More than $260K awarded for Iowa specialty crops

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will award more than $260,000 in grants to help specialty crops in Iowa be more competitive.

The department announced the grants Wednesday.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says specialty crops are an important part of Iowa agriculture, allowing farmers to diversity and giving customers access to locally grown products.

The grants are to be used to benefit and enhance the competitiveness of the specialty crop industry as a whole and not for projects that benefit a particular product or organization.

Among the 12 grant recipients are the Iowa Nursery and Landscape Association, the Iowa Nut Growers Association, the Iowa Fruit and Vegetables Growers Association and several Iowa State University researchers.