Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

Specialty Crop Block Grants Awarded by USDA and UDAF

(Salt Lake City) –The U.S> Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced this week that more than $72 million in Specialty Crop Block Grants have been awarded nationwide for fiscal year 2019 to support farmers growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops. States use the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) to fund research, agricultural extension activities and programs to increase demand for agricultural goods of value to farmers in the state. 


In Utah, seven projects were selected that total just over $330,000. The projects selected are:


  1. Demonstration of the Feasibility of production Service Berry (Saskatoon) in Cache Valley, UT 
  2. Sustaining Green Industry Production Through Irrigation Management by Low-cost Microcontrollers 
  3. Developing the Four Corners Potato for Market
  4. Enhancing Specialty Food Product Producers Sourcing Local Produce for Products 
  5. Using Weather Data to Predict Orchard Crop Development 
  6. Urban & Small Farm Specialty Crop Hydroponic/Aquaponic Feasibility Study & Demonstration 
  7. Piute County Specialty Crops Awareness and Utilization to Address Intergenerational Poverty and Food Deserts


The Utah projects address a variety of specialty crop issues and cover a large portion of the State, from the Four Corners region and Piute County in the South, to Cache Valley in the North.