With $18.7 million reserved for California, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is inviting applications for $55 million in grant funds under the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

Applications from state departments of agriculture must be received between Feb. 8 and July 11, according to the USDA. Grants are divided between states primarily based on the value of specialty crop production.

After California, the states awarded the most funding for fiscal year 2012 under the program include Florida ($4.5 million), Washington ($3.3 million) and Texas ($1.8 million).

The program assists state departments of agriculture in enhancing the competitiveness of U.S. specialty crops.

More information on the program is available from the USDA website.

 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funding by state is:

  • California ($18.67 million)
  • Washington ($3.32 million)
  • Florida ($4.47 million)
  • Texas ($1.85 million)
  • Oregon ($1.48 million)
  • Michigan ($1.33 million)
  • Arizona ($1.26 million)
  • North Carolina ($1.15 million)
  • Georgia ($1.13 million)
  • New York ($1.11 million)
  • Pennsylvania ($1.02 million)

Source: USDA