CFAP Aid for Apples Pt 3

CFAP Aid for Apples Pt 3

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The USDA is being called on to adjust the requirements for relief from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program so that it includes more specialty crops.

US Apple Association President Jim Bair says they’ve supplied them with all the data they should need to make the right decision, sooner than later …

BAIR … “I asked them today, it’s like, why are you waiting? Like, why can’t you tell us something? Well, it’s not just apples that are in this boat. It’s potatoes, it’s sweet potatoes, it’s blueberries, it’s peaches, maybe others, who are in the exact same situation.”

But, Bair says he was told the USDA will have a decision sometime in early July …

BAIR … “The department has made the decision that rather than announce tweaks, that’s my word, to the program in a piecemeal fashion, like you know, this week we announced some changes to the potato program and next week we’ll announce some changes to the apple program and so on and so forth. They’re going to issue one big document that will address each of those in turn in the same document.”

Bair says specialty crop growers are no different than any other that are receiving aid…

BAIR … “I’ve tried to explain to them, it’s going to be hard to explain to growers across the country who see the $4-billion has been sent out to other farmers, why not us? And, I don’t have a good answer for that. I hope USDA has a good answer. We’ll find out. Fingers crossed.”

Bair says he’s optimistic, but only time will tell.

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