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Specialty crops – including fruits, vegetables, nuts, horticulture, and nursery crops – make up an important part of U.S. agriculture and our broader food system. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, There are over 240,000 specialty crop farms in the U.S. covering more than 15 million acres, with California, Florida, Texas, Oregon, and Michigan leading the way with the greatest number of farms.


Many specialty crops – such as apples, tomatoes, leafy green vegetables, dried beans, and lentils – form the basis of healthy, balanced diets. Others, such as herbs, honey, and even maple syrup, add flavor and depth to our food. Non-edible specialty crops include flowering plants, foliage plants, trees, shrubs, sod, and even Christmas trees.


Specialty crops are vital to the U.S. economy, and many individual crops – such as Florida citrus, Washington apples, and California almonds – generate billions of dollars of impact on their own. Large or small, specialty crops markets are integral to American life, coloring our landscapes, benefiting our health and nutrition, and contributing to our overall well-being.

The specialty crop industry in the U.S. is incredibly diverse, encompassing hundreds of different edible and non-edible crops.

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