Boxes of strawberries.

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) provides funding to state Departments of Agriculture to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. The program is authorized under the Federal Specialty Crops Competitiveness Act of 2004, amended under section 10109 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill).

For each fiscal year, each state submits an application to USDA's Agriculture Marketing Service to receive funding, which is based on the proportion of the value of the state's specialty crop production in relation to the national value of specialty crop production.

Eligible Crops

New York State produces a wide range of specialty crops (fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, herbs, and spices) that rank highly in the nation in terms of both production and economic value.

Specialty crops are incredibly valuable to the state's economy, environment, and quality of life. Locally produced fruits, vegetables, and other edible specialty crops offer all state residents delicious options for a diverse and nutritious diet. Other New York State agricultural specialty crops, such annuals, flowers, perennials, turf, and other horticultural products are naturally adapted and well suited to local growing conditions.

All New York specialty crops are a great way to reduce our carbon footprint and help keep New York green.

Ineligible Crops

Ineligible crops include livestock and dairy products (including eggs); range grasses, feed crops such as barley, corn, hay, oats, alfalfa, millet, flaxseed; food grains such as rice, rye and wheat; oil crops such as soybean and sunflower; tofu; and marine or freshwater fish/shellfish. Learn more about ineligible crops.

Funding Information

The New York Farm Viability Institute (FVI) has closed and completed the FY 2024 Specialty Crop Block Grant  Request for Proposals (RFP) 

To be eligible for funding:

Projects must enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in either domestic or foreign markets.

Projects must benefit the specialty crop industry as a whole, rather than a single organization, institution or individual. However, single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners.

The Department has submitted its 2024 State Plan to the USDA and anticipates approval in the Fall of 2024. Please visit the below links to learn more about our partnership with FVI; review additional details regarding the SCBG program; and learn about NYS priorities.

Learn more at the nyfvi website