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Bob Larson Specialty Crop Block Grants Pt 3
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: November 24, 2017

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I’m Bob Larson. The USDA wants to make sure specialty crops grown in Washington state are well researched in order to help growers across the country. And, with the $4.1-million dollars in specialty crop block grants to fund 20 projects, researchers are bound to make advancements in agriculture.

Mike Louisell, with the Washington Department of Agriculture, says the term “specialty” can be a little confusing…

MIKE LOUISELL … “For those that are wondering, why do they call it “specialty crops,” the crops that people are very familiar with, that received US Department of Agriculture money for a long time now are these so-called commodity crops, corn, soybeans, cotton, wheat and rice, there’s many there’s many acres of land devoted to those commodities, particularly Midwest states and others.”

Louisell says “Specialty Crops” are things like fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, wine, horticulture, and nursery crops … where it’s vitally important to continually improve U.S. agriculture …

MIKE LOUISELL … “Which is something that can’t be static. They have to keep improving because competition is out there from other nations. And, so that’s why these specialty crops are so special. We’re able to give funding for projects that both industry supports and we’d like to see accomplished, whether it’s helping nursery crops, or dried fruits, or vegetables, fruit, things like that.”

In total, to all 50 states and several U.S. territories, the USDA doled out $60.6-million dollars. Washington was second only, in dollars received, to California’s $19.2-million.

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