July 09, 2020

Idaho Delegation Hails Changes to USDA Coronavirus Program for Idaho's Potato Industry

BOISE, Idaho -- Today, the Idaho Delegation hailed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision to revise the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to better address the needs of the potato industry.  Initially, CFAP based the potato payments solely on data for the fresh potato industry market, which only encompasses a small piece of the potato market.  The newly announced revisions to the CFAP program will better reflect the intricacies of the potato industry by including the market data for processed and seed potatoes in payments as well.  While these revised payments cannot fully offset the severe market disruption caused by COVID-19, they will help more Idaho potato farmers gain eligibility for CFAP.  The Idaho Delegation will continue working with the USDA to ensure these changes can be implemented to best help Idaho’s potato industry.

“The Idaho Potato Industry is extremely grateful to the Idaho Congressional Delegation for the hard work done by our Senators, Representatives and their staff in engaging with USDA on making these changes. Our Delegation wrote letters, made phone calls and provided information that assisted USDA in making these changes,”  said Patrick Kole of the Idaho Potato Commission.  “Without their assistance, this would not have happened.”

Background: The Idaho Delegation has been closely following the agriculture sector’s challenges due to the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 and communicating the needs of Idaho agriculture directly to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue.  Since the start of the pandemic, the Idaho Congressional delegation has  sent letters to the USDA outlining the devastating effects of COVID-19 on Idaho dairy, potato, onion, cattle, sheep, grain, and hops production, and  expressing concerns with limitations on aid given the size of most farming and ranching operations in Idaho.

Now through August 28th, eligible farmers and ranchers can submit applications for CFAP.  Farmers are encouraged to contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.  Meetings are by appointment only but local offices are available by phone and email to provide help processing applications.  Applicants can visit  https://www.farmers.gov/cfap for information about how to apply and program eligibility.

The following price and program changes were announced: 

Potatoes fresh – other    $0.01(Category 1)    $0.04 (Category 2)    $0.01 (Category 3)

Potatoes fresh – Russets  $0.07 (Category 1)  $0.09 (Category 2)  $0.02 (Category 3)

Potatoes – processing    $0.02 (Category 1)    $0.03 (Category 2)    $0.01 Category 3)

Potatoes – seed            $0.02 (Category 1)    $0.04 (Category 2)    $0.01 (Category 3)

# # #