USDA gives $72.9M in Specialty Crop Block Grants

Jim Rogers Specialty Crops

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the availability of $72.9 million through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) to fund innovative projects designed to support the expanding specialty crop sector and explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is accepting applications for the grant program until May …

2022 Census of Agriculture due Feb. 6

Jim Rogers Specialty Crops

WASHINGTON –The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reminds specialty crop producers that the deadline to respond to the 2022 Census of Agriculture is Monday, Feb. 6. Producers can respond online at agcounts.usda.gov or by mail. NASS mailed the Census of Agriculture questionnaires last week to every known ag producer in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The …

Deadline Looming for Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops Program

Jim Rogers Specialty Crops

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds specialty crop farmers that assistance is available to help cover expenses of complying with regulatory and market-driven food safety certification requirements. Applications for the Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops (FSCSC) program for eligible 2022 costs are due by Tuesday, Jan. 31. The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept applications for 2023 …

GFVGA Leader Encourages Farmers During Challenging Era

Jim Rogers Specialty Crops

By Clint Thompson Many factors impact specialty crop production that are beyond a farmer’s control. Weather, input costs, unfair trade; all contribute to a challenging era for producers in the Southeast. Chris Butts, executive vice president of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (GFVGA), discussed the significance of producers operating at maximum efficiency during the Southeast Regional Fruit and …

North Carolina Blueberry Growers Gather for Annual Open House

Jim Rogers Fruit, Specialty Crops

By Frank Giles The North Carolina Blueberry Council presented its 57th annual open house and trade show on Jan. 10–11 in Fayetteville. The event drew area growers to learn about the latest research from North Carolina State University (NC State) and to check out the latest products and services available on the trade show floor. Bill Cline, NC State entomologist …

AFBF, Deere Co. Signs Memorandum of Understanding

Jim Rogers Specialty Crops

Southeast specialty crop producers will soon benefit from an agreement signed last weekend to ensure farmers’ rights to repair their own farm equipment. The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and Deere & Co. signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the 2023 AFBF Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “It is more important now than ever that our farmers have …

Producers, Industry Leaders Meet Again for SE Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference

Clint Thompson Specialty Crops

By Clint Thompson COVID took the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference’s live event away from farmers and industry leaders in 2021. Though the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (GFVGA) held the conference online, it was not the same. When the conference reconvened this past weekend, Chris Butts, executive vice president of the GFVGA, reminisced about the situation two …

Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference to Highlight Issues Growers Are Facing

Jim Rogers Specialty Crops

Registration is ongoing for the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference scheduled for Jan. 5-8, 2023, in Savannah, Georgia. The annual meeting brings together farmers and industry leaders from across the Southeast as well as provide educational sessions that cover commodities across the entire gamut of the specialty crop industry. These include blueberries, caneberries, citrus, muscadines, peaches, strawberries, vegetables, Vidalia …