What is a Specialty Crop?

Section 101 of the Specialty Crops Competitiveness Act of 2004 (7 U.S.C. 1621 note) and amended under section 10010 of the Agricultural Act of 2014, Public Law 113-79 (the Farm Bill) defines specialty crops as “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).” Eligible plants must be cultivated or managed and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification to be considered specialty crops. Processed products shall consist of greater than 50% of the specialty crop by weight, exclusive of added water.

A detailed definition of specialty crops (pdf) was also developed for the purposes of this program and other U.S. Department of Agriculture programs.

The tables below list plants commonly considered fruits and tree nuts, vegetables, culinary herbs and spices, medicinal plants, as well as nursery, floriculture, and horticulture crops. There is also a separate list of ineligible commodities. These lists are not intended to be all inclusive, but rather to provide examples of the most common specialty crops. This web page will be updated as U.S. Department of Agriculture receives new questions about the eligibility of various crops.

Fruits and Tree Nuts

Almond

Grape (including raisin)

Apple

Guava

Apricot

Kiwi

Avocado

Litchi

Banana

Macadamia

Blackberry

Mango

Blueberry

Nectarine

Breadfruit

Olive

Cacao

Papaya

Cashew

Passion fruit

Citrus

Peach

Cherimoya

Pear

Cherry

Pecan

Chestnut (for nuts)

Persimmon

Coconut

Pineapple

Coffee

Pistachio

Cranberry

Plum (including prune)

Currant

Pomegranate

Date

Quince

Feijoa

Raspberry

Fig

Strawberry

Filbert (hazelnut)

Suriname cherry

Gooseberry

Walnut


Vegetables

Artichoke

Mushroom (cultivated)

Asparagus

Mustard and other greens

Bean, Snap or green

Lima

Dry, edible

Okra

Beet, table

Pea

Garden, English or edible pod

Broccoli (including broccoli raab)

Onion

Brussels sprouts

Opuntia

Cabbage (including Chinese)

Parsley

Carrot

Parsnip

Cauliflower

Pepper

Celeriac

Potato

Celery

Pumpkin

Chickpeas

Radish (all types)

Chive

Rhubarb

Collards (including kale)

Rutabaga

Cucumber

Salsify

Edamame

Spinach

Eggplant

Squash (summer and winter)

Endive

Sweet corn

Garlic

Sweet potato

Horseradish

Swiss chard

Kohlrabi

Taro

Leek

Tomato (including tomatillo)

Lentils

Turnip

Lettuce

Watermelon

Melon (all types)

 

Culinary Herbs and Spices

Ajwain

Clary

Malabathrum

Allspice

Cloves

Marjoram

Angelica

Comfrey

Mint (all types)

Anise

Common rue

Nutmeg

Annatto

Coriander

Oregano

Artemisia (all types)

Cress

Orris root

Asafetida

Cumin

Paprika

Basil (all types)

Curry

Parsley

Bay (cultivated)

Dill

Pepper

Bladder wrack

Fennel

Rocket (arugula)

Bolivian coriander

Fenugreek

Rosemary

Borage

Filé (gumbo, cultivated)

Rue

Calendula

Fingerroot

Saffron

Chamomile

French sorrel

Sage (all types)

Candle nut

Galangal

Savory (all types)

Caper

Ginger

Tarragon

Caraway

Hops

Thyme

Cardamom

Horehound

Turmeric

Cassia

Hyssop

Vanilla

Catnip

Lavender

Wasabi

Chervil

Lemon balm

Water cress

Chicory

Lemon thyme

 

Cicely

Lovage

 

Cilantro

Mace

 

Cinnamon

Mahlab

 

Medicinal Herbs

Artemisia

Marshmallow

Arum

Mullein

Astragalus

Passion flower

Boldo

Patchouli

Cananga

Pennyroyal

Comfrey

Pokeweed

Coneflower

St. John’s wort

Fenugreek

Senna

Feverfew

Skullcap

Foxglove

Sonchus

Ginkgo biloba

Sorrel

Ginseng

Stevia

Goat’s rue

Tansy

Goldenseal

Urtica

Gypsywort

Witch hazel

Horehound

Wood betony

Horsetail

Wormwood

Lavender

Yarrow

Liquorice

Yerba buena

Horticulture

Honey

Tea Leaves

Turfgrass

Maple Syrup

Hops

 

Annual Bedding Plants

Begonia

Coleus

Dahlia

Geranium

Impatiens

Marigold

Pansy

Petunia

Snapdragon

Vegetable Transplants

Potted Flowering Plants

African Violet

Lily

Azalea

Orchid

Florist Chrysanthemum

Poinsettia

Flowering Bulbs

Rose

Hydrangea

 

Potted Herbaceous Perennials

Astilbe

Hosta

Columbine

Ivy

Coreopsis

Ornamental Grasses

Daylily

Peony

Delphinium

Phlox

Dianthus

Rudbeckia

Garden Chrysanthemum

Salvia

Heuchera

Vinca

Cut Flowers

Carnation

Chrysanthemum

Delphinium

Gladiolus

Iris

Lily

Orchid

Snapdragon

Tulip

Rose

Cut Cultivated Greens

Asparagus Fern

Holly

Coniferous Evergreens

Leatherleaf Fern

Eucalyptus

Pittosporum

Foliage Plants

Anthurium

Bromeliad

Cacti

Dieffenbachia

Dracaena

Fern

Ficus

Ivy

Palm

Philodendron

Spathipyllum

 

Christmas Trees

Balsam Fir

Living Christmas Tree

Blue Spruce

Noble Fir

Douglas Fir

Scots Pine

Fraser Fir

White Pine

Deciduous Flowering Trees

Crabapple

Dogwood

Crepe Myrtle

Flowering Pear

Flowering Cherry

Flowering Plum

Hawthorn

Magnolia

Redbud

Service Berry

Broadleaf Evergreens

Azalea

Boxwood

Cotoneaster

Euonymus

Holly

Pieris

Rhododendron

Viburnum

Deciduous Shade Trees

Ash

Elm

Honey Locust

Linden

Maple

Oak

Poplar

Sweetgum

Sycamore

 

Landscape Conifers

Aborvitae

Juniper

Chamaecyparis

Pine

Fir

Spruce

Hemlock

Yew

Deciduous Shrubs

Barberry

Bubbleia

Hibiscus

Hydrangea

Rose

Spirea

Viburnum

Weigela

List of Ineligible Commodities

Alfalfa

Peanuts

Amylomaize

Pod corn

Barley

Primrose

Buckwheat

Quinoa

Camelina

Rapeseed oil

Canola

Range grasses

Canola Oil

Rice

Clover

Rye

Cotton

Safflower meal

Cottonseed oil

Safflower oil

Dairy products

Shellfish (marine or freshwater)

Dent corn

Sorghum

Eggs

Soybean oil

Field corn

Soybeans

Fish (marine or freshwater)

Striped Maize

Flax

Sugar beets

Flaxseed

Sugarcane

Flint corn

Sunflower oil

Flower corn

Tobacco

Hay

Tofu

Hemp

Triticale

Livestock products

Waxy corn

Millet

Wheat

Mustard seed oil

White corn

Oats

Wild Rice

Peanut oil