Over $400,000 awarded to help cultivate Indiana’s specialty crops

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State officials have awarded more than $400,000 to boost to Indiana’s specialty crop sector that includes hops, nuts and dried fruits.

The funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture will benefit six projects run by Purdue University, Indiana University and the State Department of Agriculture’s “Indiana Grown” program.

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch says the grants will provide “a catalyst for growth” for cultivating the state’s diverse specialty crop industry that includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, dried fruits and nursery crops, including flowers.

Among the grants is $50,000 to boost Purdue’s work with farmers growing hydroponic lettuce in greenhouses.

Another $55,000 will aid Purdue’s partnership with the Indiana Hop Growers Association and growers involved in the state’s expanding hop production for craft beer breweries.

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