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a70e1fc1c6efc19ff5e30c6788ee350f.jpeThe U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing $3.2 million through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program for 23 projects designed to benefit Washington’s specialty crop industry. Each year, the Washington State Department of Agriculture awards the funds on a competitive basis. The projects funded were selected from 74 applicants.

Projects relating specifically to tree fruits or grapes include:

—Washington State Wine Commission, $45,984 to bring wine buyers and travel journalists to Washington from China and Canada.

—Washington State University, $181,818 to expand acreage, yields, and quality of white wine grapes.

—WSU, $155,743 to increase knowledge and awareness about biological control of tree fruit pests.

—Pear Bureau Northwest, $100,000 to increase pear sales in southern China.

—Northwest Cider Association, $100,000 to increase awareness and distribution of Northwest cider and ensure a supply of cider apples to meet growing demand.

—WSU, $149,203 to document distribution of grapevine redleaf, or redblotch disease, in Washington vineyards.

—WSU, $236,442 to develop new ways to sustainably manage powdery mildew in cherries.

—WSU, $237,908 to provide cherry growers with information on how to control spotted wing drosophila.

View the complete list of projects.