Specialty Crop Legislation Introduced in U.S. House

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Legislative, Specialty Crops

Two pieces of specialty crop legislation were recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bills are being supported by various agricultural organizations representing the specialty crop industry. A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced both the Specialty Crop Domestic Market Promotion Program Act and the Specialty Crop Mechanization Assistance Act.

Specialty Crop Legislation

The Specialty Crop Domestic Market Promotion Program Act was introduced by Representatives David Valadao, Darren Soto, and Doug LaMalfa. It will establish a program to support producers with the marketing of their products. The program would be modeled after the Market Access Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Funding would be used to create a domestic market development program designed specifically for specialty crops and overseen by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. 

The Specialty Crop Mechanization Assistance Act of 2023 was also introduced by Representatives David Valadao and Doug LaMalfa, along with Representative Jim Costa. It seeks to make automation technology more accessible to ensure the specialty crop industry can remain competitive in the face of continuing labor challenges. A reimbursement-based cost-share program would be established through the legislation. Both pieces of specialty crop legislation are being heralded by industry groups, specifically the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance (SCFBA).

“We appreciate the work of this bipartisan group of House Members for recognizing the needs of specialty crop growers as we work to improve efficiencies and develop domestic markets for U.S.-grown produce and other specialty crops,” SCFBA Co-Chairs said in a joint statement. “We look forward to working with Congress to increase the Farm Bill’s investments in the competitiveness and sustainability of the U.S. specialty crop industry, producing a strong return for all Americans.”

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West