The Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (GFVGA) expressed appreciation for the Omnibus Appropriations Bill, though it failed to address agriculture labor reform.
“While the bill failed to include any action on agriculture labor reform, the bill did include significant funding for critical agriculture needs, including Georgia producers,” the GFVGA announced in an email.
The bill included $8.25 million for ongoing research on whiteflies. The funding will allow University of Georgia scientists to continue research in preventing whitefly damage, which can devastate fruits and vegetables.
It also included $3.7 billion in disaster funding for crop and livestock losses during the calendar year 2022. The appropriation, which covers freeze damage, is welcome news to Georgia specialty crop producers who suffered losses during the March 2022 freeze as well as those who potentially suffered losses to the freeze around Christmas.
The funding includes loss of revenue, quality and production losses.
The GFVGA will continue working with industry leaders at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Farm Service Agency as details are announced on how to access the disaster funding. Producers should stay tuned for additional information in early 2023.