Goehring awards $2.2 million in specialty crop grants

BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has awarded 29 grants totaling over $2.2 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 marketing.

The Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved $2,286,755.06 for the 2017 grants. Last year, North Dakota received $2,375,085.11. 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 include:

  • North Dakota State University (NDSU) – $22,344 to evaluate the effect of crop rotation on root rot disease of lentils.
  • NDSU – $129,931 for identifying resistant potatoes and developing efficient quantifications assays for management of nematode diseases.
  • NDSU – $51,522 to evaluate underutilized U.S. native trees and shrubs for North Dakota.
  • NDSU – $49,934 to evaluate Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas) for ornamental and fruit production.
  • NDSU – $101,416 to determine sustainability and utility of Verticillium wilt resistance in French fry potato cultivars.
  • NDSU – $55,452 for optimizing the deployment of foliar fungicides for managing Sclerotinia head rot in confection sunflowers.
  • NDSU – $63,609 for increasing the safe production and use of specialty crops throughout North Dakota.
  • NDSU – $151,786 for examining the season extension limits using high tunnels in North Dakota.
  • NDSU – $72,978 for advancing viticultural management techniques for North Dakota.
  • NDSU – $97,738 for development of best management practices for new potato cultivars.
  • NDSU – $52,141 to augment tree species recommendations by evaluating a ‘natural experiment’.
  • NDSU – $98,072 to study production of leafy green vegetables in controlled environment systems.
  • NDSU – $24,918 for predicting potato yield losses due to Metribuzin sensitivity.
  • National Sunflower Association – $118,996 to apply genomic tools to accelerate breeding for disease resistance in confection sunflower.
  • North Dakota Trade Office – $169,850 for marketing to international buyers for specialty crops.
  • NDSU – $98,474 for breeding and selection of vegetable crops for northern climate.
  • NDSU – $96,595 to investigate the impact of combining cover crops, strip tillage, and novel mulches to manage weeds in vegetables cropping systems.
  • Dakota College at Bottineau – $52,087 to develop integrated pest management training tailored to North Dakota specialty crop growers’ needs.
  • NDSU – $51,538 for development of a mitigation strategy to soft rotting pathogens affecting seed potato production.
  • NDSU – $89,848 to optimize the use of seed treatment fungicides to improve the management of Fusarium and Aphanomyce root rots of field peas.
  • NDSU – $44,870 for screening of the North Dakota State University grape germplasm collection for temperature adaptive acclimation response.
  • NDSU – $105,435 to improve detection efficiency of bacterial blight pathogens affecting dry edible beans.
  • NDSU – $32,950 to make better selections of Japanese Haskap for North Dakota.
  • NDSU – $49,775 to optimize row spacing and seeding rate for dry bean yield and quality under Sclerotinia pressure.
  • North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) – $122,586.06 to increase specialty crop access and education to schools and communities.
  • NDSU – $50,352 to evaluate pollinator-friendly perennials for North Dakota.
  • NDSU – $114,977 to develop a management strategy for pea rust and a mobile App for pea diseases.
  • NDSU – $44,557 for innovative organic production practices in North Dakota for specialty vegetables.
  • NDSU – $72,024 to identify broadleaf weed control options and recommendations for chickpea and faba bean.

NDDA received 50 applications, which were reviewed and scored by a select committee and approved by Goehring. Of the 50 applications, 29 were forwarded to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for final approval.

NDDA received $198,081.71 to administer the specialty crop block grant.