Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced 29 grants across 19 states to develop and share science-based tools to address the needs of America’s specialty crop industry. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is awarding the grants, totaling $46 million, through its Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI).

Over the last 60 years, agriculture, including horticulture, has become increasingly reliant on science and technology to maintain profitable production,” Merrigan said. “Specialty crop producers in the United States—as with all of American agriculture—are seeing sales surge both domestically and abroad as consumers search for high quality, ‘Grown in America’ fruits, vegetables and tree nuts. These projects will help provide specialty crop producers with the information and tools they need to successfully grow, process and market safe and high quality products, supporting jobs and opportunities for Americans working in specialty crops. From herbs to apples, from walnuts to grapes, specialty crops are central to the richness of American agriculture.”