With nearly 50 percent of the United States considered farmland, and fruit and vegetable farms occupying 14 million acres, everyone – from growers to retailers to consumers – is affected by agriculture policies. It is imperative that Congress passes legislation and reauthorizes nutrition and agriculture programs that support growers’ and producers’ ability to provide an abundant, nutritious food supply across the country and around the globe.
Now, with the 2014 Farm Bill expired as of September 30, 2018, the process of considering policy and funding priorities is well under way with separate bills approved by both Houses and Congress. To facilitate improvements to the existing Farm Bill, United Fresh and the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance have come together once again to come up with a new set of industry wide recommendations for Congress to consider. In the last two Farm Bills, we’ve provided Congress with a set of comprehensive recommendations from a coalition of more than 140 specialty crop organizations, including fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, wine grape growers, and nursery and landscape organizations.
The fruit and vegetable industry is a critical part of the the U.S. agriculture industry and our issues deserve serious consideration during the final negotiations of the 2018 Farm Bill. Our industry is unified in support of the recommendations of the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance, which represents the common interests of members that transcend regions and products.
Other Programs we are advocating for include:
- Market Access Program
- Tree Assistance Program
- Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grants, DoD Fresh Program,
- Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, Value-Added Producer Grant Program, Specialty Crop Research Initiative
- Specialty Crop Block Grants
- Plant Pest and Disease Program, and Crop Insurance Programs
Learn how the 2014 Farm Bill generates value for the produce industry by viewing the following info-graphics. Click image to enlarge.
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Farm Bill By the Numbers
- Specialty crop production in the U.S. accounts for $66 billion in farm gate value and 33% of farm cash receipts for crops.
- Nearly 50% of the U.S. is considered farmland with fruit and vegetable farms accounting for 14 million acres.
- The 2014 Farm Bill provided a total of $3 billion investments in the specialty crop industry.
- A recent study found that for every $1 invested in MAP, there was a return of $238.30 in export gains.
Key Messaging Points
We urge Congress to:
- Support the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance Recommendations while approving the 2018 Farm Bill.
- Enhance funding for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI).
- Continue the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) program at a full $9 million annually.
- Ensure healthy eating in low-income families.
- Increase funding to combat invasive pests and diseases.
Farm Bill Action
June 11, 2018 | Specialty Crops Industry Applauds Senate Farm Bill Approach
April 17, 2018 | Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance Announces Farm Bill Priorities
January 28, 2014 | United Fresh Statement on Farm Bill
State Profiles of American Agriculture
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Important Farm Bill Programs:
Application Process for Specialty Crop Research Funds:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that over $48 million in funding has been made available through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI). This program seeks to address challenges in areas such as production, distribution and processing, as well as consumer demand and markets. The focus areas of the program are research in plant breeding, pest management, production efficiency, new innovations and technology and food safety in production and processing. The funding for projects for 2017 is subject to passage of federal appropriations or a continuing resolution for Fiscal Year 2017.
Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance Recommendations:
USDA Information and Other Resources:
To learn more about the Farm Bill please contact Robert Guenther at firstname.lastname@example.org.