Kentucky Department of Ag awarded $333K for specialty crop program

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — The Kentucky Agriculture Department has been awarded $333,320 from the USDA to help fund projects to enhance specialty crops programs in the state.

“The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is pleased to provide assistance to our producers seeking to find new and inventive ways to enhance their products and the future of Kentucky agriculture,” said Kentucky Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles. “These funds provided by USDA will help with early research and new market development that will provide new and unique opportunities for Kentucky farm families, all while enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops in Kentucky. Specialty crops make up a significant part of Kentucky’s agricultural economy, and there is plenty of room to grow.”

The agriculture department will fund seven projects with the money:

  • $69,188 – Awarded to the Lexington Farmers’ Market to address long-term agricultural stability and sustainability by collaboratively implementing a support and training program for farmers in underrepresented groups
  • $30,465 – Awarded to the University of Kentucky through a series of field research trails to evaluate organically applicable strategies to effectively control harlequin bug attacking cruciferous crops
  • $44,374 – Awarded to the University of Kentucky to explore energy-efficient strategies to improve the Kentucky floriculture industry
  • $44,641 – Awarded to the University of Kentucky Vegetable Crops Extension to evaluate the use of different resistant cultivars and planting dates in spring and fall for management of lettuce drop, a common fungal disease of lettuce in high tunnels
  • $47,043 – Awarded to the Organic Association of Kentucky (OAK) to implement a two-year project piloting a Farm Sustainability Assessment Tool (FSAT) by adapting an open-sourced self-assessment tool that farmers can use to improve the sustainability of their in-field management practices
  • $49,433 – Awarded to the University of Kentucky’s Department of Ag Economics, who will work with the University’s Health and Wellness program to develop Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) peer promotion groups
  • $47,022 – Awarded to the University of Kentucky to develop a weed management program for Kentucky vineyards using King Stropharia inoculated mulch as an alternative to synthetic herbicide use

 

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