Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
Get funding for marketing, promotion, research, and development of specialty crops in Louisiana
Applications for this year's program closed on March 14, 2023.
The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds Louisiana projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops through promotion and research development programs that serve farmers and consumers through state trade shows, retail promotions, chef demonstrations, media advertising, education, and research. The intent is to fund projects that can produce the highest degree of measurable benefits to Louisiana specialty crop producers in relation to each dollar spent.
Calendar and deadlines 2023
Request for proposals release date
Request for proposals deadline
March 14, 4:30 CST
Panel review process
Project selections announced
LDAF submits State Plan to USDA
USDA review of State Plan
USDA State Plan approval and agreement signed
LDAF contracts signed with sub-grantees
Quarterly Performance Report
Due by 15th of the following month of each quarter’s end
Project Final Report
Due by 30 days of contracted project end date
Tea Terroir: Tailored Soil Fertility and Microclimate Management for High Quality Louisiana-Grown Tea
Evaluation of the Effects of Raw Poultry and Cattle Manure Application in the Production of Bell Pepper and Radish Crops with Two Different Land Application Methods on Productive Indicators, Soil Health, Fertility, and Food Safety Indicators
Examine the Application of Organic Friendly Antimicrobial Agents Such as Propionic and Lactic Acid Against Microbial Risks on Specialty Crops
Cold Plasma Reduction of Microbial Loads and Maintenance of Fresh Produce Quality Retention
Development of Sustainable Nanoparticle Coating Materials to Reduce Sweetpotato Postharvest Deterioration and Maintain Market Quality
Apprenticeship Project for Growing New Beekeepers in Louisiana
Application of combined MAP with UV-C to Reduce Microbial Loads and Extend Strawberries’ Shelf Life
Promoting Louisiana-grown Pecans – Phase 2
Developing Practices to Minimize the Food Safety Risk Associated with Cryptosporidium on Specialty Crops
Biopolymer-based Active Coatings Combined with Rosemary Extract to enhance Produce Safety
Best Practices to Reduce Heavy Metals in Louisiana Sweetpotatoes for Increased Competitiveness and Food Safety
Introduction of Youth and Producers to Sustainable Watermelon Farming Utilizing Local Agricultural Byproducts
Expanding Hustle and Grow Youth Education Program: Promoting Urban Farming and Increased Access to Specialty Crops in Additional Schools
Develop and Validate a Low-Cost Produce Washing Setup for Small and Medium Scale Growers
Intensive Protected Structure Production and Fruit Quality Evaluation of Southern Highbush Blueberries and Primocane Blackberries and Raspberries
Documenting the Impact of 2, 4-D Choline and Gluosinate on Sweetpotato Growth and Yield as Influenced by Reduced Rate and Growth State
Louisiana Strawberry Industry Consumer Awareness Program
Promoting Louisiana-grown Pecans
2021 H.R. 133 Stimulus
Advertising Campaign to Increase Louisiana Specialty Crop Sales and Improve Consumer shopping behaviors affected by Pandemic-Related Conditions
Enhancing Food Safety Awareness and Market Opportunity of Specialty Crop Producers through Good Agricultural Practices
Water Testing Management to Help Specialty Crop Growers to Meet Federal and Market-driven Requirements
Louisiana Container-Grown Citrus Best Management Practices to Support an Industry
Soil Health Benefits of Nonfumigant Nematicides in Sweet Potato Production in Louisiana
Evaluation of Organic-based Fertilizers and Herbicides for Louisiana Lawns
Develop an Effective Management Program for Fireblight and Rust Diseases in Mayhaw Production
Assess the Efficacy of Antimicrobial Properties of Turmeric Extract-loaded Nano-emulsion in reducing Pathogen Loads
Evaluation of Plant-based Antimicrobial Formulation on Control of Damping-off and Other Diseases in Vegetable Seedlings
How to apply
Deadline to apply is March 1, 2024, at 4:30pm.
About specialty crops
“Specialty Crops” are fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. See the USDA list of specialty crops . (includes common specialty crops as well as ineligible commodities).
We invite nominations of qualified individuals active in the specialty crop industry, academia, and public sectors to establish a professionally diverse Review Panel. Members of the Review Panel will review, evaluate, and make recommendations to LDAF on submitted Louisiana Specialty Crop Block Grant Program proposals.
Reviewers should have:
Knowledge of specialty crops and/or grant writing or grant management experience
The ability to devote the necessary time to complete the review process
Reviewers will be appointed by the Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry.
What to expect
If appointed as a reviewer, you will provide your time and service as a volunteer with no compensation. You will not be allowed to submit a grant proposal while serving on the Review Panel.
Reviewers will be notified by March 6, 2024, of their selection to serve on the Review Panel.
If selected as a Reviewer, we will provide you with electronic copies of all qualifying grant proposals. You will get approximately two weeks in which to evaluate them. (Printed copies available upon request).
You will score all proposals and submit your evaluations to the grant administrator. This review includes at least two comments for each proposal.
The grant administrator will compile the scores from all the reviewers to submit to the Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry for consideration of inclusion in Louisiana’s State Plan.
Reviewers will be:
Dedicated to high quality, fair reviews, and be able to devote sufficient time to the review process.
Able to utilize their knowledge and expertise to evaluate grant proposals and provide scores and written comments about proposals.
Objective and impartial.
Free of organization, project, or racial biases.
Able to maintain confidentiality.
Forthcoming in declaring conflicts of interest.
Reviewers should be knowledgeable of how to objectively evaluate and assess grant proposals for objectives, work plans, budgeting, and expected results in determining the potential for project success. Reviewers must write comments to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each application.
The review criteria are specific to the LDAF SCBGP, meet the needs of the specialty crop stakeholders’ priorities identified by outreach activities, and LDAF goals and objectives. Reviewers score proposals against the evaluation criteria. Reviewers do not choose the proposals funded through LDAF and the USDA.
Reviewers must sign the Conflicts of Interest and Confidentiality Form and return to the LDAF Grant Administrator. The confidentiality policy requires that Reviewers refrain from sharing with anyone the comments, scores, recommendations, selections, or non-selections made before, during, or after the LDAF SCBGP proposal review process. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), applicants may request a copy of the materials documenting the Grant Reviewer’s evaluation/comments of their application. Applicants are entitled to this information. In these situations, reviewers’ information is removed from the evaluation/comments.