- Associated Press - Sunday, April 20, 2014

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow says over $1.9 million in block grants is available to support fruit, vegetable and nursery producers under the newly signed federal farm bill.

Stabenow is chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and sponsored the legislation, which President Barack Obama signed in February while visiting Michigan State University.

She says it’s the first farm bill to include a section providing support for “specialty crops” such as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, nursery products and floriculture. Previous bills focused largely on traditional commodity crops such as corn and wheat.

Michigan is a leading fruit and vegetable producer.

Specialty crop block grants are allocated to states and territories based on a formula involving crop acreage and value.

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