Specialty Crop Research Initiative

 

The Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) was established to solve critical industry issues through research and extension activities. SCRI will give priority to projects that are multistate, multi-institutional, or trans-disciplinary; and include explicit mechanisms to communicate results to producers and the public. Projects must address at least one of five focus areas: research in plant breeding, genetics, and genomics to improve crop characteristics; efforts to identify and address threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators; efforts to improve production efficiency, productivity, and profitability over the long term; new innovations and technology, including improved mechanization and technologies that delay or inhibit ripening; and methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, and respond to potential food safety hazards in the production and processing of specialty crops including fresh produce.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
10.309
Federal Agency/Office
National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 For the FY 2016 award cycle, approximately $48 million was available for the SCRI program and approximately $22 million for CDRE. Pre-applications were solicited separately for each program and subject to separate stakeholder relevancy reviews. A total of 120 pre-applications were received for SCRI and 38 pre-applications were received for CDRE. Following the relevancy review processes, 61 full applications were solicited for SCRI and 22 for CDRE. Separate scientific merit panels were then convened to evaluate the scientific quality of the applications and to combine that evaluation with the results of the relevancy review. Panelists included faculty from land grant and non-land grant colleges and universities, industry scientists, and practitioners from the food and agricultural sciences community. NIFA made 19 new SCRI awards (approximately $36 million), which translates into a 31% success rate for full applications. When the pre-application success rate is included, the combined success rate for applicants is 15.8%. In addition, 7 SCRI continuation awards were made for approximately $12 million. For CDRE, the FY 2016 merit review panel has not convened, so information is not yet available for new awards. Pertinent details to be provided by Program at a future date. NIFA anticipates funding one continuation award (approximately $6 million). For the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 award cycle, approximately $48,250,396 million was available for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) program and $21,947,099 million was available for the Emergency Citrus Research and Extension Program (CDRE). Pre-applications were solicited separately for each program and subject to separate stakeholder relevancy reviews. A total of 120 pre-applications were received for SCRI and 38 pre-applications were received for CDRE. Following the relevancy review processes, 61 full applications were solicited for SCRI and 21 for CDRE. Separate scientific merit panels were then convened to evaluate the scientific quality of the applications and to combine that evaluation with the results of the relevancy review. Panelists included faculty from land grant and non-land grant colleges and universities, industry scientists, and practitioners from the food and agricultural sciences community. NIFA made 18 new SCRI awards (approximately $37 million), which translates into a 30% success rate for full applications. When the pre-application success rate is included, the combined success rate for applicants is 15%. In addition, seven (7) SCRI continuation awards were made for approximately $12 million. NIFA made five (5) new CDRE awards (approximately $18.4 million), which translates into a 24% success rate for full applications. When the pre-application success rate is included, the combined success rate for CDRE applicants is 13.2%.
Fiscal Year 2017 For the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 award cycle, $47,924,066 was available for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) program and $21,653,967 was available for the Emergency Citrus Research and Extension Program (CDRE). Pre-applications were solicited separately for each program and subject to separate stakeholder relevancy reviews. A total of 155 pre-applications were received for SCRI and 42 pre-applications were received for CDRE. Following the relevancy review processes, 83 full applications were solicited for SCRI and 25 for CDRE. Separate scientific merit panels were then convened to evaluate the scientific quality of the applications and to combine that evaluation with the results of the relevancy review. Panelists included faculty from land grant and non-land grant colleges and universities, industry scientists, and practitioners from the food and agricultural industry. NIFA made 12 new SCRI awards (approximately $35 million), which translates into a 14% success rate for full applications. When the pre-application success rate is included, the combined success rate for applicants is 7%. In addition, five (5) SCRI continuation awards were made for approximately $12 million. NIFA made five (5) new CDRE awards (approximately $17 million), which translates into a 20% success rate for full applications. When the pre-application success rate is included, the combined success rate for CDRE applicants was 12%.
Fiscal Year 2018 For the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 award cycle, approximately $48,072,478 was available for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) program and approximately $21,689,759 for Citrus Disease Research and Extension (CDRE). The total amount available to support the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) and Citrus Disease Research and Extension (CDRE) projects was $69,762,237. Pre-applications were solicited separately for each program and subject to separate stakeholder relevancy reviews. A total of 187 pre-applications were received for SCRI and 43 pre-applications were received for CDRE. Following the relevancy review processes, 101 full applications were solicited for SCRI and 25 for CDRE. Separate scientific merit panels were then convened to evaluate the scientific quality of the applications and to combine that evaluation with the results of the relevancy review. Panelists included faculty from land grant and non-land grant colleges and universities, industry scientists, and practitioners from the food and agricultural sciences community. NIFA made 18 new SCRI awards (approximately $31 million), which translates into a 18% success rate for full applications. When the pre-application success rate is included, the combined success rate for applicants is 10%. In addition, five (5) SCRI continuation awards were made for approximately $17 million. For CDRE, the FY 2018 merit review panel has not convened, so information is not yet available for new awards. Pertinent details to be provided by Program at a future date.
Fiscal Year 2019 For the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 award cycle, $70,465,944 was available for the SCRI. FY 2018 was the final year of CDRE funding under the SCRI program However, a separate code will be created for the program as funded by the Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Development Trust Fund established by the 2018 Farm Bill. A new Assistance Listing (formerly known as CFDA) number will be used for the issuance of the Fiscal Year 2020 Request for Applications (RFA) for the CDRE program. A total of 166 pre-applications were received. Of those, 79 were invited to submit full applications and 57 were received. A scientific merit panel was convened to evaluate the scientific quality of the full applications and to combine that evaluation with the results of the relevancy review. Panelists included faculty from land grant and non-land grant colleges and universities, industry scientists, and practitioners from the food and agricultural sciences community. NIFA made 18 new SCRI awards (approximately $70 million), which translates into a 31% success rate for all applications. When the pre-application success rate is included, the combined success rate for applicants is 10%. In addition, five (5) SCRI continuation awards were made for approximately $18 million.
Fiscal Year 2020 For the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 award cycle, approximately $75 million is projected to be available for the SCRI program. Relevancy review of pre-applications will be followed by a scientific merit review of solicited full applications. NIFA anticipates funding one (1) continuation award for SCRI (approximately $2 million). A new Assistance Listing (formerly known as CFDA) number will be used for the issuance of the Fiscal Year 2020 RFA for the CDRE program.
Authorization
The Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) is authorized by Section 7311 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, which added section 412 to the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (AREERA). Section 412 of AREERA establishes a specialty crop research and extension initiative to address the critical needs of the specialty crop industry by developing and disseminating science-based tools to address needs of specific crops and their regions., Public Law 105-185, 7 U.S.C. 7632
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Applications may be submitted by Federal agencies, national laboratories, colleges and universities, research institutions and organizations, private organizations or corporations, State agricultural experiment stations, individuals, or groups consisting of two or more of these entities.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Applications may be submitted by Federal agencies, national laboratories, colleges and universities, research institutions and organizations, private organizations or corporations, State agricultural experiment stations, individuals, or groups consisting of two or more of these entities.
Credentials/Documentation
The System for Award Management (SAM) combines eight federal procurement systems, including CCR, and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance into one new system. CCR activities are conducted through SAM (the CCR website will redirect users to SAM). Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM): Each applicant (unless excepted under 2 CFR SS 25.110(b) or (c), or has an exception approved by the Federal awarding agency under 2 CFR SS 25.110(d)) is required to: (i) Be registered in SAM before submitting its application; (ii) Provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and (iii) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal awarding agency. It also must state that the Federal awarding agency may not make a Federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the Federal awarding agency is ready to make a Federal award, the Federal awarding agency may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant. Applicants must furnish the information required in the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs). Successful applicants recommended for funding must furnish the information and assurances requested during the award documentation process. These include, but are not limited to the following: Organizational Management Information - Specific management information relating to an applicant shall be submitted on a one time basis, with updates on an as needed basis, as part of the responsibility determination prior to the award of a grant identified under this RFA, if such information has not been provided previously under this or another NIFA program. NIFA will provide copies of forms recommended for use in fulfilling these requirements as part of the preaward process. Although an applicant may be eligible based on its status as one of these entities, there are factors which may exclude an applicant from receiving Federal financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits under this program (e.g., debarment or suspension of an individual involved or a determination that an applicant is not responsible based on submitted organizational management information). This information collection is approved under OMB Circular Control No. 0524-0026, "Assurance of Compliance with the Department of Agriculture Regulations Assuring Civil Rights, Compliance and Organization Information." SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available as follows: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scri RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. An environmental impact statement is required for this listing. An environmental impact assessment is not required for this listing. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372. Notice of Intent to Submit an Application: Prospective applicants are asked to email a notification of intent to submit an application. The notification of intent to submit is not required and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application. The information it contains will be used to help program staff plan the review and estimate the potential review workload. This email should include the following information: • Descriptive (draft) title of proposed research; • Name of the Project Director and applicant name if applicable; • Names of other potential co-Project Directors and their affiliations, if applicable; • Focus area(s) addressed, (see Part I(B) for specific details); • Likely type of proposal (Coordinated Agricultural Projects, Standard Research and Extension Projects, Regional Partnerships for Innovation Projects, eXtension Projects, and Research and Extension Planning Projects); and • Subject line of email should read: SCRI – Intent to Submit. Emails should be sent to scri@csrees.usda.gov. All RFAs are published on the Agency’s website and Grants.gov. Applicants must complete the Grants.gov registration process must follow the instructions provided per Grants.Gov..
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) only accepts electronic applications which are submitted via Grants.gov in response to specific Requests for Applications (RFA). Applicants must complete the Grants.gov registration process. For information about the pre-award phase of the grant lifecycle application processes see: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/learn-grants/grants-101/pre-award-phase.html. Further, applicants must follow the instructions provided in the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide, which can be assessed as follows: Adobe NIFA Applications. 2 CFR part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards and 2 CFR part 400 USDA's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards apply to this program. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scri RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
Award Procedure
Applications are subjected to a system of peer and merit review in accordance with section 103 of the Agricultural Research, Extension and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 7613) by a panel of qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the field covered by the proposal. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the NIFA Authorized Departmental Officer (ADO) shall make grants to those responsible, eligible applicants whose applications are judged most meritorious under the procedures set forth in the RFA. Reviewers will be selected based upon training and experience in relevant scientific, extension, or education fields, taking into account the following factors: (a) The level of relevant formal scientific, technical education, or extension experience of the individual, as well as the extent to which an individual is engaged in relevant research, education, or extension activities; (b) the need to include as reviewers experts from various areas of specialization within relevant scientific, education, or extension fields; (c) the need to include as reviewers other experts (e.g., producers, range or forest managers/operators, and consumers) who can assess relevance of the applications to targeted audiences and to program needs; (d) the need to include as reviewers experts from a variety of organizational types (e.g., colleges, universities, industry, state and Federal agencies, private profit and non-profit organizations) and geographic locations; (e) the need to maintain a balanced composition of reviewers with regard to minority and female representation and an equitable age distribution; and (f) the need to include reviewers who can judge the effective usefulness to producers and the general public of each application. Evaluation Criteria will be delineated in the Competitive Request for Applications (RFA). 2 CFR 200 - Subpart C and Appendix I and 2 CFR part 400 apply to this Program. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scri RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
Deadlines
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 30 to 60 days. Contact the National Program Leader (NPL), as indicated per CFDA Section # 152 - Headquarters Office regarding dates for specific deadlines, start and end dates, and range of approval/disapproval time. Information is also available via our website and may be obtained via the Grants.gov website. NIFA's respective links regarding general information are provided below: http://nifa.usda.gov/ http://www.grants.gov. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFA is available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scri RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.
Appeals
Not Applicable. 2 CFR Part 200 - Subparts D & E apply to this program.
Renewals
Specific details are provided in the Request for Applications (RFA), which are generally published annually. The most current RFA is available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scri
How are proposals selected?
2 CFR part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards and 2 CFR part 400 USDA's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards apply to this program. Within guidelines established for the program as described in the Competitive Request for Application (RFA). The most current RFAs are available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scri
How may assistance be used?
Grant funds must be used for allowable costs necessary to conduct approved research and extension objectives. Funds shall not be used for the construction of a new building or facility or the acquisition, expansion, remodeling, or alteration of an existing building or facility (including site grading and improvement, and architect fees). Funds may not be used for any purposes other than those approved in the grant award documents.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting
Performance Reports: PERFORMANCE MONITORING: See above for pertinent and specific details.
Auditing
Relation to other audit requirements, but records must be available for review or audit by appropriate officials of the Federal agency, pass-through entity, and Government Accountability Office (GAO). This program is also subject to audit by the cognizant Federal audit agency and the USDA Office of Inspector General.
Records
In accordance with 2 CFR Part 400 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, SS 200.333 Retention requirements for records. Grantees shall maintain separate records for each grant to ensure that funds are used for authorized purposes. Grant-related records are subject to inspection during the life of the grant and must be retained at least three (3) years. Records must be retained beyond the three (3) year period if litigation is pending or audit findings have not been resolved. 2 CFR 200 Subpart D applies to this program.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is voluntary. 100%. Applicants may use both the unrecovered indirect costs associated with the Federal Budget and the unrecovered indirect costs associated with the Non-Federal Budget to meet their matching requirements. Indirect costs may not be recovered on third-party matching contributions.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
In accordance with statutory time limits, project periods, including no-cost extensions of time, are not to exceed five (5) years. Further details are provided in the Award document Form NIFA-2009 and the NIFA General Terms and Conditions Grants and Cooperative Agreements (dated October 2016) at: https://nifa.usda.gov/resource/nifa-general-terms-and-conditions-grants-and-cooperative-agreements-october-2016. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scri RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database. NIFA utilizes the Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP), a secure, web-based electronic payment and information system that allows federal agencies to administer funds. Currently, ASAP is the only payment source for new NIFA grantees.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
NIFA is transitioning to a new location for Fiscal Year 2020. NIFA's New Mailing Address AFTER September 30, 2019 follows: National Institute of Food and Agriculture 6501 Beacon Drive Kansas City, MO 64133
Headquarters Office
USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader;
Institute of Food Production and Sustainability, Division of Plant Systems-Production, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2240
Washington, DC 20250-2240 US
Policy@nifa.usda.gov
Phone: (202) 401-4202
Fax: (202) 401-1782
Website Address
http://nifa.usda.gov/program/specialty-crop-research-initiative
Financial Information
Account Identification
12-1502-0-1-352
Obligations
(Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 18$69,763,988.00; FY 19 est $70,465,944.00; FY 20 est $75,000,000.00; FY 17$69,578,033.00; FY 16$70,197,495.00; - SPECIAL NOTES: (1) The difference between the appropriation and obligation numbers reflects legislative authorized set-asides deducted as appropriate, and in some cases the availability of obligational authority from prior years. (2) For Fiscal Year 2020 a NEW Assistance Listing (CFDA) Number will be established for funding from the Citrus Disease Trust Fund. Approximately $23 million is anticipated for FY 2019 and projected for FY 2020.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
If minimum or maximum amounts of funding per competitive and/or capacity project grant, or cooperative agreement are established, these amounts will be announced in the annual Competitive Request for Application (RFA). The most current RFA is available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scri
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
As an administrator of U.S. government support, NIFA works in partnership with grantees to ensure responsible stewardship of federal funds. Our grantees and partners are required to comply with all relevant rules and regulations. The following resources are provided to NIFA's partners and award recipients to support their adherence to federal regulations governing program performance: NIFA's primary (main) website: https://nifa.usda.gov/regulations-and-guidelines The following represent specific documents and direct links: POLICY GUIDE NIFA's Federal Assistance Policy Guide describes agency policies and procedures. https://nifa.usda.gov/policy-guide CERTIFICATIONS AND REPRESENTATIONS Certifications and representations provided through the NIFA application process. https://nifa.usda.gov/certifications-and-representations ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF USDA SUPPORT BY NIFA When acknowledging USDA support in accordance with 2 CFR Part 415, grantees must use the following acknowledgement for all projects or initiatives supported by NIFA. https://nifa.usda.gov/acknowledgment-usda-support-nifa FEDERAL REGULATIONS The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) lists all regulations published in the Federal Register. https://nifa.usda.gov/federal-regulations FOIA The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that any person has the right to request access to federal documents and information such as research data. https://nifa.usda.gov/foia NEPA POLICY AND GUIDANCE The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Policy and Guidance set the standard for identifying potential environmental impacts. https://nifa.usda.gov/nepa-policy-and-guidance OGFM ISSUED CORRESPONDENCE The Office of Grants and Financial Management occasionally issues correspondence to applicants, grantees, and/or the general public for informational or clarification purposes. https://nifa.usda.gov/ogfm-issued-correspondence RESEARCH MISCONDUCT NIFA requires that all its awardees adhere to the USDA Scientific Integrity Policy and the Federal Policy on Research Misconduct. https://nifa.usda.gov/research-misconduct NIFA'S GENERAL AWARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS Award terms and conditions are determined by statutory, regulatory, and agency requirements, as well as each grant's circumstances. Terms and conditions dictate important items related to your grant, including method of payment, reporting frequency and content, and prior approval requirements. References to the terms and conditions of awards are located on the NIFA 2009 Award Fact Sheet. NIFA's general award terms and conditions (see link below) is applicable to this program, for awards with an award date on December 26, 2014 and thereafter. https://nifa.usda.gov/resource/nifa-general-terms-and-conditions-grants-and-cooperative-agreements-october-2016.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016 MANAGEMENT OF BROWN MARMORATED STINK BUG IN US SPECIALTY CROPS The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is an invasive insect that first appeared as a severe economic pest of specialty crops in the Mid-Atlantic in 2010. It has since spread to 43 states and is now a threat to specialty crops across much of the US. This project will improve our knowledge of BMSB risk to crops through enhanced understanding of agroecology and landscape ecology, implement widespread biological control of BMSB with an exotic Asian parasitoid and native natural enemies, and develop management tools and strategies compatible with biological control and informed by risk from landscape factors. We will continue to determine the economic consequences of BMSB damage and how it is reduced by specific management strategies, and deliver science-based information with a robust and diversified outreach program. PROTECTING POLLINATORS WITH ECONOMICALLY FEASIBLE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND ORNAMENTAL HORTICULTURE Recent scientific and public awareness about the status of domesticated and native pollinators in North America has led to consumers intentionally planting “pollinator-friendly” plants. Identifying ornamental horticulture plants that support pollinator populations will open new markets for growers. This address threats to specialty crop pollinators by: (1) identifying pollinator attractiveness of top selling crops; (2) filling specific regulatory data gaps for pollinator risk assessment of systemic insecticide residues within ornamental horticulture crops; (3) comparing current pest management practices with alternative strategies; (4) providing guidance to growers and landscape managers with updated Best Management Practices; and (5) developing outreach tools for multiple stakeholder audiences. Ultimately, this project will aid in reaching the President’s goal of 7 million acres of restored or enhanced pollinator habitat by providing growers and landscape managers the knowledge to address pests while producing high quality plants for pollinator forage. SOLID SET CANOPY DELIVERY SYSTEMS: AND EFFICIENT, SUSTAINABLE AND SAFER SPRAY TECHNOLOGY FOR TREE FRUIT This multi-region project has a national scope completing the development and delivery of Solid Set Canopy Delivery Systems (SSCDS) for high-density tree fruit production and evaluate SSCDS spray coverage for additional perennial fruit crops. SSCDS consist of a network of microsprayers positioned in the tree canopy/trellis and connected to a pumping/mixing station. SSCDS application virtually eliminates applicator exposure common to tractor-based sprayers, while increasing farmers’ ability to apply sprays during critical weather periods. SSCDS would make frequent applications at low rates possible for modern agricultural chemicals, including nutrients and reduced-risk pesticides, to improve efficacy of “soft impact” IPM programs and reduce soil fertilizer levels. The specific objectives for this proposal are: ( 1) Optimize SSCDS technologies for modern orchard architectures for improved spray material application efficacy; (2) Determine and test SSCDS applications for standard and novel fruit production operations; (3) Determine the economic benefits and costs associated with SSCDS and identify non-economic barriers to grower adoption of SSCDS; and (4) Develop and deliver extension and outreach activities and materials —including field scale and on-farm demonstrations— to increase producer knowledge and adoption of SSCDS technologies. FOOD SAFETY INNOVATIONS AND PREVENTIVE CONTROLS DURING FRESH AND FRESH-CUT PRODUCE WASHING, PACKING, AND RETAIL DISPLAY Foodborne illness outbreaks associated with contaminated produce negatively impact public health, consumer confidence, the produce industry's economic well-being, and progress toward national nutritional goals. To reduce food safety risk, this project holistically addresses key steps in the supply chain where risk factors profoundly impact food safety, and controls are also feasible. Specifically, we will: (1) develop and validate preventive controls for cross-contamination during packinghouse and fresh-cut processing operations; (2) evaluate food safety improvement in nonimmersive fresh-cut washing; (3) advance scientific understanding of fresh-cut washing and sanitizing processes, and develop novel technologies to improve efficacy; (4) field-test, in cooperating retail stores, an energy-efficient approach to improve temperature control and prevent pathogen proliferation in fresh-cut leafy greens; and ( 5) perform cost-benefit analysis and outreach to stakeholders to facilitate technology adoption. Project outcomes will enable development, validation, and adoption of science- and risk-based food safety standards and control limits, support implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, and benefit consumers, processors, packers, and retailers. ACCELERATING THE DEVELOPMENT, EVALUATION, AND ADOPTION OF NEW APPLE ROOTSTOCK TECHNOLOGIES TO IMPROVE APPLE GROWERS PROFITABILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY The deficiencies of current apple rootstocks create an urgency to develop and adopt new improved rootstocks. Through this project, we seek to accelerate the development, evaluation and adoption of improved apple rootstocks by targeting research areas, not currently being addressed, which will result in more efficient rootstock development and improved implementation by growers and nurseries. We will focus on both evaluating new candidate rootstocks and identifying genetic makers for difficult to phenotype complex root traits like replant disease tolerance, nutrient uptake and partitioning (especially calcium), low/high soil pH and salinity to improve tolerance of rootstocks to these biotic and abiotic stresses, and improve fruit quality of high value cultivars such as ‘Honeycrisp’. MANAGEMENT OF BROWN MARMORATED STINK BUG IN US SPECIALTY CROPS The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is an invasive insect that first appeared as a severe economic pest of specialty crops in the Mid-Atlantic in 2010. It has since spread to 43 states and is now a threat to specialty crops across much of the US. This project will improve our knowledge of BMSB risk to crops through enhanced understanding of agroecology and landscape ecology, implement widespread biological control of BMSB with an exotic Asian parasitoid and native natural enemies, and develop management tools and strategies compatible with biological control and informed by risk from landscape factors. We will continue to determine the economic consequences of BMSB damage and how it is reduced by specific management strategies, and deliver science-based information with a robust and diversified outreach program. PROTECTING POLLINATORS WITH ECONOMICALLY FEASIBLE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND ORNAMENTAL HORTICULTURE Recent scientific and public awareness about the status of domesticated and native pollinators in North America has led to consumers intentionally planting “pollinator-friendly” plants. Identifying ornamental horticulture plants that support pollinator populations will open new markets for growers. This address threats to specialty crop pollinators by: (1) identifying pollinator attractiveness of top selling crops; (2) filling specific regulatory data gaps for pollinator risk assessment of systemic insecticide residues within ornamental horticulture crops; (3) comparing current pest management practices with alternative strategies; (4) providing guidance to growers and landscape managers with updated Best Management Practices; and (5) developing outreach tools for multiple stakeholder audiences. Ultimately, this project will aid in reaching the President’s goal of seven (7) million acres of restored or enhanced pollinator habitat by providing growers and landscape managers the knowledge to address pests while producing high quality plants for pollinator forage. SOLID SET CANOPY DELIVERY SYSTEMS: AND EFFICIENT, SUSTAINABLE AND SAFER SPRAY TECHNOLOGY FOR TREE FRUIT This multi-region project has a national scope completing the development and delivery of Solid Set Canopy Delivery Systems (SSCDS) for high-density tree fruit production and evaluate SSCDS spray coverage for additional perennial fruit crops. SSCDS consist of a network of microsprayers positioned in the tree canopy/trellis and connected to a pumping/mixing station. SSCDS application virtually eliminates applicator exposure common to tractor-based sprayers, while increasing farmers’ ability to apply sprays during critical weather periods. SSCDS would make frequent applications at low rates possible for modern agricultural chemicals, including nutrients and reduced-risk pesticides, to improve efficacy of “soft impact” IPM programs and reduce soil fertilizer levels. The specific objectives for this proposal are: (1) Optimize SSCDS technologies for modern orchard architectures for improved spray material application efficacy; (2) Determine and test SSCDS applications for standard and novel fruit production operations; (3) Determine the economic benefits and costs associated with SSCDS and identify non-economic barriers to grower adoption of SSCDS; and (4) Develop and deliver extension and outreach activities and materials —including field scale and on-farm demonstrations— to increase producer knowledge and adoption of SSCDS technologies. FOOD SAFETY INNOVATIONS AND PREVENTIVE CONTROLS DURING FRESH AND FRESH-CUT PRODUCE WASHING, PACKING, AND RETAIL DISPLAY Foodborne illness outbreaks associated with contaminated produce negatively impact public health, consumer confidence, the produce industry's economic well-being, and progress toward national nutritional goals. To reduce food safety risk, this project holistically addresses key steps in the supply chain where risk factors profoundly impact food safety, and controls are also feasible. Specifically, we will: (1) develop and validate preventive controls for cross-contamination during packinghouse and fresh-cut processing operations; (2) evaluate food safety improvement in nonimmersive fresh-cut washing; (3) advance scientific understanding of fresh-cut washing and sanitizing processes, and develop novel technologies to improve efficacy; (4) field-test, in cooperating retail stores, an energy-efficient approach to improve temperature control and prevent pathogen proliferation in fresh-cut leafy greens; and (5) perform cost-benefit analysis and outreach to stakeholders to facilitate technology adoption. Project outcomes will enable development, validation, and adoption of science- and risk-based food safety standards and control limits, support implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, and benefit consumers, processors, packers, and retailers. ACCELERATING THE DEVELOPMENT, EVALUATION, AND ADOPTION OF NEW APPLE ROOTSTOCK TECHNOLOGIES TO IMPROVE APPLE GROWERS PROFITABILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY The deficiencies of current apple rootstocks create an urgency to develop and adopt new improved rootstocks. Through this project, we seek to accelerate the development, evaluation and adoption of improved apple rootstocks by targeting research areas, not currently being addressed, which will result in more efficient rootstock development and improved implementation by growers and nurseries. We will focus on both evaluating new candidate rootstocks and identifying genetic makers for difficult to phenotype complex root traits like replant disease tolerance, nutrient uptake and partitioning (especially calcium), low/high soil pH and salinity to improve tolerance of rootstocks to these biotic and abiotic stresses, and improve fruit quality of high value cultivars such as ‘Honeycrisp’.
Fiscal Year 2017 FOR FISCAL YEAR (FY) 2017: 1. Developing sustainable pollination strategies for U.S. specialty crops 2. CucCAP: Leveraging applied genomics to increase disease resistance in cucurbit crops 3. New detection, research, and extension tools for managing wood-canker diseases of fruit and nut crops 4. Building Market Foundations for Sustainable Vegetable Production and Processing: A Consumer and Metrics-Based Approach 5. Identification, assessment and delivery of antimicrobial compounds for the management of citrus HLB
Fiscal Year 2018 FOR FISCAL YEAR (FY) 2018: 1. Accelerating implementation of HLB tolerant hybrids as new commercial cultivars for fresh and processed citrus 2. A coordinated agricultural project that will improve the genetics of sweet corn. Sweet corn is the fifth most popular vegetable in the United States and this will help breeders address emerging challenges for the crop. 3. A project which will optimize the cost-effectiveness of lighting in greenhouse. Greenhouses have potential to provide optimal conditions, but light typically is less controllable than other conditions and can result in variability in crop yield and quality. This project will address that. 4. Whitefly transmitted viruses are a serious threat to vegetable production in the southeast. This project will create a pre-planting risk prediction model of the risk of white fly virus transmission and make it available via smartphone to allow the rapid dissemination of risk prediction. The project will allow an area wide pest management approach to controlling whitefly transmitted viruses in vegetables. 5. Lentils are a uniquely suited crop to the northern Great Plains and Pacific Northwest, but root rot is a major threat to the industry. This project aims to build a better lentil through plant breeding and improving management.
Fiscal Year 2019 FOR FISCAL YEAR (FY) 2019: The following projects have been recommended for funding: - Vaccinium CAP: Leveraging genetic and genomic resources to enable development of blueberry and cranberry cultivars with improved fruit quality attributes - A systems approach to microbial food safety in produce: Leveraging data science approaches to inform food safety decisions - SCRI CAP Proposal: Biology, Management, and Reducing the Impact of the Spotted Lanternfly in Specialty Crops in the Eastern USA - Creating a new paradigm for potato breeding based on true seed - Stop the rot: Combating onion bacterial diseases with pathogenomic tools and enhanced management strategies - Research and extension needs assessment for the U.S. blackberry industry - Planning Grant: Implementation of New Technologies and Improved End-of-Life Management for Sustainable Use of Agricultural Plastics - Red Light, Green Light: Assessment of Benefits and Risks from Use of Robotic Laser Scarecrows for Bird Damage Prevention in Specialty Crops - Planning to Explore the Opportunities and Limits of Indoor Young-Plant Production - Smoke taint risk from vineyards exposed to wildfire smoke: assessment and management strategies. - Developing A Trans-Disciplinary Approach For Improving Leafy Greens Production In Arid And Semi-Arid U.S. Growing Regions - Integrated Management of Emerging Seedborne Bacterial Diseases of Cucurbits and Chenopods (IMDCC) - Improving the profitability and sustainability of indoor leafy-greens production. - Overcoming the Obstacles to Hazelnut Production in the Upper Midwest - Ecobiology, Impact, and Management of Grapevine Red Blotch Virus and its Vector(s) in California and Oregon Vineyards - Management of endemic and emerging bacterial diseases of Capsicum by plant resistance, novel compounds, and understanding pathogen diversity - A Multi-state Effort to Contain and Manage the Invasive Guava Root Knot Nematode (GRKN) in Vegetable Crops - Improving Drought Tolerance and Sustainability of Turfgrasses used in Southern Landscapes through the Integration of Breeding, Genetics, Physiology, Economics, and Outreach
Fiscal Year 2020 The SCRI call for pre-applications has been published. In 2020, there will be just one continuation award and the remaining funds will be utilized for new awards.