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Chile pepper grower seeks support for improved grades and standards for category

A Florida-based grower-shipper of chile peppers is lobbying the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Division to establish a USDA Grade and Delivery standard for the category, positing that it will benefit the industry at large.IMG 3585

Steve Veneziano, vice president of sales and operations for Oakes Farms, based in Immokalee, FL, said the company grades its own chile peppers as everyone else does Bell peppers, with grades of Fancy, No. 1 and No. 2 quality. He believes that if all shippers followed similar guidelines, the chile pepper category would benefit.

“With no grade contract established, the chile pepper category is fairly stagnant because they don’t have the proper sell-through, they have a lot of shrink, and produce managers don’t want to merchandise them because it’s a high-shrink category,” he said. “And especially during transitional times, some shippers mix No. 2s and poor-quality peppers in the box and they get away with it. Having a grade contract would eliminate that and help the entire industry. The chile pepper category has evolved tremendously over the past five years, and this is what it needs to continue moving forward.”

Veneziano said he recently contacted Jeffrey Davis, business development specialist with the USDA’s specialty crop program, who confirmed that grades and standards currently exist only for sweet peppers, and was told he would need to drum up support from the industry to move forward with his petition.

John Guerra, head of Eastern vegetable sales for S. Katzman Produce in the Bronx, NY, said he is in “100 percent in support of the petition.”

Guerra said the lack of quality standards for various hot peppers has really affected what the consumer thinks a hot pepper or varietal pepper should look like because there is very little restriction.

“Particularly from a terminal market point of view, on a tightly allocated market, everything goes into a box without any consideration on quality or grading, and you pass this along to a consumer who is expecting a certain quality, and it is frustrating,” said Guerra. “We went through a winter of some very unusual weather patterns in Florida, which created some limited availability. While many other grower-shippers were putting anything and everything into a box, Steve was separating them and giving us differentiated product. I feel very lucky that we had Oakes in our portfolio. It’s all about integrity, and Oakes is upholding something that isn’t being followed by all of the industry.”

Guerra said he would be interested in petitioning USDA in support of this movement.

Alan Goldberg, owner of A&B Tropical Produce in Miami, is another proponent of the concept, stating it is “long overdue” to have grading standards for the chile pepper industry.

“When issues come up, there needs to be something solid that people can rely on,” said Goldberg. “The chile pepper category is a growing category and the industry needs this. Really, every item should have a grade standard.”

Asked what benefit the grading standards would bring to the chile pepper industry, Goldberg said, “I think it will create confidence all across the board with both buyers and sellers, who will feel better that there is some protection down the line when it comes to settling disputes. It will limit the grey area. To me, anyone not in favor of implementing grade standards is unscrupulous. Why wouldn’t you want law and order?”

Goldberg said that he, too, is planning to contact USDA in support of this initiative. “I’ll do whatever I can to help promote this situation,” he said.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Jewish bell pepper grower Avi Ben-Zion murdered in cold blood

Jewish bell pepper grower Avi Ben-Zion murdered in cold blood

Jewish grower and exporter Avi Ben-Zion was murdered on Monday. The perpetrators were Palestinian car thieves. They pulled him out of the car and hit him with an iron bar. He was transported by helicopter to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday.


Soldiers of the Duvdevan elite unit arrested three Palestinian suspects. Ben-Zion’s wife and four daughters are convinced that the motive was nationalistic: Avi Ben-Zion was murdered because he was a Jew. “Otherwise they would have just taken his car.” His family decided to donate his organs. Avi Ben-Zion was 63 years old.

Avi Ben-Zion had been working as a bell pepper grower in the Jordan Valley since 1976, where Palestinian inhabitants have taken over through the years. He cultivated around 60 hectares of bell peppers, and a few hectares of grapes. In addition, the company sold cherry tomatoes and exotic fruit. His wife Niva worked in fig sales, and handled the bell pepper business. Last month, we visited her in Israel.

David Elhayani of the Jordan Valley Regional Council remembers him as “a great man, humble, modest and a farmer through and through.” According to neighbours, Ben-Zion worked with hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian workers, all of whom he treated equally and with respect.


Pieter de Ruiter of 4 Fruit Company knew Avi since 2007, and formed a special bond with him. “He was a really friendly man. It’s unbelievable that this had to happen to him. Where his colleagues in the Jordan Valley carried a weapon, he consciously chose not to do so, because he thought this radiated aggressiveness. My wife is also Jewish, so there was a connection there right away. I wasn’t allowed to go to Israel without my wife, and they always visited us together as well when they were in the Netherlands. The four of us also went on trips to Jordan and Koper. When there was a small business conflict, he immediately tried to find a solution in a mild and friendly manner. When his daughters were serving in the army and didn’t get good food, he drove 200 kilometres to bring them nice food, he was that kind of man!”

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Jewish bell pepper grower Avi Ben-Zion murdered in cold blood

Jewish bell pepper grower Avi Ben-Zion murdered in cold blood

Jewish grower and exporter Avi Ben-Zion was murdered on Monday. The perpetrators were Palestinian car thieves. They pulled him out of the car and hit him with an iron bar. He was transported by helicopter to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday.


Soldiers of the Duvdevan elite unit arrested three Palestinian suspects. Ben-Zion’s wife and four daughters are convinced that the motive was nationalistic: Avi Ben-Zion was murdered because he was a Jew. “Otherwise they would have just taken his car.” His family decided to donate his organs. Avi Ben-Zion was 63 years old.

Avi Ben-Zion had been working as a bell pepper grower in the Jordan Valley since 1976, where Palestinian inhabitants have taken over through the years. He cultivated around 60 hectares of bell peppers, and a few hectares of grapes. In addition, the company sold cherry tomatoes and exotic fruit. His wife Niva worked in fig sales, and handled the bell pepper business. Last month, we visited her in Israel.

David Elhayani of the Jordan Valley Regional Council remembers him as “a great man, humble, modest and a farmer through and through.” According to neighbours, Ben-Zion worked with hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian workers, all of whom he treated equally and with respect.


Pieter de Ruiter of 4 Fruit Company knew Avi since 2007, and formed a special bond with him. “He was a really friendly man. It’s unbelievable that this had to happen to him. Where his colleagues in the Jordan Valley carried a weapon, he consciously chose not to do so, because he thought this radiated aggressiveness. My wife is also Jewish, so there was a connection there right away. I wasn’t allowed to go to Israel without my wife, and they always visited us together as well when they were in the Netherlands. The four of us also went on trips to Jordan and Koper. When there was a small business conflict, he immediately tried to find a solution in a mild and friendly manner. When his daughters were serving in the army and didn’t get good food, he drove 200 kilometres to bring them nice food, he was that kind of man!”

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Jewish bell pepper grower Avi Ben-Zion murdered in cold blood

Jewish bell pepper grower Avi Ben-Zion murdered in cold blood

Jewish grower and exporter Avi Ben-Zion was murdered on Monday. The perpetrators were Palestinian car thieves. They pulled him out of the car and hit him with an iron bar. He was transported by helicopter to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday.


Soldiers of the Duvdevan elite unit arrested three Palestinian suspects. Ben-Zion’s wife and four daughters are convinced that the motive was nationalistic: Avi Ben-Zion was murdered because he was a Jew. “Otherwise they would have just taken his car.” His family decided to donate his organs. Avi Ben-Zion was 63 years old.

Avi Ben-Zion had been working as a bell pepper grower in the Jordan Valley since 1976, where Palestinian inhabitants have taken over through the years. He cultivated around 60 hectares of bell peppers, and a few hectares of grapes. In addition, the company sold cherry tomatoes and exotic fruit. His wife Niva worked in fig sales, and handled the bell pepper business. Last month, we visited her in Israel.

David Elhayani of the Jordan Valley Regional Council remembers him as “a great man, humble, modest and a farmer through and through.” According to neighbours, Ben-Zion worked with hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian workers, all of whom he treated equally and with respect.


Pieter de Ruiter of 4 Fruit Company knew Avi since 2007, and formed a special bond with him. “He was a really friendly man. It’s unbelievable that this had to happen to him. Where his colleagues in the Jordan Valley carried a weapon, he consciously chose not to do so, because he thought this radiated aggressiveness. My wife is also Jewish, so there was a connection there right away. I wasn’t allowed to go to Israel without my wife, and they always visited us together as well when they were in the Netherlands. The four of us also went on trips to Jordan and Koper. When there was a small business conflict, he immediately tried to find a solution in a mild and friendly manner. When his daughters were serving in the army and didn’t get good food, he drove 200 kilometres to bring them nice food, he was that kind of man!”

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

New Jersey grower joins forces with Florida grower

Vineland, NJ-based M. D’Ottavio Produce Inc. and Immokalee, FL-based Oakes Farms announced that they will be working together for the 2014-15 Florida produce season, farming over 600 acres in Immokalee.

In early November they will begin harvesting green squash, yellow squash, eggplant, Bell peppers, Jalapeño peppers, Cubanelle peppers, Poblano peppers, Long Hot peppers, Habañero peppers and Hungarian wax peppers.DOttavioFloridaThe Oakes Farms facility in Immokalee, FL. (Photo courtesy of Oakes Farms)

In mid- to late November, the companies will harvest round tomatoes, Roma tomatoes and grape tomatoes. For spring 2015, they also will be growing watermelon and cantaloupe to complement their extensive commodity lists.

The two companies have a combined 50 years of growing experience, a large diverse customer base and share an understanding that quality and service are the utmost importance in order to make this new partnership work.

“In the world we live in today, sustainability for food safety, third-party audits and traceability separate one company from another,” Mike D’Ottavio, president of M. D’Ottavio Produce Inc., told The Produce News Sept. 30. “We have concentrated and worked very hard to achieve excellence in these standards and are excited about the future growth of both companies.”

The companies will grow and pack under two labels for this coming season — “Oakes Farms” and “D’Ottavio Produce” — both of which will represent top quality and a premium pack. Customers will be offered a variety of custom packs throughout the season for all commodities, said D’Ottavio.

Oakes Farms operates its growing and farming divisions “in a manner that respects the long-term health and well being of the environment, the land, our partners and the community,” said Steve Veneziano, the company’s director of operations. For this reason, Oakes Farms created a new label called “Seed to Table,” which illustrates the company’s innovative agribusiness model, said Veneziano, adding, “We are committed to these values and will provide a quality service unparalleled in the industry.”

D’Ottavio Produce is recognized in the Northeast for supplying fresh New Jersey quality produce for the past 24 years.

“We have created bee habitats for pollination and are working with Natures Eye to develop ways to save water and use less fuel through satellite irrigation,” said D’Ottavio. “This, along with our other growing practices, we promise to do our share to help make a better world for the current and future generations.”

Sales and communications for Oakes Farms will be handled by Steve Veneziano. Sales for D’Ottavio Produce will be handled by Mike D’Ottavio and salesman John Salvati.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

New Jersey grower joins forces with Florida grower

Vineland, NJ-based M. D’Ottavio Produce Inc. and Immokalee, FL-based Oakes Farms announced that they will be working together for the 2014-15 Florida produce season, farming over 600 acres in Immokalee.

In early November they will begin harvesting green squash, yellow squash, eggplant, Bell peppers, Jalapeño peppers, Cubanelle peppers, Poblano peppers, Long Hot peppers, Habañero peppers and Hungarian wax peppers.DOttavioFloridaThe Oakes Farms facility in Immokalee, FL. (Photo courtesy of Oakes Farms)

In mid- to late November, the companies will harvest round tomatoes, Roma tomatoes and grape tomatoes. For spring 2015, they also will be growing watermelon and cantaloupe to complement their extensive commodity lists.

The two companies have a combined 50 years of growing experience, a large diverse customer base and share an understanding that quality and service are the utmost importance in order to make this new partnership work.

“In the world we live in today, sustainability for food safety, third-party audits and traceability separate one company from another,” Mike D’Ottavio, president of M. D’Ottavio Produce Inc., told The Produce News Sept. 30. “We have concentrated and worked very hard to achieve excellence in these standards and are excited about the future growth of both companies.”

The companies will grow and pack under two labels for this coming season — “Oakes Farms” and “D’Ottavio Produce” — both of which will represent top quality and a premium pack. Customers will be offered a variety of custom packs throughout the season for all commodities, said D’Ottavio.

Oakes Farms operates its growing and farming divisions “in a manner that respects the long-term health and well being of the environment, the land, our partners and the community,” said Steve Veneziano, the company’s director of operations. For this reason, Oakes Farms created a new label called “Seed to Table,” which illustrates the company’s innovative agribusiness model, said Veneziano, adding, “We are committed to these values and will provide a quality service unparalleled in the industry.”

D’Ottavio Produce is recognized in the Northeast for supplying fresh New Jersey quality produce for the past 24 years.

“We have created bee habitats for pollination and are working with Natures Eye to develop ways to save water and use less fuel through satellite irrigation,” said D’Ottavio. “This, along with our other growing practices, we promise to do our share to help make a better world for the current and future generations.”

Sales and communications for Oakes Farms will be handled by Steve Veneziano. Sales for D’Ottavio Produce will be handled by Mike D’Ottavio and salesman John Salvati.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Mazet des Saveurs, the first French tomato grower using the Agrifast Tom-System

Mazet des Saveurs, the first French tomato grower using the Agrifast Tom-System

Mazet des Saveurs is a family owned business located in Maugio, close to Montpellier in France. They are specialist in producing high quality cherry and Coer de Boeuf tomatoes for local market

According to Frederic Garcia, owner of the company, despite the bad weather they are harvesting a very good tomato quality. Even tough, the prices are not going up during the last years whereas the production costs rise year by year in this way, and looking for reducing specially the labour costs, which are specially high in France, Mazet des Saveurs contacted Agrifast to try with the Tom System, the new tying tool which uses staples to tie the crop to the twine.

“We wanted to do a small trial but when we could experience the clipping speed, we decided to use it in the whole greenhouse,” says Mr. Garcia. “Now we are clipping at a speed of 1,500 plants/hour, whereas using plastic clips we could clip only at 800 plants/hour. This means a great labour saving. In addition, the quality is very good and there is not any damage to the plant.”

To see how the workers of Mazet des Saveurs clip their tomatoes at a speed of 1,500 plants/hour, watch the following video:

For more information:
Frederic Garcia
Mazet des Saveurs
[email protected]

Alberto Lizarraga
Agrifast
[email protected]
 

Publication date: 6/25/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Lettuce grower in Australia now producing young plants in a retractable roof greenhouse

Lettuce grower in Australia now producing young plants in a retractable roof greenhouse

Koala Produce in Gatton, QLD is now producing all of their young plants inside their new retractable roof greenhouse. This is the first time that Koala has produced their own seedlings so they had no experience growing in any type of greenhouse. According to Anthony Staatz of Koala, the retractable roof greenhouse design reinforced their vision of growing their plants outside to grow them strong and hardy but with the ability to protect the plants from the extreme rain, hail, wind and heat. Even though the greenhouse management team had no previous greenhouse experience, “the results have exceeded expectations”. They found that water management was easier than they expected since they installed irrigation booms.  If plants were too dry, they could easily water them and if plants were too wet, it was easy to dry out the plants simply by retracting the roof.

To incorporate the materials handling requirements into the overall greenhouse layout and ensure that all growing areas were the same size, the greenhouse was designed with a series of 10m wide houses with 12.8m wide houses being used where internal roadways are located. Koala constructed the greenhouses themselves with the assistance of a local construction builder who had never built a greenhouse before.

For more information:
Cravo Equipment Ltd
Benjamin Martin
Canada
Toll Free: (CDA/ US) 888 738 7228
Office:  +(1) 519 759 8226 x260
Mobile:  +(1) 905 317 3546
Skype: benjamin_cravo
[email protected]
www.cravo.com

Publication date: 9/26/2014


FreshPlaza.com

USDA fruit grower disaster aid program kicks off

WASHINGTON — Beginning July 22, eligible fruit growers who experienced losses in 2012 due to frost and freeze, and who did not have access to crop insurance, will be able to apply for disaster relief from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The latest farm bill included a provision — penned by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) — that allows farmers without access to crop insurance and living in primary and adjacent counties that received a Secretarial disaster designation because of frost or freeze in 2012 to be eligible for Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program assistance. The program focuses on fruit crops grown on a tree or bush that suffered low yields due to damaging weather, though it also extends to natural occurrences such as earthquakes and floods.

“Family farms and businesses shouldn’t have to go under because of a few days of bad weather,” Stabenow said. “That’s why it was so crucial when writing the 2014 farm bill to make sure that growers of all crops have access to relief to keep their farms running.”

Stabenow said cherry and apple crops in Michigan and across the country were destroyed in frosts and freezes in 2012, leaving growers without crop insurance few options.

USDA said launching the farm bill program was a priority.

“After the 2014 farm bill was enacted into law, USDA expedited the restart of disaster assistance programs as a top priority,” Farm Service Agency Administrator Juan Garcia said in a statement.

NAP enrollment begins July 22, and all applications must be submitted to a FSA county office by Sept. 22. FSA has a 17-page list of counties in the nation that were designated in 2012 for freeze or frost disaster.

Producers are encouraged to gather records documenting these losses to expedite the process, and to contact their FSA county office to schedule an appointment.

“Limited resource, socially disadvantaged and beginning producers are eligible for premium reductions and also may be eligible for fee reductions,” FSA said.

Interested producers are encouraged to check FSA’s website for more information on the program.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

USDA fruit grower disaster aid program kicks off

WASHINGTON — Beginning July 22, eligible fruit growers who experienced losses in 2012 due to frost and freeze, and who did not have access to crop insurance, will be able to apply for disaster relief from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The latest farm bill included a provision — penned by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) — that allows farmers without access to crop insurance and living in primary and adjacent counties that received a Secretarial disaster designation because of frost or freeze in 2012 to be eligible for Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program assistance. The program focuses on fruit crops grown on a tree or bush that suffered low yields due to damaging weather, though it also extends to natural occurrences such as earthquakes and floods.

“Family farms and businesses shouldn’t have to go under because of a few days of bad weather,” Stabenow said. “That’s why it was so crucial when writing the 2014 farm bill to make sure that growers of all crops have access to relief to keep their farms running.”

Stabenow said cherry and apple crops in Michigan and across the country were destroyed in frosts and freezes in 2012, leaving growers without crop insurance few options.

USDA said launching the farm bill program was a priority.

“After the 2014 farm bill was enacted into law, USDA expedited the restart of disaster assistance programs as a top priority,” Farm Service Agency Administrator Juan Garcia said in a statement.

NAP enrollment begins July 22, and all applications must be submitted to a FSA county office by Sept. 22. FSA has a 17-page list of counties in the nation that were designated in 2012 for freeze or frost disaster.

Producers are encouraged to gather records documenting these losses to expedite the process, and to contact their FSA county office to schedule an appointment.

“Limited resource, socially disadvantaged and beginning producers are eligible for premium reductions and also may be eligible for fee reductions,” FSA said.

Interested producers are encouraged to check FSA’s website for more information on the program.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

USDA fruit grower disaster aid program kicks off

WASHINGTON — Beginning July 22, eligible fruit growers who experienced losses in 2012 due to frost and freeze, and who did not have access to crop insurance, will be able to apply for disaster relief from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The latest farm bill included a provision — penned by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) — that allows farmers without access to crop insurance and living in primary and adjacent counties that received a Secretarial disaster designation because of frost or freeze in 2012 to be eligible for Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program assistance. The program focuses on fruit crops grown on a tree or bush that suffered low yields due to damaging weather, though it also extends to natural occurrences such as earthquakes and floods.

“Family farms and businesses shouldn’t have to go under because of a few days of bad weather,” Stabenow said. “That’s why it was so crucial when writing the 2014 farm bill to make sure that growers of all crops have access to relief to keep their farms running.”

Stabenow said cherry and apple crops in Michigan and across the country were destroyed in frosts and freezes in 2012, leaving growers without crop insurance few options.

USDA said launching the farm bill program was a priority.

“After the 2014 farm bill was enacted into law, USDA expedited the restart of disaster assistance programs as a top priority,” Farm Service Agency Administrator Juan Garcia said in a statement.

NAP enrollment begins July 22, and all applications must be submitted to a FSA county office by Sept. 22. FSA has a 17-page list of counties in the nation that were designated in 2012 for freeze or frost disaster.

Producers are encouraged to gather records documenting these losses to expedite the process, and to contact their FSA county office to schedule an appointment.

“Limited resource, socially disadvantaged and beginning producers are eligible for premium reductions and also may be eligible for fee reductions,” FSA said.

Interested producers are encouraged to check FSA’s website for more information on the program.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

USDA fruit grower disaster aid program kicks off

WASHINGTON — Beginning July 22, eligible fruit growers who experienced losses in 2012 due to frost and freeze, and who did not have access to crop insurance, will be able to apply for disaster relief from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The latest farm bill included a provision — penned by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) — that allows farmers without access to crop insurance and living in primary and adjacent counties that received a Secretarial disaster designation because of frost or freeze in 2012 to be eligible for Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program assistance. The program focuses on fruit crops grown on a tree or bush that suffered low yields due to damaging weather, though it also extends to natural occurrences such as earthquakes and floods.

“Family farms and businesses shouldn’t have to go under because of a few days of bad weather,” Stabenow said. “That’s why it was so crucial when writing the 2014 farm bill to make sure that growers of all crops have access to relief to keep their farms running.”

Stabenow said cherry and apple crops in Michigan and across the country were destroyed in frosts and freezes in 2012, leaving growers without crop insurance few options.

USDA said launching the farm bill program was a priority.

“After the 2014 farm bill was enacted into law, USDA expedited the restart of disaster assistance programs as a top priority,” Farm Service Agency Administrator Juan Garcia said in a statement.

NAP enrollment begins July 22, and all applications must be submitted to a FSA county office by Sept. 22. FSA has a 17-page list of counties in the nation that were designated in 2012 for freeze or frost disaster.

Producers are encouraged to gather records documenting these losses to expedite the process, and to contact their FSA county office to schedule an appointment.

“Limited resource, socially disadvantaged and beginning producers are eligible for premium reductions and also may be eligible for fee reductions,” FSA said.

Interested producers are encouraged to check FSA’s website for more information on the program.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

USDA fruit grower disaster aid program kicks off

WASHINGTON — Beginning July 22, eligible fruit growers who experienced losses in 2012 due to frost and freeze, and who did not have access to crop insurance, will be able to apply for disaster relief from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The latest farm bill included a provision — penned by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) — that allows farmers without access to crop insurance and living in primary and adjacent counties that received a Secretarial disaster designation because of frost or freeze in 2012 to be eligible for Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program assistance. The program focuses on fruit crops grown on a tree or bush that suffered low yields due to damaging weather, though it also extends to natural occurrences such as earthquakes and floods.

“Family farms and businesses shouldn’t have to go under because of a few days of bad weather,” Stabenow said. “That’s why it was so crucial when writing the 2014 farm bill to make sure that growers of all crops have access to relief to keep their farms running.”

Stabenow said cherry and apple crops in Michigan and across the country were destroyed in frosts and freezes in 2012, leaving growers without crop insurance few options.

USDA said launching the farm bill program was a priority.

“After the 2014 farm bill was enacted into law, USDA expedited the restart of disaster assistance programs as a top priority,” Farm Service Agency Administrator Juan Garcia said in a statement.

NAP enrollment begins July 22, and all applications must be submitted to a FSA county office by Sept. 22. FSA has a 17-page list of counties in the nation that were designated in 2012 for freeze or frost disaster.

Producers are encouraged to gather records documenting these losses to expedite the process, and to contact their FSA county office to schedule an appointment.

“Limited resource, socially disadvantaged and beginning producers are eligible for premium reductions and also may be eligible for fee reductions,” FSA said.

Interested producers are encouraged to check FSA’s website for more information on the program.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.