Specialty crop growers weighed in during listening sessions for the 2007 Farm Bill and their voices were heard. Specialty crop research received $230 million over the life of the Farm Bill.
"The Administration was really impressed with the fact that the industries weren't asking for direct payments for farmers, they were asking for research, development and extension," says Tom Bewick of Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service.
Funding from what is called the Specialty Crop Research Initiative is going to projects involving areas such as plant genomics, pest identification, technological advances and improved safety and production. Bewick says each of these focus areas received at least 10% of available funds.
Grant applications for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative are now available. Research entities can obtain applications at www.grants.gov.