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Application period open for specialty crop block grants

News release

BOISE – The Idaho State Department of Agriculture announced Jan. 30 that the application period for 2023 Specialty Crop Block Grants is now open.

The deadline for submitting all application materials is March 5.

The United States Department of Agriculture has allocated over $2 million to ISDA this year to award to specialty crop projects across the state.

“The Specialty Crop Block Grants have proven to be impactful in areas of technology, education and market development across Idaho,” said Chanel Tewalt, ISDA Director. “We look forward to seeing the advancements that this year’s projects will make for Idaho specialty crop producers.”

The purpose of the Specialty Crop Block Program is to enhance the competitiveness of Idaho specialty crops. Specialty crops defined by USDA under this program include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, nursery crops including floriculture and honey.

Funds are available to interested local, state and federal government agencies, non-profit and for-profit organizations and universities. To be eligible, projects must benefit more than one entity.

Last year, the department awarded funding to 16 projects with an average allocation of $115,000 each. Those projects benefitted apples, beans, cherries, hops, nursery crops, potatoes, wine, grapes and onions.

Activities included domestic and international market expansion, pest and disease control, domestication of native plants, automation and robotics, crop management and weather monitoring.

An application webinar will be held Feb. 7 at 1 p.m. MT.

All application materials and information about the application webinar may be found at

For more information, contact Laura Johnson at (208) 332-8533 or at