The State of Wisconsin has awarded more than $870,000 in Specialty Crop Block Grants. The money comes from the USDA, projects were selected through a competitive review process, recipients provide 25% matching funds. Recipients will use the money to improve production, complete research and increase marketing of specialty crops.
Among the grant recipients:
- Bayfield County: To evaluate kernel quality and yield performance of initial selections of American hazelnut while generating next generation progeny for evaluation and selection.
- FairShare CSA Coalition: To research the benchmark labor requirements to grow economically important vegetable crops on diversified vegetable farms.
- Farm Center (DATCP): To improve the knowledge and implementation of safe food handling techniques among minority fresh market growers.
- Farm Commons: To educate Wisconsin specialty crop farmers and their grocery, wholesale and institutional buyers about effectively managing contracts, regulations and food safety liability.
- Fruit and Vegetable Inspection Unit (DATCP): To continue a cost-share program for producers to increase the affordability of GAP/GHP audits for independent third-party certification.
- Ginseng Board of Wisconsin: To improve Wisconsin ginseng production by identifying effective management strategies for limiting pests and increasing access to foreign markets.
- McKay Nursery: To test a cover crop mix of tillage radish + red clover to reduce need for herbicides, soil compaction and cover crop competition in nursery fields planted to ornamental trees.
- REAP Food Group: To increase the amount of locally-grown fruits and vegetables sold by local farmers to school food services.
- REAP Food Group: To create a Restaurant Rewards program that will educate and reward food service establishments for purchasing Wisconsin grown specialty crops.
- University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents: To establish a production system for pathogen-free hop rhizomes, initiate variety trialing to identify hop varieties and evaluate health of existing Wisconsin hop yards.
- University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents: To investigate overwintering biology for wise management of the cranberry flea beetle.
- University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents: To evaluate the impact of the spotted wing drosophila and educate grape growers on how to identify, monitor and best manage this pest.
- Waukesha County UW-Extension: To improve food safety practices for fresh market fruit and vegetable producers.
- Wisconsin Fresh Market Vegetable Growers Association and Wisconsin Potato Industry Board: To advance integrated management strategies for tomato production in high tunnels.
- Wisconsin Fresh Market Vegetable Growers Association, Wisconsin Potato Industry Board and the Midwest Food Processors Association: To mitigate disease and insect risk through optimization and integration of forecasting models to trigger protectant applications of pesticides in Wisconsin onion and carrot production.
- Wisconsin Potato Industry Board: To increase the value of the fresh market potato industry by increasing the competitiveness of packing sheds and efficiency of current potato production systems.
- Wisconsin Potato Industry Board: To evaluate the use of neonicotinoid in potato plants including resistance, movement and potential for groundwater contamination.
- Wisconsin Potato Industry Board: To evaluate the potential ability and effects of reducing irrigation in potato, snap bean, and sweet corn production.
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