BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has awarded 21 grants totaling over $3 million to promote the development, cultivation, production and sales of specialty crops in North Dakota.
“North Dakota is already a leading producer of several specialty crops, such as dry edible beans, dry peas, potatoes and lentils,” Goehring said. “As our farmers seek to diversify their production, these grants help provide important information through specialty crop research, education, and trade missions.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS) approved $3,358,758.41 for the 2023 grants. The grants are distributed based on a formula that takes into account specialty crop acreage and production value.
Specialty crops are defined in law as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops, including floriculture.”
Organizations and agencies receiving grants are:
- North Dakota State University (NDSU) - $180,859 to pursue and develop a durable rust-resistant confectionary sunflower
- NDSU - $170,123 to develop a comprehensive understanding of pulse proteins and their fractions as affected by simple food processing
- National Agricultural Genotyping Center (NAGC) – $321,804 to develop a comprehensive molecular diagnostic panel and sampling techniques to quantify root pathogens in pulse crop hosts and the environment
- NDSU - $142,975 to improve the management of the early die complex in potatoes
- North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) - $135,565.80 for an invasive horticulture pest trapping and outreach project
- NAGC - $271,945 to increase the availability of a diagnostic panel to survey for herbicide resistance in kochia populations
- NDSU - $22,330 to develop dry bean-based bakery products from stone milled flours
- NDSU - $189,903 to build a better inoculant and inoculation decision framework for North Dakota pulse crops
- NDSU - $20,912 to develop pilot milling operations and product applications for lentils
- Northland Potato Growers Association - $150,000 to utilize messaging and marketing to increase awareness and sales of North Dakota-grown potatoes
- NDSU - $36,930 for lentil root rot prediction and mitigation
- NDSU - $272,228 for breeding to develop the next generation of ultra-high protein pea varieties
- North Dakota Trade Office - $382,321 to facilitate international growth for North Dakota specialty crop producers and processors
- NDSU - $67,112 to evaluate hydrangeas for the North Dakota nursery and landscaping industry
- United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) Sugarbeet and Potato Research Unit (Fargo) - $118,000 to migrate potato seed decay and associated economic losses using an enhanced suberization strategy
- Metigoshe Ministries - $53,532.24 to provide education and make improvements at the MetiGROWshe Educational Garden and Orchard at Camp Metigoshe
- NDSU - $97,502 for integrated root rot management in field peas with crop rotation, planting date and seed treatment
- NDSU – $121,520 for post-harvest processing and quality effects on value-added cold-hardy berry and stone fruits
- NDDA - $151,008.80 to conduct diagnostics of Nosema infection in honey bees
- NDSU - $139,600 to determine interactions of nematode and fungal pathogens for control of potato early die disease complex
- NDSU - $59,482 to evaluate woody plant species for clonal propagation methods
NDDA received 44 applications, which were reviewed and scored by a select committee and approved by Goehring. Of the 44 applications, 21 were forwarded to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for final approval.
The application for the 2024 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program for the timeframe of October 1, 2024, to September 30, 2027, will open in early December 2023 and close in January 2024. Applications will then be reviewed, scored, ranked and provided to Agriculture Commissioner Goehring to determine which applications will be forwarded to the USDA for final approval in May 2024. Questions regarding the upcoming application process may be directed to Deanna Gierszewski at 701-328-2191 or firstname.lastname@example.org.