WASHINGTON AG NETWORK – GLENN VAAGEN – Last week, the USDA announced it would include sweet cherries in the Market Facilitation Program. That means cherry growers impacted by retaliatory tariffs from China can apply for the USDA’s trade relieve plan. Rod Hamilton with the Washington FSA said this inclusion is significant for the state.
“In particular because we are the number one sweet cherry producing state in the country, so we’ve got a lot of producers that are potentially eligible for this program.”
Hamilton said for those processors that already do business with the FSA, the application process should be simple. He said primarily the FSA will ask for growers to certify their net production that went to the fresh market for 2018.
“We will take half of that production and pay them the 16 cents a pound, then we’ll wait until December sometime when the Secretary will announce if there is a second payment rate. And if there is a rate greater than zero, then the second half of their production will get that second rate.”
The application process started Monday and runs through January 15th. For details, questions, or to apply, contact your local FSA office.