USDA Seeks Input Concerning How to Help U.S. Specialty Crops Remain Competitive

  • Nov 09, 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a new “Specialty Crops Competitiveness Initiative” to assist this sector in light of the challenges presented by recent natural disasters and disruptions in the markets due to COVID. The program seeks to increase the competitiveness of U.S. products in domestic and international markets and help minimize costs, manage pests and disease, strengthen supply chains, and support climate outcomes. 

As part of this initiative, the USDA is seeking input from specialty crop growers concerning:

  • How to support domestic and global marketing and consumption
  • Research topics that will help minimize costs and maximize returns
  • Increasing producers’ awareness of and access to relevant USDA programs
  • How to enhance USDA specialty crop programs and awareness of the programs
  • Current and future challenges facing the industry

Growers have four months to submit comments. Those interested in commenting are encouraged to visit the USDA specialty crops webpage to review existing programs. The comments will be collected, summarized and shared with USDA leadership as it conducts a gap analysis to identify needs and determine what USDA services can be enhanced. The outcomes will be communicated to the specialty crop industry.

Comments can be emailed to [email protected] in the body of an email or as a Word or PDF attachment. Include “SCCI RFI” in the subject line of the email.

Comments also can be submitted via the Federal Rulemaking Portal. Within the portal, search for Docket ID AMS-SC-23-0073. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. This document was published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2023 and is available online at and on Comments should reference the document number and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register.

For more information, contact Heather M. Pichelman, Agricultural Marketing Service, Specialty Crops Program at [email protected] or 202.720.4722.

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