USDA Amends Assistance Program to Include Potatoes
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue recently announced the awaited adjustments to the program, meaning that potato, as well as apple producers are now eligible for direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
“Apples and potatoes are two huge economic drivers for Washington state, and our producers have experienced significant damages,” stated U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse. “Thank you, Secretary Perdue, for listening to our concerns, making these adjustments, and prioritizing America’s agriculture industry during these difficult times.”
The list of commodities originally eligible for CFAP payments focused on industries experiencing significant losses prior to April 15 — apples and potatoes, two of the state’s largest commodities and exports were not included. USDA’s adjustments ensure apple and potato producers are now eligible for direct payments.
On July 7, Newhouse and Sen. Maria Cantwell led a state congressional delegation in a letter calling for support of Washington’s specialty crops, including apples and potatoes.
The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program was created as a result of the CARES Act relief package signed into law in March to provide direct relief to farmers and ranchers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.