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- Author or Editor: Beth Holtzman x
The challenges facing horticultural production in the Northeast are many: Pests that are increasingly resistant to conventional controls; eroding profitability; increasing consumer concern about residues in food and water supplies.
The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program is working to find solutions to these problems. SARE-supported research is developing practices that will help reduce producers reliance on pesticides and other purchased inputs while maintaining farm profitability.
In the Northeast, SARE has provided about $5 million in grants since 1983 to about 50 projects. Many focus on horticultural crops, such as apples, small fruit, sod and ornamental plants. Some strategies developed through SARE projects are already being adopted at the farm level.
Last year, the program allocated $1.461 million to 16 projects. This year, the Northeast Region expects to distribute a similar or slightly lower amount of grant funding. In addition, the region established a new $100,000 farmer mini-grant program to promote adoption of sustainable practices and in novations on the farm.