- Associated Press - Thursday, April 17, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says South Dakota this year is getting nearly $310,000 for grants to develop specialty crops.

The federal funds were authorized under the 2014 farm bill.

The federal government defines specialty crops as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops.

The focus of the grants is to enhance the competitiveness of the crops by improving production efficiency, reducing distribution costs and developing new seed varieties.

The grants are expected to be awarded later this year.

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