US: Minnesota receives USDA funding for specialty crop research

Nine new agricultural research projects in Minnesota can now begin with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The focus of the research projects is to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.

The research projects will share more than $676,000 in funding provided by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service under its Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

These nine Minnesota research projects were scored and ranked by a panel of experts in specialty crop production and marketing, and were chosen from among 27 applications.

The University of Minnesota received funding for three research projects to improve producers’ knowledge of good agricultural practices and food safety practices; ensure public food safety of locally grown leafy greens by enhancing farmer training; and reduce the incidence and severity of scab, verticillium wilt and other soil-borne potato diseases.

Another project hopes to increase the purchasing of specialty crops by the childcare and school sectors through outreach activities, and curriculum dissemination on incorporating farm to school education in classrooms.

Source: USDA Farm Service Agency

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