Funds for Cotton Merchandisers and Food Price Index Surges
**Citing what he termed “unparalleled costs and losses impacting merchandisers of U.S. cotton, House Ag Committee Chair David Scott, of Georgia, wrote to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asking him to direct funding to cotton merchandisers that market ginned cotton to textile manufacturers.
Scott noted, according to www.gfb.org, that cotton-related professions provide 53,000 jobs in Georgia with an economic impact of over $3 billion.
Georgia ranks third among U.S. states in cotton production.
**The USDA extended the deadline for farmers who are certified organic, or transitioning to organic, to apply for pandemic assistance.
The Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program helps cover certification and education expenses.
The deadline to apply for 2020 and 2021 eligible expenses is now February 4th, rather than the original deadline of January 7th.
Signup for the 2022 fiscal year will be announced at a later date.
**Pushed by high meat prices, the Food Price Index will surge by 3.5% this year, its largest increase since the 5.5% rise in 2008.
The USDA tells www.agriculture.com, the index compares the average price increase for the current year with the average increase for the preceding year.
Food prices typically rise about 2.4% a year.
Beef prices are up by 9.5% this year, pork by 8.5%, poultry by 5%, and fish by 5%, all at least twice as large as usual.