CFAP Aid for Potatoes Pt 3

CFAP Aid for Potatoes Pt 3

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I’m Bob Larson. Potato growers who’ve been dealt a heavy blow from pandemic are calling on the USDA to reconsider funding requirements for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which largely leaves them out.

National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles says the USDA’s data is very limited and didn’t consider many growers on the brink …

QUARLES … “I mean, I’ve got to believe, optimistically, that USDA, they’re going to make changes. Right now, Bob, 2% of all of the payments under this direct payment program have gone to fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are half of farm-gate value in the United States.”

Quarles says the numbers are greatly disproportionate …

QUARLES … “The fact that only 2% of the payments are going to fruits and vegetables indicates there’s a problem with this program. And, I think USDA’s going to get a huge amount of information pour in here this week, and they’ve got to sift through all of that. But, there’s a lot of smart people down there and they’ve got to recognize that these numbers area just not lining up right and adjustments have got to get made.”

Quarles says serious tweaking needs to happen soon …

QUARLES … “At some point, that money is largely going to be expended, but the need is still going to be there for potatoes and specialty crops broadly. I think Congress is going to have to come back in if we’re going to get the real relief that these growers need.”

Quarles says the potato industry could feel the impact from this pandemic well into next year so the relief funding is crucial.

Previous ReportCFAP Aid for Potatoes Pt 2
Next ReportEPA Appoints Crowder