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Minnesota rolls out 2023 applications for $1 million in crop research grants

(The Center Square) – Minnesota will spend about $1 million in grants for applied crop research, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday.

Minnesota-based organizations that can conduct research to improve the agriculture product quality, quantity or value may apply for the Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation, or AGRI, Program’s Crop Research Grant.

The state will reimburse up to $250,000 of the cost of an applied research project that will provide results within three to seven years.

The state will give funding priority to projects that have limited access to other research funds or an outreach plan that addresses how the project involves or informs underserved agricultural producers, like emerging farmers, and rural communities with limited economic opportunities.

Applications for the grant are due by 4 p.m. Nov. 30.

The AGRI Program’s mission is to advance the state’s agricultural and renewable energy sectors. The program grants funding to farmers, agribusinesses, schools and other Minnesota entities.

The state also announced 2022 Crop Research Grant recipients.

University of Minnesota investigators received five of the six grants. Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council in St. Paul received $136,721 for a project about technologies, fungal disease control and cultivated wild rice.

The state gave the largest grants ($249,963 and $249,714) to Nancy Jo Ehlke’s investigation of seed production and ecosystem services from “climate smart” and cover crops in northwestern Minnesota and Sarah Swan Ray’s project about hemp grain food applications, respectively. Matthew Clark received a $248,262 grant for a project on supporting new farmers with fresh market grape production and sales.

2022 Crop Research Grant Recipients

Project Title

Organization Name – Principal Investigator

Grant Award Amount

Hemp Grain Characterization for Food Applications

University of Minnesota – Sarah Swan Ray


Advancing New Technologies for Fungal Disease Control in Cultivated Wild Rice

Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council – Beth Nelson


Seed Production and Ecosystem Services from Climate Smart and Cover Crops in NW Minnesota

University of Minnesota – Nancy Jo Ehlke


Supporting New Farmers with Fresh Market Grape Production and Sales in Minnesota

University of Minnesota – Matthew Clark


Accelerating the Development of Winter Barley Cropping Systems for Minnesota

University of Minnesota – Kevin P. Smith


Biological Control for Soybean Gall Midge,  a New Pest of Soybean in Minnesota

University of Minnesota – Robert Koch



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