FARGO — The applications for 2019 Specialty Crops Grants must be submitted in electronic form by 4 p.m. Friday, March 8.

Individuals, organizations and institutions are invited to submit proposals, either on their own or in partnerships, according to Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.

North Dakota has not yet received an allocation amount from U.S. Department of Agriculture Marketing Service, but is expected to receive it soon. The North Dakota Department of Agriculture will distribute the funds through a competitive grant program. Projects must benefit more than one commercial product, organization, institution or individual.

The USDA defines specialty crops as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops. Specialty crops grown commercially in North Dakota include dry beans, dry peas, lentils, potatoes, confection sunflowers, grapes, honey and various vegetables.

Information and application instructions, scoring criteria and an application template can be found at https://www.nd.gov/ndda/administrative-services-division/specialty-crop-block-grant-program.

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An external review committee will review and score the applications. The successful applications will be forwarded to the USDA for final approval. The grants will be awarded in the late fall to early winter.

Projects funded by the grants start on Oct. 1, 2019, and must be complete by Sept. 30, 2021.

For more information should contact Deanna Gierszewski at 701-328-2233 or scbg@nd.gov.