Specialty Crop Research Initiative

The Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) was established to solve critical industry issues through research and extension activities.

SCRI will give priority to projects that are multistate, multi-institutional, or trans-disciplinary; and include explicit mechanisms to communicate results

credit: Flickr
to producers and the public.

Projects must address at least one of five focus areas: research in plant breeding, genetics, and genomics to improve crop characteristics; efforts to identify and address threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators; efforts to improve production efficiency, productivity, and profitability over the long term; new innovations and technology, including improved mechanization and technologies that delay or inhibit ripening; and methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, and respond to potential food safety hazards in the production and processing of specialty crops including fresh produce.
Related Programs10.200 Grants for Agricultural Research, Special Research Grants; 10.303 Integrated Programs; 10.307 Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative; 10.329 Crop Protection and Pest Management Competitive Grants ProgramExamples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: MANAGEMENT OF BROWN MARMORATED STINK BUG IN US SPECIALTY CROPS The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is an invasive insect that first appeared as a severe economic pest of specialty crops in the Mid-Atlantic in 2010.

It has since spread to 43 states and is now a threat to specialty crops across much of the US.

This project will improve our knowledge of BMSB risk to crops through enhanced understanding of agroecology and landscape ecology, implement widespread biological control of BMSB with an exotic Asian parasitoid and native natural enemies, and develop management tools and strategies compatible with biological control and informed by risk from landscape factors.

We will continue to determine the economic consequences of BMSB damage and how it is reduced by specific management strategies, and deliver science-based information with a robust and diversified outreach program.

PROTECTING POLLINATORS WITH ECONOMICALLY FEASIBLE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND ORNAMENTAL HORTICULTURE Recent scientific and public awareness about the status of domesticated and native pollinators in North America has led to consumers intentionally planting ?pollinator-friendly? plants.

Identifying ornamental horticulture plants that support pollinator populations will open new markets for growers.

This address threats to specialty crop pollinators by: (1) identifying pollinator attractiveness of top selling crops; (2) filling specific regulatory data gaps for pollinator risk assessment of systemic insecticide residues within ornamental horticulture crops; (3) comparing current pest management practices with alternative strategies; (4) providing guidance to growers and landscape managers with updated Best Management Practices; and (5) developing outreach tools for multiple stakeholder audiences.

Ultimately, this project will aid in reaching the President?s goal of seven (7) million acres of restored or enhanced pollinator habitat by providing growers and landscape managers the knowledge to address pests while producing high quality plants for pollinator forage. SOLID SET CANOPY DELIVERY SYSTEMS: AND EFFICIENT, SUSTAINABLE AND SAFER SPRAY TECHNOLOGY FOR TREE FRUIT This multi-region project has a national scope completing the development and delivery of Solid Set Canopy Delivery Systems (SSCDS) for high-density tree fruit production and evaluate SSCDS spray coverage for additional perennial fruit crops.

SSCDS consist of a network of microsprayers positioned in the tree canopy/trellis and connected to a pumping/mixing station.

SSCDS application virtually eliminates applicator exposure common to tractor-based sprayers, while increasing farmers? ability to apply sprays during critical weather periods.

SSCDS would make frequent applications at low rates possible for modern agricultural chemicals, including nutrients and reduced-risk pesticides, to improve efficacy of ?soft impact? IPM programs and reduce soil fertilizer levels.

The specific objectives for this proposal are: (1) Optimize SSCDS technologies for modern orchard architectures for improved spray material application efficacy; (2) Determine and test SSCDS applications for standard and novel fruit production operations; (3) Determine the economic benefits and costs associated with SSCDS and identify non-economic barriers to grower adoption of SSCDS; and (4) Develop and deliver extension and outreach activities and materials ?including field scale and on-farm demonstrations? to increase producer knowledge and adoption of SSCDS technologies. FOOD SAFETY INNOVATIONS AND PREVENTIVE CONTROLS DURING FRESH AND FRESH-CUT PRODUCE WASHING, PACKING, AND RETAIL DISPLAY Foodborne illness outbreaks associated with contaminated produce negatively impact public health, consumer confidence, the produce industry's economic well-being, and progress toward national nutritional goals.

To reduce food safety risk, this project holistically addresses key steps in the supply chain where risk factors profoundly impact food safety, and controls are also feasible.

Specifically, we will: (1) develop and validate preventive controls for cross-contamination during packinghouse and fresh-cut processing operations; (2) evaluate food safety improvement in nonimmersive fresh-cut washing; (3) advance scientific understanding of fresh-cut washing and sanitizing processes, and develop novel technologies to improve efficacy; (4) field-test, in cooperating retail stores, an energy-efficient approach to improve temperature control and prevent pathogen proliferation in fresh-cut leafy greens; and (5) perform cost-benefit analysis and outreach to stakeholders to facilitate technology adoption.

Project outcomes will enable development, validation, and adoption of science- and risk-based food safety standards and control limits, support implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, and benefit consumers, processors, packers, and retailers. ACCELERATING THE DEVELOPMENT, EVALUATION, AND ADOPTION OF NEW APPLE ROOTSTOCK TECHNOLOGIES TO IMPROVE APPLE GROWERS PROFITABILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY The deficiencies of current apple rootstocks create an urgency to develop and adopt new improved rootstocks.

Through this project, we seek to accelerate the development, evaluation and adoption of improved apple rootstocks by targeting research areas, not currently being addressed, which will result in more efficient rootstock development and improved implementation by growers and nurseries.

We will focus on both evaluating new candidate rootstocks and identifying genetic makers for difficult to phenotype complex root traits like replant disease tolerance, nutrient uptake and partitioning (especially calcium), low/high soil pH and salinity to improve tolerance of rootstocks to these biotic and abiotic stresses, and improve fruit quality of high value cultivars such as ?Honeycrisp?.

Fiscal Year 2017: VitisGen2: Application of Next Generation Technologies to Accelerate Grapevine Cultivar Development Recent analyses have emphasized the economic and environmental importance of developing new grape cultivars with high fruit quality (FQ) and resistance to powdery mildew (PM).

An Advisory Panel of table, juice, raisin and wine grape industry members concurs that high-quality, PM-resistant cultivars are a top priority.

The proposed project (VitisGen2) will: i) expand on VitisGen progress in developing novel economic, phenotyping and genetics knowledge and tools related to new grape cultivars; and ii) translate these and previous VitisGen innovations into new applications for improving grape breeding programs and managing existing vineyard plantings.

The Economics team will evaluate the consequences of introducing new grape traits, including impacts upon cost, yield, revenue, profit, pesticide use, and the environment.

The Phenotyping team will develop novel high-throughput methods, and apply these along with proven approaches to characterize a range of phenotypes, such as PM resistance durability and undesirable fruit qualities, as well as locally important traits.

The Genetics team will couple phenotyping results with high-resolution genetic maps, which can be combined with genome assembly and RNA-Seq analyses to develop inexpensive, high-resolution markers spanning key genes.

Finally, the Outreach team will communicate scientific opportunities and discoveries, and provide stakeholders with knowledge of the benefits of adopting new high-quality PM-resistant cultivars along with new tools for characterizing PM and FQ in their existing plantings.

The proposed work aligns with SCRI program goals by utilizing plant breeding and genomics approaches to improve grape characteristics and enhance the economic and environmental sustainability of grape production. Table to Farm: A sustainable, systems-based approach for a safer and healthier melon supply chain in the U.S. This project aims to improve the safety and quality of U.S.-produced melons (Cucumis melo L.) and therefore addresses SCRI goals by: strengthening the competitiveness and sustainability of the U.S.

specialty crop industry and bolstering consumption of regionally produced specialty crops, expanding the diversity of adapted varieties through breeding, and improving production practices.

It is anticipated that this stakeholder-driven approach will lead to development of unique cultivars (with improved quality, safety, and sensory attributes) and increase consumer loyalty and repeat purchasing (SCRI focus areas 1, 3, and 5).

The proposed project has five (5) objectives: (1) Identify and analyze factors influencing consumer behaviors related to melon purchase and consumption; (2) Develop cultivars that address producer and consumer needs using genomics-assisted selection and breeding to harness genetic diversity of melon varieties and improve nutritional quality, flavor, safety, and stress resistance; (3) Develop region- and cultivar-specific agronomic practices and technologies to improve production efficiency, nutritional quality and safety attributes; (4) Identify critical control points and develop pre- and post-harvest strategies to minimize microbial contamination; and (5) Establish a Center of Excellence Research, Extension, and Outreach Program for Melons with a focus on improving consumer awareness and meeting the consumer demand for safe, high-quality melons that exceed minimum quality standards thereby resulting in profitability for producers and retailers.

The CAP team spans 13 disciplines and institutions from seven (7) states.

We expect that enhancing melon quality, nutrition, and safety, while providing elite cultivars well-suited to regional production and distribution, will benefit producers, processors, distributors, and consumers nation-wide. Increasing Low-Input Turfgrass Adoption Through Breeding, Innovation, and Public Education The public desires lower-input turfgrasses that provide functional turf areas while reducing inputs of water, fertilizer, mowing, and pesticides.

Our surveys of consumer and public land managers, along with information from industry partners, suggests that having knowledge about the positive benefits of fine fescues, an important group of grasses well suited for low-input environments, is not enough to increase adoption.

The long-term goal of this project is to increase the use of well-adapted fine fescue cultivars in sustainable landscapes.

In our first objective, we will survey consumers, land managers, and seed producers to identify the barriers preventing them from using fine fescues.

In the second objective, we will lead a sustained effort of cultivar development focused on improving important traits utilizing new molecular technologies and proven breeding approaches.

The third objective will generate new knowledge about complex interactions between turfgrass genetics and management.

Our approach in the fourth objective will use 30 years of publically available data in an innovative way to improve consumer turfgrass purchasing decisions for improved fine fescue cultivars.

Our fifth objective will identify solutions to several turfgrass management barriers that are preventing stakeholders from seeding fine fescues in landscapes and seed producers from growing this specialty crop.

Finally, and most importantly, our sixth objective will deliver research-based information to consumers, seed producers, and land managers using new and innovative outreach methods.

We will use plant breeding to improve low-input characteristics and increase the production and profitability of this specialty crop over the long-term. Developing a sustainable stevia industry in the United States Stevia rebaudiana (stevia) is a rapidly emerging new crop in the U.S., grown for the extraction of sweet-tasting steviol glycosides used as non-caloric sweeteners.

Most stevia is currently produced in China, though production is increasing rapidly in the U.S.

The combination of a favorable climate and existing infrastructure necessary for stevia production in the southeastern U.S.

make this an ideal region for production of high quality stevia needed to meet the increasing demand for steviol glycosides.

However, U.S.

stevia growers confront multiple challenges, including a lack of varieties developed for U.S.

conditions, a paucity of information on optimizing production practices, such as planting density, fertilization, weed and disease control, and a lack of information on costs of production, consumer preferences, and potential profitability.

The specific objectives of this proposal, which were developed with stakeholders through an SCRI Planning Grant, are to: (1) Develop Best Management Practices to optimize stevia biomass and glycoside production in the southeastern U.S.; (2) Develop germplasm and genetic/genomic resources to enable selection and breeding of stevia cultivars adapted to U.S.

growing conditions and producing consumer-desired steviol glycosides; (3) Develop consumer profile and market potential analyses for U.S.

stevia products and determine consumer-preferred combinations of steviol glycosides; (4) Develop cost of production estimates for stevia in different cropping systems; and (5) Conduct outreach programs for producers, extension service providers, and industry professionals.

Completing these objectives will contribute substantially to filling the knowledge gaps, and the fostering development of new varieties to meet industry demand for ?next-generation? sweeteners. Integrating anaerobic soil disinfestation, crop rotation and variety for disease management in strawberry production Strawberry production is a $2.8 billion industry that provides livelihoods for many hundreds of growers and employs over 80,000 workers in the US.

The industry was built around the use of fumigants to manage soil borne diseases and pests.

Increasing restrictions on fumigant use due to health and environmental concerns make the development of effective reduced/non-fumigant based management systems critical for survival of the industry in the US.

This SREP project brings together a national team of researchers and stakeholders to develop and implement effective non/reduced fumigant management systems tailored for specific regions, pathogens and pests.

Biologically-based techniques, notably anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD), crop rotation and cultivar resistance are promising alternatives to fumigation in strawberries; but their efficacy is dependent on environmental and biological variables.

Improved understanding of management/environment/ pathogen/pest interactions with ASD is needed to develop site and pathogen specific management strategies.

Any single biological technique is unlikely to provide efficacy in all situations, but combining multiple strategies should increase the reliability of pathogen control.

Here we propose to optimize ASD in terms of carbon sources, combined use with biological agents and herbicides, reduced water use, nitrogen dynamics and genotypes, then put these together with crop rotation to design integrated systems targeted for specific regions in California, Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee. Findings from this project will benefit other specialty crops where fumigants are used, and address SCRI priorities: identify and address threats from pests and diseases; improve production efficiency; and research on plant breeding.

Fiscal Year 2018: Information is not yet available.

Pertinent details to be provided by Program at a future date.


Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.


Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories





Selected Recipients for this Program


RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Rutgers, The State University Of New Jersey $ 3,999,741   2021-09-012026-08-31
Texas A&m Agrilife Research $ 7,000,000   2021-09-152025-09-14
Agricultural Research Service $ 2,538,318   2021-09-152025-09-14
North Carolina State University $ 5,294,195   2021-09-012025-08-31
Agricultural Research Service $ 7,526,949   2021-09-012025-08-31
Regents Of The University Of Minnesota $ 8,000,000   2021-09-012025-08-31
University Of California, Davis $ 3,996,984   2021-09-012025-08-31
Texas A&m Agrilife Research $ 2,447,012   2021-09-012025-08-31
Synergistic Hawaii Agriculture Council $ 6,007,090   2021-09-012025-08-31
Purdue University $ 3,704,495   2021-09-012025-08-31



Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: For the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 award cycle, approximately $48,250,396 million was available for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) program and $21,947,099 million was available for the Emergency Citrus Research and Extension Program (CDRE). Pre-applications were solicited separately for each program and subject to separate stakeholder relevancy reviews. A total of 120 pre-applications were received for SCRI and 38 pre-applications were received for CDRE. Following the relevancy review processes, 61 full applications were solicited for SCRI and 21 for CDRE. Separate scientific merit panels were then convened to evaluate the scientific quality of the applications and to combine that evaluation with the results of the relevancy review. Panelists included faculty from land grant and non-land grant colleges and universities, industry scientists, and practitioners from the food and agricultural sciences community. NIFA made 18 new SCRI awards (approximately $37 million), which translates into a 30% success rate for full applications. When the pre-application success rate is included, the combined success rate for applicants is 15%. In addition, seven (7) SCRI continuation awards were made for approximately $12 million. NIFA made five (5) new CDRE awards (approximately $18.4 million), which translates into a 24% success rate for full applications. When the pre-application success rate is included, the combined success rate for CDRE applicants is 13.2%. Fiscal Year 2017: For the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 award cycle, approximately $47,927,218 million was available for the SCRI program and approximately $21,653,967 million for CDRE. Pre-applications were solicited separately for each program and subject to separate stakeholder relevancy reviews. A total of 155 pre-applications were received for SCRI and 42 pre-applications were received for CDRE. Following the relevancy review processes, 83 full applications were solicited for SCRI and 25 for CDRE. Separate scientific merit panels were then convened to evaluate the scientific quality of the applications and to combine that evaluation with the results of the relevancy review. Panelists included faculty from land grant and non-land grant colleges and universities, industry scientists, and practitioners from the food and agricultural sciences community. NIFA made 12 new SCRI awards (approximately $35 million), which translates into a 14% success rate for full applications. When the pre-application success rate is included, the combined success rate for applicants is 7%. In addition, five (5) SCRI continuation awards were made for approximately $13 million. For CDRE, the FY 2017 merit review panel has not convened, so information is not yet available for new awards. Pertinent details to be provided by Program at a future date. NIFA anticipates funding one (1) continuation award (approximately $6 million). Fiscal Year 2018: For the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 award cycle, approximately $48,082,084 million is projected to be available for the SCRI program and $21,724,816 million for CDRE. Relevancy review of pre-applications will be followed by a scientific merit review of solicited full applications. These sequential review steps are conducted separately for SCRI and CDRE. NIFA anticipates funding five (5) continuation awards for SCRI (approximately $16 million) and two (2) continuation awards for CDRE (approximately $4 million).

Uses and Use Restrictions

Grant funds must be used for allowable costs necessary to conduct approved research and extension objectives.

Funds shall not be used for the construction of a new building or facility or the acquisition, expansion, remodeling, or alteration of an existing building or facility (including site grading and improvement, and architect fees).

Funds may not be used for any purposes other than those approved in the grant award documents.

INDIRECT COSTS: Not to exceed 22% of Federal Funds awarded.

Applicants may use both the unrecovered indirect costs associated with the Federal Budget and the unrecovered indirect costs associated with the Non-Federal Budget to meet their matching requirements.

Indirect costs may not be recovered on third-party matching contributions.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applications may be submitted by Federal agencies, national laboratories, colleges and universities, research institutions and organizations, private organizations or corporations, State agricultural experiment stations, individuals, or groups consisting of two or more of these entities.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Applications may be submitted by Federal agencies, national laboratories, colleges and universities, research institutions and organizations, private organizations or corporations, State agricultural experiment stations, individuals, or groups consisting of two or more of these entities.

Credentials/Documentation

The System for Award Management (SAM) combines eight federal procurement systems, including CCR, and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance into one new system. CCR activities are conducted through SAM (the CCR website will redirect users to SAM). Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM): Each applicant (unless excepted under 2 CFR § 25.110(b) or (c), or has an exception approved by the Federal awarding agency under 2 CFR § 25.110(d)) is required to: (i) Be registered in SAM before submitting its application; (ii) Provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and (iii) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal awarding agency. It also must state that the Federal awarding agency may not make a Federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the Federal awarding agency is ready to make a Federal award, the Federal awarding agency may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant. Applicants must furnish the information required in the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs). Successful applicants recommended for funding must furnish the information and assurances requested during the award documentation process. These include, but are not limited to the following: Organizational Management Information - Specific management information relating to an applicant shall be submitted on a one time basis, with updates on an as needed basis, as part of the responsibility determination prior to the award of a grant identified under this RFA, if such information has not been provided previously under this or another NIFA program. NIFA will provide copies of forms recommended for use in fulfilling these requirements as part of the preaward process. Although an applicant may be eligible based on its status as one of these entities, there are factors which may exclude an applicant from receiving Federal financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits under this program (e.g., debarment or suspension of an individual involved or a determination that an applicant is not responsible based on submitted organizational management information). This information collection is approved under OMB Circular Control No. 0524-0026, ?Assurance of Compliance with the Department of Agriculture Regulations Assuring Civil Rights, Compliance and Organization Information.? SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available as follows: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scri RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Notice of Intent to Submit an Application: Prospective applicants are asked to email a notification of intent to submit an application.

The notification of intent to submit is not required and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application.

The information it contains will be used to help program staff plan the review and estimate the potential review workload.

This email should include the following information: ? Descriptive (draft) title of proposed research; ? Name of the Project Director and applicant name if applicable; ? Names of other potential co-Project Directors and their affiliations, if applicable; ? Focus area(s) addressed, (see Part I(B) for specific details); ? Likely type of proposal (Coordinated Agricultural Projects, Standard Research and Extension Projects, Regional Partnerships for Innovation Projects, eXtension Projects, and Research and Extension Planning Projects); and ? Subject line of email should read: SCRI ? Intent to Submit.

Emails should be sent to scri@csrees.usda.gov.

All RFAs are published on the Agency?s website and Grants.gov.

Applicants must complete the Grants.gov registration process must follow the instructions provided per Grants.Gov..

An environmental impact statement is required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) only accepts electronic applications which are submitted via Grants.gov in response to specific Requests for Applications (RFA). Applicants must complete the Grants.gov registration process. For information about the pre-award phase of the grant lifecycle application processes see: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/learn-grants/grants-101/pre-award-phase.html. Further, applicants must follow the instructions provided in the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide, which can be assessed as follows: Adobe NIFA Applications. 2 CFR part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards and 2 CFR part 400 USDA?s Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards apply to this program. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scri RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.

Award Procedures

Applications are subjected to a system of peer and merit review in accordance with section 103 of the Agricultural Research, Extension and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 7613) by a panel of qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the field covered by the proposal. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the NIFA Authorized Departmental Officer (ADO) shall make grants to those responsible, eligible applicants whose applications are judged most meritorious under the procedures set forth in the RFA. Reviewers will be selected based upon training and experience in relevant scientific, extension, or education fields, taking into account the following factors: (a) The level of relevant formal scientific, technical education, or extension experience of the individual, as well as the extent to which an individual is engaged in relevant research, education, or extension activities; (b) the need to include as reviewers experts from various areas of specialization within relevant scientific, education, or extension fields; (c) the need to include as reviewers other experts (e.g., producers, range or forest managers/operators, and consumers) who can assess relevance of the applications to targeted audiences and to program needs; (d) the need to include as reviewers experts from a variety of organizational types (e.g., colleges, universities, industry, state and Federal agencies, private profit and non-profit organizations) and geographic locations; (e) the need to maintain a balanced composition of reviewers with regard to minority and female representation and an equitable age distribution; and (f) the need to include reviewers who can judge the effective usefulness to producers and the general public of each application. Evaluation Criteria will be delineated in the Competitive Request for Applications (RFA). 2 CFR 200 ? Subpart C and Appendix I and 2 CFR part 400 apply to this Program. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scri RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.

Deadlines

Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Authorization

The Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) is authorized by Section 7311 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, which added section 412 to the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (AREERA). Section 412 of AREERA establishes a specialty crop research and extension initiative to address the critical needs of the specialty crop industry by developing and disseminating science-based tools to address needs of specific crops and their regions. , Public Law 105-185, 7 U.S.C 7632.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 30 to 60 days. Contact the National Program Leader (NPL), as indicated per CFDA Section # 152 ? Headquarters Office regarding dates for specific deadlines, start and end dates, and range of approval/disapproval time. Information is also available via our website and may be obtained via the Grants.gov website. NIFA?s respective links regarding general information are provided below: http://nifa.usda.gov/ http://www.grants.gov. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details. The most current RFA is available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scri RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database.

Appeals

Not Applicable. 2 CFR Part 200 ? Subparts D & E apply to this program.

Renewals

Specific details are provided in the Request for Applications (RFA), which are generally published annually. The most current RFA is available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scri.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. Matching Requirements: Percent: 100%. Applicants may use both the unrecovered indirect costs associated with the Federal Budget and the unrecovered indirect costs associated with the Non-Federal Budget to meet their matching requirements. Indirect costs may not be recovered on third-party matching contributions. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

In accordance with statutory time limits, project periods, including no-cost extensions of time, are not to exceed five (5) years. Further details are provided in the Award document Form NIFA-2009 and the NIFA General Terms and Conditions Grants and Cooperative Agreements (dated October 2016) at: https://nifa.usda.gov/resource/nifa-general-terms-and-conditions-grants-and-cooperative-agreements-october-2016. SPECIAL NOTE: Please refer to the Competitive Request for Applications (RFAs) for specific and pertinent details. The most current RFAs are available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scri RFAs are generally released annually. Hence, the RFAs provide the most current and accurate information available. Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: NIFA utilizes the Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP), a secure, web-based electronic payment and information system that allows federal agencies to administer funds. Currently, ASAP is the only payment source for new NIFA grantees.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

REEport GRANT REPORTING: All grant reporting must be completed using the Research, Education, and Extension project online reporting tool (REEport).

Initial reporting (item a.

below) is to be submitted through the REEport system.

Annual progress and final reporting (items b.

and c.

below) also is to be done through the REEport system.

Information on REEport can be found on NIFA?s web site at https://nifa.usda.gov/tool/reeport and the REEport software can be found at http://portal.nifa.usda.gov.

a.

Initial Documentation in the REEport Database-- Research, Education, and Extension project online reporting tool (REEport) All projects must be documented in REEport.

The NIFA contact for all REEport documentation is: REEport National Institute of Food and Agriculture U.S.

Department of Agriculture STOP 2213 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C.

20250-2213 Telephone: (202) 690-0009 E-mail: electronic@nifa.usda.gov b.

Annual Progress Reports. All projects must report annually into REEport.

An annual Progress Report is due 90 calendar days after the award?s anniversary date (i.e., one year following the month and day of which the project period begins and each year thereafter up until a final report is required).

An annual Progress Report covers the most recent one-year period.

The following information, when applicable, must be included in the Project Modifications section of the annual Progress Report. 1) A comparison of actual accomplishments with the goals established for the reporting period (where the output of the project can be expressed readily in numbers, a computation of the cost per unit of output should be submitted if the information is considered useful); (2) The reasons for slippage if established goals were not met; and (3) Additional pertinent information including, when appropriate, analysis and explanation of cost overruns or unexpectedly high unit costs. c.

Final Technical Report The Final Technical Report is required within 90 calendar days after the expiration or termination of the award.

The Final Technical Report covers the entire period of performance of the award and must describe progress made during the entire timeframe of the project instead of covering accomplishments made only during the final reporting segment of the project.

In addition to supplying the information required under item b.

of this article, the final report must include the following when applicable: Identify equipment purchased with any Federal funds under the award and indicate subsequent use of such equipment. FINANCIAL REPORTING: As outlined in 2 CFR 200.327, the recipient must submit financial status reports by the frequency required in the terms and conditions of the award.

The following are the financial reporting requirements for NIFA. Federal Financial Report, Form SF-425: NIFA uses the SF-425, Federal Financial Report to monitor cash.

A ?Federal Financial Report,? Form SF-425, is due on an annual basis no later than 90 days following the end of the award anniversary date (i.e., one year following the month and day when the project period begins and each year thereafter up until a final report is required).

An annual Progress Report covers the most recent one-year period.

A final ?Federal Financial Report,? Form SF-425, is due 90 days after the expiration date of this award.

The report must be submitted to the Awards Management Division (AMD) as a pdf attachment to an email sent to awards@nifa.usda.gov. If questions are encountered regarding financial reporting requirements, please contact: Awards Management Division (AMD) Office of Grants and Financial Management (OGFM) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) U.S.

Department of Agriculture (USDA) STOP 2271 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20250-2271 Telephone: (202) 401-4986 SPECIAL NOTES: (1) Refer to the Competitive Requests for Applications (RFAs) for further specific and pertinent details.

RFAs are generally released annually and provide the most current and accurate information available.

Any specific instructions in the Competitive RFAs supersede the general information provided in the CFDA database. (2) The details of the reporting requirements are included in the NIFA General Terms and Conditions Grants and Cooperative Agreements (dated October 2016). (3) Further guidance is provided under 2 CFR Part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards and 2 CFR Part 400, USDA?s Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.

(6/21/17 FYI ONLY: NIFA utilizes the Federal Financial Report, Form SF-425 to monitor cash outlays.).

PROGRESS REPORTS: See above for pertinent and specific details.

EXPENDITURE REPORTS: See above for pertinent and specific details.

PERFORMANCE MONITORING: See above for pertinent and specific details.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. Relation to other audit requirements, but records must be available for review or audit by appropriate officials of the Federal agency, pass-through entity, and Government Accountability Office (GAO). This program is also subject to audit by the cognizant Federal audit agency and the USDA Office of Inspector General.

Records

In accordance with 2 CFR Part 400 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, § 200.333 Retention requirements for records. Grantees shall maintain separate records for each grant to ensure that funds are used for authorized purposes. Grant-related records are subject to inspection during the life of the grant and must be retained at least three (3) years. Records must be retained beyond the three (3) year period if litigation is pending or audit findings have not been resolved. 2 CFR 200 Subpart D applies to this program.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-1502-0-1-352.

Obigations

(Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 16 $70,197,495; FY 17 est $69,581,185; and FY 18 est $69,806,900 - SPECIAL NOTES: (1) The difference between the appropriation and obligation numbers reflects legislative authorized set-asides deducted as appropriate, and in some cases the availability of obligational authority from prior years.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

If minimum or maximum amounts of funding per competitive and/or capacity project grant, or cooperative agreement are established, these amounts will be announced in the annual Competitive Request for Application (RFA). The most current RFA is available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scri.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

As an administrator of U.S. government support, NIFA works in partnership with grantees to ensure responsible stewardship of federal funds. Our grantees and partners are required to comply with all relevant rules and regulations. The following resources are provided to NIFA?s partners and award recipients to support their adherence to federal regulations governing program performance: NIFA?s primary (main) website: https://nifa.usda.gov/regulations-and-guidelines The following represent specific documents and direct links: POLICY GUIDE NIFA?s Federal Assistance Policy Guide describes agency policies and procedures. https://nifa.usda.gov/policy-guide CERTIFICATIONS AND REPRESENTATIONS Certifications and representations provided through the NIFA application process. https://nifa.usda.gov/certifications-and-representations ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF USDA SUPPORT BY NIFA When acknowledging USDA support in accordance with 2 CFR Part 415, grantees must use the following acknowledgement for all projects or initiatives supported by NIFA. https://nifa.usda.gov/acknowledgment-usda-support-nifa FEDERAL REGULATIONS The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) lists all regulations published in the Federal Register. https://nifa.usda.gov/federal-regulations FOIA The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that any person has the right to request access to federal documents and information such as research data. https://nifa.usda.gov/foia NEPA POLICY AND GUIDANCE The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Policy and Guidance set the standard for identifying potential environmental impacts. https://nifa.usda.gov/nepa-policy-and-guidance OGFM ISSUED CORRESPONDENCE The Office of Grants and Financial Management occasionally issues correspondence to applicants, grantees, and/or the general public for informational or clarification purposes. https://nifa.usda.gov/ogfm-issued-correspondence RESEARCH MISCONDUCT NIFA requires that all its awardees adhere to the USDA Scientific Integrity Policy and the Federal Policy on Research Misconduct. https://nifa.usda.gov/research-misconduct NIFA?S GENERAL AWARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS Award terms and conditions are determined by statutory, regulatory, and agency requirements, as well as each grant?s circumstances. Terms and conditions dictate important items related to your grant, including method of payment, reporting frequency and content, and prior approval requirements. References to the terms and conditions of awards are located on the NIFA 2009 Award Fact Sheet. NIFA's general award terms and conditions (see link below) is applicable to this program, for awards with an award date on December 26, 2014 and thereafter. https://nifa.usda.gov/resource/nifa-general-terms-and-conditions-grants-and-cooperative-agreements-october-2016.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader; Institute of Food Production and Sustainability, Division of Plant Systems-Production, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2240, Washington, District of Columbia 20250-2240 Email: Policy@nifa.usda.gov Phone: (202) 401-4202 Fax: (202) 401-1782

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

2 CFR part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards and 2 CFR part 400 USDA?s Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards apply to this program. Within guidelines established for the program as described in the Competitive Request for Application (RFA). The most current RFAs are available via: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/specialty-crop-research-initiative-scri.


A recruiting trends report by Michigan State University’s (MSU) Collegiate Employment Research Institute discovers that the financial services sector is decreasing the hiring rate for Bachelor’s degrees from “double-digit expansion”.




Jobs in the Social Sector

  Substance Abuse Jobs
  Substance Abuse Jobs
  Social Work Jobs
  Social Services Employment
  Education Jobs