Specialty Crops

Specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture) and are an important commodity area within our nation’s agricultural arena.

Their importance has been elevated by an increasing consumer demand for healthy, nutritious, and sustainable produce. Traditionally, this industry does not receive funding for research, promotion, and inspection in the manner that other program commodities have, and therefore are less able to respond to impacts of negative events brought on by pests, disease, low prices, food scares and labor shortages.

To aid the industry’s competitiveness, Congress established the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP), which is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and run through the State Departments of Agriculture.