On The Radio – Specialty crop grants awarded to Iowa organization

The purpose of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. (Flickr)
 Jake Slobe | November 21, 2016

This week’s On The Radio segment discusses the Iowa Department of Agriculture grants awarded to ten projects throughout Iowa.

Transcript: The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship awarded grants to ten Iowa projects in order to make specialty crops grown in the Hawkeye state more competitive.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

The ten grants are a part of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which provides federal funds to support food safety, research, growing and processing methods to encourage Iowans to consume specialty crops that are produced locally. The program has provided over $244,000 to producers for their specialty crops which include fruits, vegetables, nuts, and flowers. Recipients were awarded a maximum of $24,000 and include Lutheran Services of Iowa, Practical Farmers of Iowa, ISU Des Moines County Extension and more.

Including more specialty crops in a crop rotation can help to eliminate pests and weeds, increase yields for each crop in the rotation, and improve soil fertility with a reduced need for synthetic fertilizers.

For more information about the Specialty Crop Grant Program, visit iowaenvironmentalfocus.org.

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Betsy Stone.

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