The USDA farm bill proposals for specialty crops would allocate $5 billion to benefit producers of fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops. The funds would focus on research, development, and trade, as Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns says specialty crop growers have not expressed an interest in the kind of direct monetary support that many commodity crops receive.
"We listened when producers told us that farm policy should distribute support more equitably. Specialty crops are now nearly equal in market value to program crops, yet these producers receive no direct cash support," Johanns says.
"Specialty crop producers made it clear they don't want a cash subsidy, but they would like additional support to address market promotion, sanitary and phytosanitary issues, nutrition, and targeted research. Our proposals provide that support with nearly $5 billion dollars worth of additional funding targeted toward specialty crop growers."
For more on USDA's farm bill proposals, visit usda.gov and click on "Farm Bill" at the bottom of the page.