News International U.S. Potato Industry Happy to See Changes to USDA COVID Aid

U.S. Potato Industry Happy to See Changes to USDA COVID Aid

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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revised rates for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which previously prevented potato growers from receiving equal access to relief funds, the National Potato Council (NPC) says in a July 9 news release.

“The potato industry appreciates the rapid work of USDA in considering these changes and making potatoes eligible for all three categories of payments,” Britt Raybould, NPC president says in the release. “We believe the economic justification submitted by the industry strongly supports the meaningful inclusion of potatoes in this relief program, given the devastation faced by the industry due to the government-mandated food service shutdown.”

The group is wanting to work with the USDA to ensure all potato growers have an equal opportunity to apply and seek relief, the release notes. The NPC also believes previous recommendations they made of a payment level of $0.04 per pound is “a simple, balanced approach that ensures relief flows to growers who need support.”

The NPC had previously voiced their concerns that the program was unfair to specialty crop producers.