Grape Juice Purchase
Over the last couple of years the grape juice industry in the northwest has seen some good years. So much so that producers have been fearful that an overabundance of Concord grape supplies would cause prices to soften and eventually plummet. That would be devastating to one of the northwests premier ag industries. After working closely with agriculture experts and local farmers in 2013, Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray wrote directly to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on August 1st, requesting the USDA purchase a large quantity of Concord grape juice supplies for use through other USDA nutrition programs. Cantwell said it was good for the industry.
CANTELL: Having Washington grapes purchased by USDA helps support the industry and keeps (up) the consumption.
Washington state's Yakima Valley has more than 10,600 acres of Concord grape vineyards tended to by more than 240 growers. Additional facilities that process these grapes into juice and concentrate also support many more families in the Yakima Valley. In the letter to Ag Secretary Vilsack, Cantwell and Murray said quote, "Time is of the essence given the extraordinary large crop expected this year. The anticipated carryover must be reduced as quickly as possible to minimize effects on Concord growers. In addition to helping growers in Washington, a bonus buy purchase would assist hundreds of growers throughout the U.S. including in Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania."
That's today's Fruit Grower Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.