

University of Illinois Extension and Western Illinois University are collaborating on research into growing ginger as a specialty crop in Illinois. Researchers believe ginger could be a high-value crop that offers high tunnel tomato growers a viable crop rotation. Local demand seems to be strong, with ginger produced in a trial selling out at $24 per pound. High tunnels can get too hot for ginger, however, so researchers are trying caterpillar tunnels replaced with shade cloth as the season progresses. They plan demonstrations and field days to share production best practices, and hope to compile a grower guide....

Delaware Farm Bureau reports that its 24-week digital campaign to market the state's specialty crops not only increased consumers' awareness of the benefits of locally grown specialty crops but compelled them to put more Delaware-raised fruits and vegetables in their shopping carts. The campaign spanned two years, running 12 weeks at a time, and was funded through a specialty crop block grant from USDA. Delaware Farm Bureau worked with iHeartMedia, which helped them create eye-catching images that were used on social media platforms, web banners, and on the app. Ads were designed to make consumers more aware of where their...

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) awarded nearly $2.9 million in 2021 USDA Specialty Crop Block Grants to 24 recipients across the state. The grant program aims to boost the competitiveness of specialty crops grown in Minnesota through marketing and promotion, research, and development, expanding availability and access, and addressing challenges confronting producers. Funded projects address disease-resistant hops, specialty crop marketing, hybrid hazelnut rooting, and consumption of microgreens and enriched sprouts in Native American Communities, among other topics. A list of funded projects is available online. ...

USDA is making $72.9 million available through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) to fund innovative projects designed to support the expanding specialty crop sector and explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products. The SCBGP funds are allocated to U.S. states and territories based on a formula that considers both specialty crop acreage and production value. Applications from the states and territories must be submitted by May 3, 2022. Individual specialty crop producers should apply directly through their state departments of agriculture. ATTRA posts notices of open state-level Specialty Crop Block Grant Programs on the Funding...

Researchers at Western Illinois University's School of Agriculture are growing ginger and turmeric to help develop them as alternative crops for Illinois growers. The researchers are growing ginger and turmeric in high tunnels to gather information about how these high-value crops perform locally and how they could fit into local growers' crop rotations. The research team raised five varieties of ginger this year and plans to test more varieties next year. The ginger has medicinal and culinary uses, including applications in brewing. They raised one variety of turmeric, as well as a variety of other high tunnel vegetable crops....

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is accepting applications until December 15, 2021, for a new bilingual program offered to help small, specialty crop farms forced to adjust in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to a WSDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, WSDA Regional Markets Program is partnering with Business Impact NW to offer "Profiting from Your Pivot," a new business service providing one-on-one coaching to specialty crop farmers who had to “pivot” their business model due to the pandemic. Program participants will receive free business coaching, farm mentorship, and the opportunity to select from a portfolio of professional...

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets announced that more than $1.2 million in Specialty Crop Block Grant Awards will support seven advanced research, education, and marketing projects to help specialty crop farms across New York State grow and remain competitive. The funding will support five grower research and education projects led by Cornell University. Cornell University was also awarded $460,000 for research on identifying alternatives to neonicotinoids and chlorpyrifos for controlling insect pests in New York's specialty crops. In addition, $190,000 from the Specialty Crop Block Grant program will support the marketing and promotion of New York's...

Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops announced a partnership with CropTrak, a cloud technology company, to accelerate adoption of the Stewardship Calculator 2.0 across the specialty food supply chain. The partnership leverages CropTrak's technology and on-the-ground expertise with growers to deepen the level of insight and improve user experience of the tool. The Stewardship Calculator 2.0 can be used to track on-farm water, energy/GHG, fertilizer use efficiency, and soil organic matter, as well as biodiversity, food waste, and irrigation efficiency. This empowers participants across the supply chain to baseline the environmental impacts of fruit, nut and vegetable production and identify opportunities...

The Oregon Department of Agriculture announced that nearly $2 million in Specialty Crop Block Grants from USDA will be awarded to 15 Oregon projects aimed at helping producers overcome obstacles, making their operations more profitable, and helping them grow, making them more competitive in the marketplace. A list of the funded projects is available online. It includes projects on beekeeping, pest management, Asian herbs, vineyard irrigation, and more....

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the polar vortex that hit the United States in mid-February: leaving people in Texas without power for up to two weeks, coming within five minutes of crashing the entire Texas power grid, and devastating farms and ranches across the state, including some good friends of mine. It was a “teachable moment” for sure, offering lessons about climate disruption and power industry deregulation among other things. As someone who spent several years working on improving crop insurance for organic farms, the storm also got me thinking about safety nets: who has them and...