Dozens of House representatives are asking USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to include wine grapes on the list of specialty crops eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
The congressmembers cited findings from an industry analyst showing that the growers stand to lose nearly $6 billion due to closures related to the pandemic.
“We believe the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) narrow, retrospective timeframe unfairly denies support to a vitally important sector of the agricultural community, one that is responsible for an enormous amount of economic activity,” argue the lawmakers. They point out that FSA added aloe leaves, bananas, maple sap and pumpkins in August, but not wine grapes.
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Meanwhile, the Wine Institute joined with several other trade groups in the alcoholic beverage sector yesterday in urging Congress to pass the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act.
The tax relief proposal would allow these businesses “to recover from the harsh economic impacts of COVID-19,” the groups argued.