USDA Announces Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Funding Awarded to North Carolina

Date: Thursday, August 25, 2022

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WASHINGTON, August 25, 2022—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today awarded over $1.3 million in Fiscal Year 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funding to North Carolina. This USDA grant will help the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in the state and support specialty crop growers through marketing, education, and research.

“USDA applauds North Carolina’s continued commitment to supporting our nation’s producers of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “The projects funded will foster innovative research and new market opportunities within the specialty crop sector, while furthering USDA’s goals of creating a more fair and equitable food system and supporting local and regional producers.”

Through the SCBGP, NCDA&CS is funding 10 projects. Among the projects, is a North Carolina State University research project on improving sustainable hemlock pest management and conservation by developing integrated pest management practices for hemlock production in nurseries. This research will help protect hemlock trees that are critical to North Carolina tourism and are a major nursey crop in the state. Additional funded projects focus in areas such as marketing, plant growth regulators, and research.

“USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant program enables continued research and outreach, which is critical to the long-term success of North Carolina’s specialty crop producers,” said North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Specifically, the over $1.3 million in funding we received this cycle will support eight research projects at our two state land grant universities and two nonprofit marketing projects.”

The funding to North Carolina is part of a total of $72.9 million in non-competitive FY 2022 SCBGP funding awarded to 55 states, territories and the District of Columbia. The SCBGP funding supports farmers growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops. USDA’s support will strengthen U.S. specialty crop production and markets, ensuring an abundant, affordable supply of highly nutritious fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops, which are vital to the health and well-being of all Americans.

The funding for the SCBGP grants is authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill and FY2022 funding is awarded for a three-year period beginning September 30, 2022. Since 2006, USDA has invested more than $953 million through the SCBGP to fund 11,331 projects that have increased the long-term successes of producers and broadened the market for specialty crops in the U.S. and abroad.

More information about these awards is available on this webpage: 2022 SCBGP Awarded Grants (pdf).