USDA has released a total of $15 million for domestic asparagus producers to compensate them for marketing losses resulting from imports during the 2004 through 2007 crop years. The program is the Asparagus Revenue Market Loss Assistance Payment Program. The Commodity Credit Corporation will provide an allocation of $7.5 million for payments for asparagus marketed as fresh, and $7.5 million in payments for processed asparagus. Affected producers may now apply for benefits at their local Farm Service Agency office.
ALAP provides a one-time payment to eligible asparagus producers. Maximum per pound payment rates are $1.06 per pound for fresh market asparagus and $1.08 per pound for asparagus marketed for processing. Payments to asparagus producers will be calculated for each asparagus farm operation based on their 2003 marketed production quantities. The signup period ends on April 8, 2011.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., says asparagus growers produce an incredibly safe, healthy and nutritious crop, but they have been hit hard by low-priced imports from overseas. Stabenow says this program will go a long way in supporting producers and their tremendous contributions to the economy.