Specialty Crops Program

USDA Revises Apple Standards

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) amended the U.S. Standards for Grades of Apples to remove smooth net-like russeting as a grade-determining factor for Fuji apples in the U.S. Extra Fancy, U.S. Fancy and U.S. No. 1 grades.

AMS also removed obsolete references to the location where color standards may be examined and purchased. The amended standards facilitate the domestic and international marketing of Fuji apples grown in America.

USDA Announces Termination of the Processed Raspberry Research and Promotion Order, Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that the Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order has been terminated. The termination of the order ends the research and promotion program that was established in 2012 to expand the market and uses of processed raspberries. The National Processed Raspberry Council administered the program with oversight from USDA and was one of 22 industry-funded research and promotion boards.

USDA Announces $72.4 Million in Grant Funding Awarded to Strengthen the Specialty Crop Industry

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced $72.4 million awarded through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP), authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, to support farmers growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts and nursery crops. SCBGP non-competitively provides grant funding to the departments of agriculture in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories.

USDA Announces Seeds for Sprouting Export Certification Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the launch of a new Seeds for Sprouting Export Certification Program, which provides European markets access to U.S. seeds used to produce sprouts for the first time since 2012. The program is an audit service administered by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to help U.S. producers and exporters demonstrate and document compliance with European Union (EU) regulations covering seeds used to produce sprouts. It is open to any U.S.

USDA Names Members and Alternates to the National Peanut Board

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the appointment of three members and three alternates to serve on the National Peanut Board. The appointees will serve three-year terms, from Jan. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2022, except for the member from South Carolina whose term will begin immediately and end Dec. 31, 2021.

Members and alternates appointed are: