Food Safety Magazine

NEWS | June 18, 2013

Senate Farm Bill Benefits Specialty Crops

By Staff


The Senate has passed the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 with a vote of 66–27. The bill passed by the Senate includes key specialty crop industry priorities such as research, pest and disease mitigation, trade, nutrition, and other programs that enhance the ability of producers to be competitive and meet the needs of American consumers. Highlights of the bill include the following:

• Specialty Crop Block Grants funded at $70 million per year

• Specialty Crop Research Initiative funded at $25 million (FY2014); $30 million (FY2015–2016); $65 million (FY2017); $50 million (FY2018)

• Coordinated Plant Management Program funded at $60 million (FY2014–2017) and $65 million (FY2018)

• Market Access Program and Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops fully funded at 2008 Farm Bill levels

• Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program fully funded at 2008 Farm Bill levels

• Section 32 specialty crop purchases funded at 2008 Farm Bill levels

• Department of Defense Fresh program fully funded at $50 million per year consistent with 2008 levels

The House Agriculture Committee approved their version of the Farm Bill on May 16. The full House is scheduled to consider the legislation this week.