Almond Growers Will Be Able To Tap Into Tariff Fund, With Limitations

Almond growers will be able to receive direct payments to help offset some of the damage incurred due to the retaliatory tariffs imposed by China and Turkey.

As announced last week by USDA, growers of California almonds are now eligible to apply for direct payments of $.03 per pound as part of the $12 billion mitigation package announced earlier this month.

The damage assessment figure assigned to almonds is $63.3 million.

Producers of almonds can sign up for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), which is a direct payment program for eligible almond growers who have been directly impacted by retaliatory tariffs, resulting in significant export losses.

The MFP is established under the statutory authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and is under the administration of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA).

Specific eligibility requirements must be met by an applicant and the maximum payment per applicant is $125,000. Eligible almond growers may apply for MFP September 24, 2018, through January 15, 2019.

Almonds are one of California’s top three valued commodities and the leading agricultural export. The California almond industry exports 67% of what it produces. Almond exports totaled nearly $4.5 billion in 2017.

“While the mitigation initiatives are helpful, they will not begin to approach the anticipated economic losses and long-term impact these retaliatory tariffs will have on the industry’s trade relationships and the considerable investments made over the years to create market demand in China and Turkey,” according to a press release from the Almond Alliance of California, an industry group.

“We remain hopeful for a quick resolution to the broader trade disputes with these trading partners to ensure open and fair trade so consumers around the globe can continue to enjoy California almonds,” said Elaine Trevino, President/CEO of AAC.

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