Specialty Crop Block Grants Pt 2

Specialty Crop Block Grants Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I'm Bob Larson. $4.1-million dollars from the USDA's Specialty Crop Block Grants program will go a long way in helping tackle some of the challenges facing agriculture in Washington state.

WSDA's Mike Louisell says the funding helps address the problems farmers face every year...

MIKE LOUISELL ... "You know, there are just various diseases that are out there, that always will be. Farmers face challenges, whether it's the weather or pests or various plant diseases, and these grants are meant to help minimize some of those problems, attack a problem with usually up to a three-year grant to study and to best attack a problem with a disease in say apples or pears or what-have-you."

Louisell says of the 20 projects to receive funding, WSU will be getting nearly a third of the grant money for seven projects ...

MIKE LOUISELL ... "Washington State University, one of their projects, seven projects, is going to help stop or minimize potato storage losses. The potatoes are stored and sometimes after the harvest you can ruin up to about 6 percent of the annual crop due to various molds or diseases that can form if you have the potatoes stored too long or maybe in the improper environment."

Louisell says WSDA has received more than $31-million dollars over the past decade for projects supported by the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

This year's grants were led by California with over $19-million dollars, followed by Washington with $4.1-million.

Florida's $3.8-million, North Dakota's $2.4-million, and Michigan's $1.8-million rounded out the top five states.

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