MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Kansas Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the 2019 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Funds for the program are awarded to the agency by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service. The funds are in turn granted to projects and organizations that promote the competitiveness of specialty crops.

The purpose of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined by the USDA as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops, including floriculture.”

Each state that submits an application that is reviewed and approved by the Agricultural Marketing Service is to receive an estimated base amount of $201,973.63 plus an amount based on the average of the most recent available value of specialty crop cash receipts and the acreage of specialty crop production in the state. In 2018, Kansas received $348,848.12 for the grant program. In 2019, it is expected that Kansas will receive approximately $373,500.

Applications will be evaluated by a team of external reviewers. The team will rate proposals on their ability to successfully promote specialty crops in Kansas and make a positive impact on the Kansas economy. Those recommendations will be submitted to the Kansas Secretary of Agriculture, who will make the final awards.

Applications are due to KDA no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 19, 2019. For more information about the Specialty Crop Block Grant program or to complete the 2019 application, go to the KDA website at or contact Peter Oppelt, KDA economist, at 785-564-6726 or [email protected].