New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball has funding of more than $1.2 million will support nine advanced research, education, and marketing projects to help specialty crop farms across New York State grow and remain competitive. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets secured the grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant program.
Specialty crops grown in New York State include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, maple syrup, and honey, and are among the state’s most valuable agricultural products.
Commissioner Ball told cnyhomepage.com: “This grant program supports New York’s agricultural community by investing in research, enhancing food safety techniques, improving efficiency, encouraging innovation, and helping our farmers remain competitive in an ever-changing marketplace. Thanks to this funding, New York’s farmers will be able to grow stronger and better crops, ultimately helping to get more fresh, nutritious New York foods on the tables of our families.”
The Specialty Crop Block Grant program recommended $655,346 be provided to Cornell University for seven grower research and education projects that will focus on:
Researching pre-harvest apple finish disorders such as lenticel breakdown, bitter pit, and apple scarf in order to mitigate grower losses and maintain the quality of New York State apples, developing recommendations for proper use of apple rootstocks which help increase apple production for New York State apple growers, advancing downy mildew resistance for New York grape growers and much more.