Jun 16, 2023
Disaster relief, mechanization bills supported by specialty crop group
The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance (SCFBA) this week endorsed the following legislation that will be considered during the 2023 Farm Bill discussions: the Fair Access to Agriculture Disaster Programs Act and the Specialty Crop Mechanization and Automation Research and Development Program.
The Fair Access to Agriculture Disaster Programs Act was introduced by U.S. Representatives Jimmy Panetta (Calif.) and Kat Cammack (Fla.) and sponsored by U.S. Representatives Austin Scott (Ga.), Zoe Lofgren (Calif.), John Duarte (Calif.), Nick Langworthy (N.Y.), and Chuck Edwards (N.C.).
The Specialty Crop Mechanization and Automation Research and Development Program is sponsored by U.S. Representatives Doug LaMalfa (Calif.), Salud Carbajal (Calif.), Max Miller (Ohio) and Abigail Spanberger (Va.).
SCFBA is a national coalition of more than 200 specialty crop organizations representing growers of fruits, vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, nursery plants and other products.
The SCFBA was established to advocate for broad-based Farm Bill policy initiatives to address the unique needs of a diverse sector of the agricultural economy, known as specialty crops, and to aid their overall competitiveness in the face of increasing imports and rising global pressures on American exports. It is led by co-chairs Mike Joyner, president of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, Dave Puglia, president and CEO of Western Growers, and Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council. Robert Guenther, chief public policy officer for the International Fresh Produce Association, is the alliance’s secretariat.
“The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance appreciates the work by members of the U.S. House of Representatives for supporting and prioritizing specialty crops as discussions continue surrounding the 2023 Farm Bill,” the SCFBA co-chairs said in a joint statement. “Both of these bills align with the Alliance’s recommendations released earlier this year and support a stronger future for the industry, helping to ensure its competitiveness in the domestic and global marketplace.”
Specialty crop production, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, nursery and greenhouse commodities, contributes significantly to the U.S economy, accounting for $64.7 billion in farm gate value and 30 percent of farm cash receipts for crops.