USDA Announces Assistance for On-Farm Food Safety Expenses for Specialty Crop Growers

Jim Rogers Food Safety, USDA

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Friday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) intends to provide up to $200 million in assistance for specialty crop producers who incur eligible on-farm food safety program expenses to obtain or renew a food safety certification in calendar years 2022 or 2023. USDA’s new Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops (FSCSC) program will …

Crop Insurance Deadline Nears in Georgia for Cabbage Growers

Jim Rogers Agri-business, Leafy Vegetables, USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds Georgia cabbage growers that the final date to apply for crop insurance coverage for the 2023 crop year is July 1. Current policyholders who wish to make changes to their existing coverage also have until the July 1 sales closing date to do so. Federal crop insurance is critical to …

Southeast Farm Labor Update

Jim Rogers Labor, USDA

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, there were 30,000 farm labor workers hired directly by farmers in the Southeast, including Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, during the week of April 10-16. Florida producers hired 28,000 during the same timeframe. Southeast farm operators paid hired farm labor workers an average gross wage rate of $13.76 per …

USDA Announces Food Purchase Assistance Agreement with Alabama

Jim Rogers Alabama, USDA

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today has signed a cooperative agreement with Alabama under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). “USDA is excited to partner with Alabama to promote economic opportunities for farmers and producers and to increase access to locally sourced, fresh, healthy, and nutritious food in underserved communities,” …

Disaster Programs a Must for Southeast Specialty Crop Producers

Jim Rogers Specialty Crops, USDA, Weather

By Clint Thompson Specialty crop producers are always at risk for natural disasters in the Southeast. Especially in the late summer and early fall when conditions are ripe for a potential hurricane or severe thunderstorm, growers need to be prepared. Adam Rabinowitz, Alabama Extension economist, discusses the importance of government-assistance programs. “I think in particular in this area we experience …

Reminder: Specialty Crop Block Grants Deadline is April 12

Jim Rogers Specialty Crops, USDA

Commodity groups, agricultural organizations, colleges and universities, municipalities, state agencies and agricultural nonprofits are reminded that the deadline for the specialty crop block grants through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is April 12 at 5 p.m. CST. The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) is accepting Specialty Crop Block Grant applications for projects that enhance the competitiveness …

Commissioner Fried Statement on USDA Approval of Disaster Declaration

Jim Rogers Florida, USDA, Weather

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) granted Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried’s request on Monday for a Secretarial disaster declaration for dozens of counties impacted by freezing temperatures in late January. “We are grateful to Secretary (Tom) Vilsack and the Biden Administration for granting our request for a USDA disaster declaration after record lows at the end of January caused …

Commissioner Fried Shares Fertilizer Production Concerns with USDA

Jim Rogers Agri-business, Legislative, USDA

In response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announcing plans for a $250 million investment to support additional domestic fertilizer production for American farmers facing rapidly rising prices, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried offered the following statement: “Florida farmers help feed families across our state, nation, and world, even in the face of unprecedented challenges in recent years. But …