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Law Center Urges Changes In USDA Policies To Encourage Fruit/Vegetable Farming

August 3, 2010: 10:49 AM EST
Current USDA policies favoring commodity crop farming discourage farmers who want to produce and market fruits and vegetables and should be changed, according to a report by a law center that provides legal services to family farmers. The USDA, whose programs are based on a commodity crop business model (low prices, high volumes), has for years accumulated data on yield and pricing for crops such as corn and soybeans and has long supported farmers with financial and risk-management programs. But the agency has not collected yield/price data on fruits and vegetables, which are marketed directly to retailers and consumers, rather than to wholesalers. The report recommends creation of a “safety net” of crop insurance and disaster assistance for fruit and vegetable farmers, among other policy changes.
Jill E. Krueger, Karen R. Krub, Lynn A. Hayes, "Planting the Seeds for Public Health: How the Farm Bill Can Help Farmers to Produce and Distribute Healthy Foods", Report, Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Inc., August 03, 2010, via Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, © Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Inc.
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