Thirty-two U.S. senators have expressed their support for specialty crop funding in the 2012 farm bill.

The legislators signed a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee leaders that details the success of specialty crop funding in the 2008 Farm Bill, and calls for a repeat in 2012, according to a news release from the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance.

The alliance is a national coalition of more than 140 specialty crop organizations representing 350 specialty crops. The Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association provides administrative support for the alliance.

The letter praises 2008 Farm Bill funding for specialty crop research, pest and disease mitigation, foreign market development, nutrition and other programs.

“This translated into job creation, trade expansion, infrastructure investment for capacity building, targeted research for new innovations and technology and increased access for fruits and vegetables in federal nutrition programs,” according to the letter.

The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance is urging Congress to pass the 2012 Farm Bill before the current law expires in September.