USDA Opens SCRI Application Window

Last week, USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture issued a request for applications for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI). An anticipated $80 million will be available for the program in 2022, and the application deadline is Jan. 21. 2021.

According to USDA, the purpose of the SCRI program is to address the critical needs of the specialty crop industry by awarding grants to support research and extension that address key challenges of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including conventional and organic food production systems.

Projects must address at least one of five focus areas:

  • Research in plant breeding, genetics, genomics, and other methods to improve crop characteristics
  • Efforts to identify and address threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators
  • Efforts to improve production efficiency, handling and processing, productivity, and profitability over the long term (including specialty crop policy and marketing)
  • New innovations and technology, including improved mechanization and technologies that delay or inhibit ripening
  • Methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, and respond to potential food safety hazards in the production efficiency, handling, and processing of specialty crops

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