The Horticulture Title recognizes what some critics of U.S. farm policy fail to realize: a one-size-fits-all approach to farm policy does not work because the needs and risks of producers, commodities, and regions differ.
The purpose of the Horticulture Title is to help meet the needs of specialty crop producers, including producers of fruits, vegetables, nuts, nursery plants, as well as organic farming operations.
According to USDA, sales of specialty crops account for nearly one-third of U.S. crop cash receipts and one-fifth of U.S. agricultural exports.
Although Federal Crop Insurance is available to most specialty crop farmers and there are also other tools available to assist producers of specialty crops – including marketing orders, trade promotion programs such as the Market Access Program and the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program, and purchase programs for school meals – the Horticulture Title provides additional focus.
The Horticulture Title includes a local agricultural market program, an organic certification program as well as other organic initiatives, specialty crop block grants, technical assistance programs, and help to address pests and diseases.