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Deadline extended for specialty crop grant proposals

Colorado

The Colorado Department of Agriculture has extended the deadline for specialty crop grant proposals to May 14. The extension gives Colorado agricultural industry organizations and their producers an additional three weeks to prepare their proposals.

The specialty crop grant stems from the current farm bill which authorizes the U.S. Department of Agriculture to partner with state departments of agriculture to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop producers in areas such as marketing, promotion, education, research, trade and nutrition.

Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, and nursery crops including floriculture and sod.

Colorado's specialty crop industry is growing 20 percent faster than the rest of Colorado's ag industry and represents approximately 10 percent of Colorado's total agricultural cash receipts. Since 2000, cash receipts from specialty crops have increased by 44 percent from $455 million to $654 million--ranking Colorado 16th in the nation.

CDA anticipates nearly $700,000 to support the specialty crop grant. These funds would most likely be available after September 2009. Individual producers, producer groups, organizations and associations, as well as state and local organizations, academia and other specialty crops stakeholders are eligible to apply either as single entities or in combined efforts. Proposals submitted by individual producers must demonstrate that the potential impact of the project will accrue to a broader group of similar producers, region or industry segment.

Proposals must be received by close of business on May 14. For more information, including a list of possible proposals, visit www.colorado.gov/ag/specialtycropgrant or call 303-239-4116.



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