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PMA provides industry guidance on USDA direct payments for specialty crop producers

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Newark, DE  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will provide up to $2.1 billion in direct payments to growers of specialty crops. These direct payments are a part of the $16 billion of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) included in the CARES Act which was approved by Congress in April.  PMA is pleased that the USDA is moving forward to provide much needed resources to produce growers however, more aid is needed to protect the supply chain and provide the support to ensure our industry can continue to supply consumers with nutritious produce. We also look forward to the future Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) in CFAP that will address much needed financial support for floriculture/horticulture growers.

Signups will begin on May 26 through the grower’s local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. Local offices can be found here. It is encouraged to fill out all application forms before the application date. All payments will be limited to $250,000 per person or legal entity and participation in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) does not impact eligibility for CFAP or other USDA farm aid programs.

The following are the key components to determine eligibility:

    • Producers with a price loss of 5% or more between January 15 and April 15, 2020 due to market supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19:
      • Fruits:  apples, avocados, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, kiwifruit, lemons, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines, tomatoes, watermelons
      • Vegetables:  artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, dry onions, green onions, peppers, potatoes, rhubarb, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, taro
    • Shipments that left the farm by April 15 and spoiled due to no market or for which no payment was received. All specialty crops are eligible.
    • Shipments that have not left farm or mature crops that remained unharvested by April 15. All specialty crops are eligible.

Additional information can be found here.


About Produce Marketing Association

Produce Marketing Association (PMA) is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit