MONTPELIER, Vt. — The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets says a total of $74,000 is available in a second round of grants to help growers make improvements to comply with the federal Food Safety Modernization Act.

The agency says farmers who grow, harvest, pack or hold produce that exceeds $500,000 in annual sales must now be in compliance with standards for on-farm produce safety practices.

The agency will start taking grant applications at 9 a.m. on Feb. 28 and growers are encouraged to apply early. In the first round, the agency says applications exceeded the available funding in several hours.

Grants ranging from $7,000 to $10,000 went to projects such as upgrades to wash and pack areas, hand-washing stations, health and hygiene signage, and improvements to cold storage and temperature controls.