BISMARCK — The application deadline for the 2020 Specialty Crop Grants is Wednesday, Jan. 8.

“Projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in North Dakota are eligible for these grants,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “Individuals, organizations and institutions are invited to submit proposals, either on their own or in partnerships.”

North Dakota has not yet received an allocation amount from USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service but is expected to receive it soon. The North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) will distribute the funds through a competitive grant program. Projects must benefit more than one commercial product, organization, institution or individual.

USDA defines specialty crops as “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops.” Specialty crops grown commercially in North Dakota include dry beans, dry peas, lentils, potatoes, confection sunflowers, grapes, honey and various vegetables.

Goehring said an information manual with application instructions, scoring criteria and an application template can be found on NDDA’s website: https://www.nd.gov/ndda/administrative-services-division/specialty-crop-block-grant-program.

Applications must be submitted in electronic form by 4 p.m. CDT Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. Applications will then be reviewed, scored, ranked and provided to Agriculture Commissioner Goehring to determine which applications will be forwarded to USDA for final approval in May of 2020.

Projects funded by the grants start Oct. 1, 2020 and must be completed by Sept. 30, 2022.

Goehring said persons needing more information should contact Deanna Gierszewski at 701-328-2191 or scbg@nd.gov.

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