House Ag Committee Seeks Specialty Crop Relief

Clint Thompson Coronavirus

House Agriculture Committee members seek more Coronavirus Food Assistance Program relief for specialty crop growers. The group recently sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue with the request.

Led by Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett, a Democrat from the U.S. Virgin Islands, the lawmakers say, “The direct payment program under CFAP has failed to provide equitable relief to the specialty crop sector.”

Plaskett

The lawmakers say the funds have been particularly difficult to access for specialty crop farmers who are young, socially disadvantaged or rely on local markets with diversified production practices.

As of August 3, 2020, USDA had provided more than $6.8 billion in direct payments to domestic farmers and ranchers. Out of that total, only $270 million has been provided to specialty crop producers, representing less than 4% of overall assistance.

To remedy the issue, the lawmakers requested, “USDA must do more to assist the specialty crop sector, particularly those farmers who are young, socially disadvantaged, or sell into local markets.”

(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)