DE Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Delaware Department of Agriculture

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Anticipated deadline: Apr 14, 2021 1:30pm PDT

Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $50,000

Fields of work: Agricultural Crops

Applicant type: Organizations

Funding uses: Project / Program, Education / Outreach, Research

Location of project: Delaware

Location of residency: Delaware

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Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Specialty Crop Block Grants enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. These grants are to be utilized by state departments of agriculture to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. 

The Delaware Department of Agriculture manages a competitive solicitation process to award Specialty Crop Block Grant Program – Farm Bill (SCBGP-FB) funds for projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of Delaware's specialty crop industry. Projects should benefit the specialty crop industry as a whole and be able to provide a positive impact with measurable outcomes. 

Specialty crops are defined by USDA as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture). Please see Attachment C for a comprehensive list of eligible specialty crops and ineligible commodities under the SCBGP.

Eligible Grant Projects

The Delaware Department of Agriculture is looking for grant projects that solely increase the competitiveness of Delaware grown specialty crops, sustain the livelihood of Delaware Farmers and strengthen rural economies in regards to the following priorities specified by the USDA.

  • Enhancing food safety.
  • Improving the capacity of all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act, for example by developing “Good Agricultural Practices,” “Good Handling Practices,” “Good Manufacturing Practices,” and in cost-share arrangements for funding audits of such systems for small farmers; packers and processors.
  • Investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes.
  • Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops.
  • Pest and disease control.
  • Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops.
  • Increasing opportunities for new and beginning farmers.
  • Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems.
  • Protecting and improving pollinator health.
  • Developing local and regional food systems.
  • Improving food access in underserved communities and among veterans.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Individual producers, producer groups, organizations and associations, as well as state and local organizations, academia and other specialty crops stakeholders are eligible to apply, either as single entities or in combined efforts. 
    • Proposals submitted by individual producers must demonstrate that the potential impact of the project will accrue to a broader group of similar producers, region or industry segment. 
  • Projects are required to impact and produce measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public rather than a single organization, institution or individual.
  • In order to be eligible to participate, applicants must reside or their business or educational affiliation must be in Delaware. 


  • Matching funds are not required; however, we consider the levels and sources of matching funds to be key criteria for evaluating proposals. 


  • According to USDA guidelines, grant funds cannot be awarded for projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual because these projects do not enhance the specialty crop industry’s competitiveness.
  • Indirect Costs: Indirect costs are not allowed. 
  • Examples of Unacceptable Projects
    • A company requests grant funds to purchase starter plants or equipment used to plant, cultivate, and grow a specialty crop to make a profit, or to expand production of a single business or organization.
    • A State requests grant funds to make grants to individual specialty crop businesses or roadside stands to promote their individual business.  
    • A non-profit organization uses grant funds to purchase produce and then sells that produce to other entities at cost or a higher price than the purchase price while competing with other private companies who sell produce in the area.  
    • A sole proprietor requests grant funds to redesign her/his logo in order to make her/his specialty crop value-added product stand out at the local farmers’ market. 
    • A single specialty crop organization requests grant funds to market its organization so that it can increase its membership.