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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Congressman Bergman Announces Major Win for Cherry Growers with Coronavirus Farm Aid

 Agriculture is central to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and the country in general, and will be part of our future transformation. With new technologies we are going to bring back manufacturing soon if we focus on adapting and learning from COVID and emerging technologies. Part of that national "come back" strategy will be agriculture. The world's population isn't getting smaller so if we are wise we will try to set ourselves up as the investment, advanced manufacturing and agriculture capital in the world. We have the way but as a nation we may not have the will. 

Consider that new emerging technologies and big data are going to change the technology we use. We are going to get better at using technology to improve farm production and growth on a micro and macro level. We are also likely to start moving away from heavy pesticides and other damaging practices as our technology improves (i.e. keeping bugs away). We are in a process of transition now and if we continue to focus on the long term goal the next generation will reap the rewards. 

Below was obtained from the press release....

Traverse City - Following U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary Bill Northey's visit with First District cherry growers, and a letter from Rep. Bergman urging the USDA to ensure direct payments for cherry growers and other crops through the Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program (CFAP) - President Donald J. Trump and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced an additional $14 billion of CFAP funds with expanded eligibility - specifically including sweet and tart cherry growers and maple sap producers. CFAP and these additional funds were made available through the CARES Act, which Rep. Bergman helped pass into law.

Rep. Bergman stated, "This is a major win for First District growers and producers. Once again, President Trump's Administration has shown their concern for the First District, their interest in listening to our needs, and a continued commitment to action to level the playing field for American agriculture, which is driven by the world’s smartest and hardest-working farmers. With direct payments through this new round of CFAP, more of our Northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula producers will be in an even better position to lead our Nation’s economic comeback." 

The full USDA release can be found below:

President Donald J. Trump and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced up to an additional $14 billion for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. Signup will begin September 21 and run through December 11, 2020, for this next round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments (CFAP 2).

Producers whose agricultural operation has been impacted by the pandemic since April 2020 are encouraged to apply for CFAP 2. Payments will be made for three categories of commodities: Price Trigger Commodities, Flat-rate Crops and Sales Commodities.

Specialty crops are included in the Sales Commodities category, which also includes aquaculture, nursery crops and floriculture and other commodities not included in the price trigger and flat-rate categories. Payment calculations will use a sales-based approach, where producers are paid based on five payment gradations associated with their 2019 sales. Flat-rate Crops include hemp.

A complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations are available on farmers.gov/cfap.

More information about CFAP 2 is in the full announcement.

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