MONTPELIER, Vt. — The Vermont Agency of Agriculture says about $200,000 in federal grant funding is available to improve the competitiveness of Vermont specialty crops.

The crops include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits; horticulture crops such as honey, hops, and maple syrup; and nursery crops, like Christmas trees and flowers.

The funding will be awarded through a competitive review process. Some of the funding priorities are pest and disease management; enhancing food safety and improving the capacity of specialty crop businesses to comply with those regulations; and producer collaborations.

Applicants must submit a letter of intent by Feb. 28, and top-ranking projects will be invited to submit full proposals. The agency will hold a webinar for possible applicants on Feb. 2. More information can be found on the agency’s website at: agriculture.vermont.gov/vtscbgp.