Specialty Crops

 

Overviewcontentphoto_specialtycrops

Specialty crops are gaining attention across the agricultural spectrum with the increased number of provisions addressing specialty crop issues in the Food Conservation and Energy Act (2008 Farm Bill). The statutory definition of the term is wide-ranging, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and vegetables, horticulture, and nursery crops. In practice, however, the term “specialty crops” is generally used to describe all crops except those commodities that receive direct income support under Title I of the 2008 Farm Bill. Read the full overview

Note: Recently added resources are posted at the top of the applicable sections.



Major Statutes

Biotechnology

Plant Protection Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 7701-7786
Plant Variety Protection Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 2321-2583
Plant Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. §§ 161-164


Checkoff Programs

Floral Research and Consumer Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 4301-4319
Fresh Cut Flowers and Fresh Cut Greens Promotion and Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 6801-6814
Hass Avocado Promotion, Research, and Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 7801-7813
Honey Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 4601-4613
Lime Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 6201-6212
Mushroom Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 6101-6112
National Kiwifruit Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 7461-7473
Pecan Promotion and Research Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 6001-6013
Popcorn Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 7481-7491
Potato Research and Consumer Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 2611-2627
Watermelon Research and Promotion Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 4901-4916


County of Origin Labeling (COOL)

Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, 7 U.S.C. §§ 1621-1638d
COOL Provisions, 7 U.S.C. §§ 1638-1638d
COOL Provision from the 2008 Farm Bill


Farm Bills

Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008

Fruit and Vegetable Program, Sec. 4304
Planting Flexibility Restrictions and Pilot Programs, 7 U.S.C. § 8717
Specialty Crop Research Initiative, 7 U.S.C. § 7632
Specialty Crops Market News Allocation, 7 U.S.C. § 1622(b)
Food Safety Education Initiatives, 7 U.S.C. § 7655(a)
Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 7 U.S.C. § 3171
Program Payment Planting Restrictions 7 U.S.C. § 7916
Production Flexibility Contracts Planting Restrictions 7 U.S.C. § 7218
Purchase of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables for Distribution, 7 U.S.C. § 612c-4
Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC), 7 U.S.C. § 5680


Marketing, Research, and Promotion Programs

Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, 7 U.S.C. §§ 601-614
Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 7 U.S.C. §§ 671-674
Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 7 U.S.C. § 1621 et seq.
Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 7 U.S.C. §§ 7411-7425
Farmer-to-Consumer Direct Marketing Act of 1976, 7 U.S.C. §§ 3001 – 3007
Farmers’ Market Promotion Program, 7 U.S.C. § 3005
Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program 7 U.S.C. § 3007
Specialty Crops Competitive Act of 20047 U.S.C § 1621

Note: Amended By the 2008 Farm Bill

Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 499a-499t
Produce Agency Act7 §§ U.S.C. 491-497



Regulations

Biotechnology

Plant Variety and Protection Regulations, 7 C.F.R. §§ 97.1-97.900
Genetically Engineered Plant Pest Regulations, 7 C.F.R. §§ 340.0-340.9
Plant Incorporated Protectant Regulations, 40 C.F.R. §§ 174.1-174.485


Checkoff Programs

Fruits Vegetables Nuts, 7 C.F.R. Parts 900-999
Fruits Imports Regulations, 7 C.F.R. Part 944
Vegetables Import Regulations, 7 C.F.R. Part 980
Specialty Crops Import Regulations, 7 C.F.R. Part 999
Miscellaneous Commodities (Includes Several Specialty Crops), 7 C.F.R. Parts 1200-1291


Country of Origin Labeling

Food Safety Inspection Service Imported Products Labeling Regulations,9 C.F.R. §§ 327.14-327.15
United States Bureau of Customs and Border Protection Country of Origin Marking Regulations, 19 C.F.R. §§ 134.0-134.55


Marketing Orders

Marketing Agreements and Orders: Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, 7 C.F.R. Parts 900-999
Marketing Agreements and Orders: Miscellaneous Commodities (Includes Several Specialty Crops), 7 C.F.R. Parts 1200-1291


Marketing Research and Promotion

Fresh Fruits, Vegetables and Other Products (Inspection, Certification, and Standards), 7 C.F.R. Part 51
Processed Fruits and Vegetables, Processed Products Thereof, and Certain Other Processed Food Products, 7 C.F.R. Part 52
Specialty Crops Block Grant Program, 7 C.F.R. Part 1290
Specialty Crops Block Grant Program-Farm Bill, 7 C.F.R. Part 1291
Specialty Crops Research Initiative, 7 C.F.R. Part 3430


Market Development Programs

Rules of Practice for Disciplinary Proceedings, 7 C.F.R. §§ 1.130-1.151
Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act Regulations (PACA), 7 C.F.R. §§ 46.1-46.49
Rules of Practice for Reparation Proceedings, 7 C.F.R. §§ 47.1-47.49
Enforcement of the Produce Agency Act, 7 C.F.R. Part 48
Programs to Help Develop Foreign Markets for Agricultural Commodities, 7 C.F.R. Part 1484
Cooperative Agreements for the Development of Foreign Markets for Agricultural Commodities, 7 C.F.R. Part 1485
Emerging Markets Programs, 7 C.F.R. Part 1486
Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) Regulations, 7 C.F.R. Part 1487



Case Law

Case Law Index for Biotechnology

Case Law Index for Checkoff Programs

Case Law Index for Country of Origin Labeling (COOL)

Case Law Index for Local Food Systems

Case Law Index for Marketing Orders

Case Law Index for Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA)



Administrative Law Decisions

FDA Dockets Management

EPA Environmental Appeals Board

EPA Office of Administrative Law Judges

USDA Judicial Officer’s Decisions (National AgLaw Center)

USDA National Appeals Division

USDA Office of the Administrative Law Judges

USDA Office of the Judicial Officer

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Rulings

U.S. International Trade Commission Investigations



Center Publications

State-Specific Direct Marketing Business Guides (National AgLaw Center & U. IL @Urbana)

Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act Factsheet (Pittman, 2012)

Food Safety and Specialty Crops (R. Rumley)

Agricultural Contracting (R. Rumley)

Food Labeling for Specialty Crop Producers (E. Rumley, 2012)

3rd Party Food Safety Audits of Specialty Crop Operators (Seideman and Rainey, 2012)

Crop Insurance for Edamame (R. Rumley, 2012)

Approval of Pesticides (R. Rumley, 2012)

Legal and Business Guide for Specialty Crop Producers (National AgLaw Center & U. AR Division of Agriculture)

General Legal Issues for Community Farmers Market Managers to Consider (Crocker)

The Farmer’s Legal Guide to Producer Marketing Associations (O’Brien, Hamilton & Luedeman)

Farmers’ Markets: Rules, Regulations, and Opportunities (Hamilton)

PACA Roundup: A Review of Recent Cases (Pittman)

PACA: The Statutory Trust and Its Application for Restaurants (Pittman)



Congressional Research Service Reports

Reports– published and made available by CRS beginning in 2017

Subjects- published by CRS and made available by NALC until 2018:

Biotechnology
Commodities
Farm Bills/Economic Stimulus
Farm Commodity Programs
International Agriculture



Agricultural Law Bibliography

Introduction   |   Keyword Search   |   Browse Categories

Legal publications on Specialty Crops:

Cooperatives
Farm Labor
Food and Drug Law
Fruits and Vegetables — Perishable Agricultural Commodities
Marketing Boards, Marketing Orders, Marketing Promotion, Marketing Quotas
Organizational Forms for Agriculture (Business Law and Development)
Sustainable and Organic Farming



Reference Resources

Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

Country-of-Origin Labeling
Domestic Origin Verification Program
Specialty Crops Marketing Orders and Agreements
Specialty Crop Purchasing Program: Selling Food to the USDA
Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee
Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program
Grading and Certification Programs
Import/Export Certificates
Research and Promotion Programs
Market News Portal: Specialty Crops
PACA
Plant Variety Protection Office
Qualified Through Verification Program
Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)
Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
Specialty Crop Block Grant Program-Farm Bill (SCBGP & SCBGP-FB)
Wholesale and Farmer’s Markets


Animal Plant Health and Inspection Service
 (APHIS)

Plant Health
Import and Export
Plant Imports and Exports Program
Plant Health Import
Emerging Challenges for Biotech Specialty Crops (Workshop Report, 2007)
Fruit and Vegetable Import Requirements Database (FAVIR, 2013)
Memorandum of Agreement between the Department of Homeland Security and the USDA


Agricultural Research Service
 (ARS)

Crop Production and Protection
CROP PROTECTION AND QUARANTINE Action Plan [2015-2020]
National Program 304 • Crop Protection and Quarantine FY 2018 Annual Report
Genetic Preservation of Specialty Crops
Methyl Bromide Alternatives Project
Specialty Crops Research Program
Specialty Crops Research Projects
Management of Temperate Adapted Fruit, Nut, and Specialty Crop Genetic Resources and Associated Information
Field Testing of 
Minor Use Pesticide  Specialty Crops (IR-4)(2016)
Minor Use Pesticide Testing on Vegetables and Sugar Crops (IR-4)
Enhancing sustainability of Irrigated Specialty Crops and Biofuel Feedstock Production
Enhancing Specialty Crop Tolerance to Saline Irrigation Waters
Sustainable Cropping Systems for Irrigated Specialty Crops and Bio-fuels
Preserving the Genetic Variety of Valuable Specialty Crops (McGinnis, 2007)
Specialty Crops Vulnerability to Pests: IR-4 (Comis, 2007)
Specialty Crops Move Into the Spotlight (Schneider, 2007)
AgResearch Magazine


Center for Disease Control and Prevention
 (CDC)

State Indicator Reports on Fruits and Vegetables, 2018 (webpage)
State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, 2018 (.pdf)

Economic Research Service (ERS)

Briefing Room: Vegetables and Pulses
Briefing Room: Fruit and Tree Nuts
Farmers’ Market Promotion Program
Local Agriculture Market Program  (LAMP)

Publications:

Estimated Costs for Fruit and Vegetable Producers to Comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Rule (Bovay, 2018)
Sub-Saharan Aftican is Projected to be the Leader in Global Rice Imports (Nigatu, 2017)
Specialty Crops Access to U.S. Markets: A Case Study of Indian Mangoes (Ferrier, 2012)
Price Trends are Similar for Fruits, Vegetables, and Snack Foods Kuchler, 2008)
Increased U.S. Imports of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables (Huang, 2007)
China’s Rising Fruit and Vegetable Exports Challenge U.S. Industries (Huang, 2006)
Eliminating Fruit and Vegetable Planting Restrictions: How Would Markets be Affected? (Johnson 2006)
Fruit and Vegetable Backgrounder (Lucier, 2006)

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Guidance Document: enforcement Policy for entities Growing, Harvesting, Packing, or Holding Hops, Wine Grapes, Pulse Crops and Almonds (2019)
Guidance Document Draft: Guide to Minimize Food Safety Hazards of Fresh-cut Produce (2018)
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
FSMA Final Rule on Produce Safety
Guidance Documents: Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (1998)
Guidance Documents: Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards of Fresh-cut Fruits and Vegetables (2008)
Irradiation of Food and Packaging


Foreign Agricultural Service
 (FAS)

Agricultural Trade Promotion Program
Commodities and Products
Fruit and Vegetable Analysis
Tree Nuts Analysis
Export Programs
Market Development Program
Foreign Market Development Program
Market Access Program 
Quality Samples Program
Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) Program
Current World Production, Market, and Trade Reports (2019)
U.S. Horticulture & Forestry


Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)

Food Distribution Programs and Services
Department of Defense Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (DoD Fresh)
Food Distribution Program Eligibility and How To Apply
Availability of Fresh Produce in Nutrition Assistance Programs (2002)
Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Through the USDA Nutrition Assistance Programs (2008)


Food Safety.gov

Fresh Produce Safety
Guidance Documents and Regulatory Information
Fruit and Vegetable Juices
Sprouts


National Agricultural Statistics Service
 (NASS)

Crops and Plants 
Charts and Maps: Specialty Crops


National Agricultural Library
 (NAL)

Fruits and Veggies-More Matter
Growing Herbs Selective Information Sources: 1996-2005 (Mazur, 2005)
List of Alternative Crops and Enterprises for Small Farm Diversification (Gold, 2008)
Sanitation and Quality Standards
Food Safety Research Information Office

National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

Horticulture
Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics Programs
Adoption of Precision Agriculture
Research

Risk Management Agency (RMA)

Bulletins and Memos
Insurance Plans Overview
Specialty Crops
Laws and Regulations
Report on Specialty Crop Insurance (2019)


U. S. Department of Agriculture
 (USDA)

Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) (Rural Development Program)
Tree Assistance Program


Congressional Resources

FDA Continues to Evaluate and Respond to Business Concerns about the Produce Rule (GAO-18-85, 2017)
Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Home Page 
House Committee on Agriculture Home Page
Improvements Needed in FDA Oversight of Fresh Produce (GAO-081047, 2008)
Fruits and Vegetables: Enhanced Federal Efforts to Increase Consumption Could Yield Health Benefits for Americans (GAO-02-657, 2002)


Other Federal Resources

Ag Marketing Resource Center: Commodities & Products
National Clean Plant Network


International Resources

Australia Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry: Horticulture Policy
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Horticulture
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Pulses Industry Roundtable

European Commission

European Commission: Common Agricultural Policy
Future of the common Agricultural Policy 2018
Fruits and Vegetables
Legislation
Fruits and Vegetables: Policy Reports and Studies
Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Reform: Fruits and Vegetables
The Horticulture Sector in the European Union (2003)
Global G.A.P.


Additional Resources

Association of Fruit and Vegetable Inspection and Standardization Agencies
California Specialty Crops Council
Citrus Research and Development Foundation
Colorado State University Specialty Crops Program
Florida Specialty Crop Foundation
GAPs at UC Davis
Growing Produce
Guides for Beginning Specialty Crop Growers (UC Santa Cruz)
Haas Avocado Board
International Nut and Dried Fruit Council
Irradiation News (U. of MN, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy – CIDRAP)
Issue Brief: Food Irradiation and Public Health
Mushroom council
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Policy Statement on Specialty Crops (2003)
National Good Agricultural Practices Program (Cornell University)
National Honey Board
National Watermelon Promotion board
N.C. Fresh Produce Safety (NC Extension)
Nebraska Extension Specialty Crops
North Carolina Specialty Crops Program
Popcorn Board
Potatoes U.S.A.
Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance
Specialty Crops Regulatory Assistance
Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops
United Fresh Produce Association
University of California Fruit and Nut Research and Information Center
University of California Small Farm Center
Urban Ag News
U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council


Publications

2018 Nebraska Dry Bean Variety Trials (Urrea, Nebraska Extension, 2019)

Midwest Vegetable Production guide for commercial Growers (University of Illinois Extension, 2019)

Perrenial Fruit: New, Unusual, and Unique Crops for Northern Climates (McCamant, Minnesota Institute for sustainable Agriculture, 2018)

Understanding NOP Standards for Pest Management in Specialty Crops (Majumdar, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, 2018)

Evaluation of the pilot Program for Canned, Frozen, or Dried Fruits and Vegetables in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (Mathematica Policy Research, 2017)

Common Diseases of Tomatoes (Mississippi State University Extension, 2017)

Biodegradabel Mulches for Specialty Crops Produced under Protective Covers (Inglis, Washington State University, 2013)

Pesticides for Specialty Crops (Fouche, UC Davis, 2000)

The Food Modernization Act What Every Texas Lawyer Should Know (Walsh, 2017)

Establishing Land Use Protections for Farmers’ Markets (Public Health Law & Policy, 2009)

Understanding Farmers’ Rights to be Paid for Fruit and Vegetable Crops (Farmer’s Legal Action Group – FLAG, 2007)

Federal Law Protects Farmers’ Rights to be Paid for Fruit and Vegetable Contracts (FLAG, 2007)