(The Center Square) – New Mexico farmers of specialty crops such as fruits, vegetables and trees can apply for federal subsidies through the state Department of Agriculture.
“The specific purpose of the subsidies is to improve the competitiveness of US specialty crops and potentially increase consumption of these crops,” said Felicia Frost, marketing and sales manager at the Department of Agriculture. The central square.
Some of the previously funded projects involved research and marketing studies.
New Mexico expects to receive about $500,000 for grants, Frost said.
“There is no maximum amount stipulated per applicant,” she said. “But the typical grant requested last year ranged from about $22,000 to about $113,000.”
Eight projects in New Mexico were funded last year, she said. The state typically receives 15 to 40 applications.
Applications for the program are usually expected in May with decisions in September, Frost said.
“Projects can start as early as October this year,” she said.
There is no matching requirement although the grants are funded on a reimbursement basis, with farmers paying the costs up front and then billing those costs, Frost said. Funds cannot be used for capital expenditures such as buildings or equipment.
“But we can afford the rental costs for these things,” she said.
Subsidies cannot benefit a single grower or a single specialty crop, Frost said.
“If the candidate can show that there will be greater benefit beyond their organization, that might be an opportunity for them to apply,” Frost said.
For example, research projects should include a way to share results with other farmers, Frost said.