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COVID-19 agriculture updates: April 22

Hello DeSoto and Sarasota County Producers!

I have six things to share with you today.

  1. Pesticide license renewal deadline has been extended for another sixty days
  2. A letter from a farmer about supporting local producers
    • Many farms and ranches, both big and small from across the state are figuring out ways to communicate with the general public about why supporting local producers is so important. Many producers are embracing the heightened public awareness about how agriculture feeds our nation by sharing their personal story via facebook, newspaper interviews, websites, and more.
    • Attached is an example: a Facebook post from a farm in Lake County that is getting a lot of attention. The attachment is called “Long and Scott Farm Letter”.
  3. Winn Dixie looking for local farmers with product to move
    • Gene McAvoy, UF’s Associate Director for Stakeholder Relations (formerly the Regional Vegetable Extension Agent for south Florida) was recently contacted by Winn Dixie Corporation. They are looking to connect with farmers who have product to move.
    • If you are interested, please send your name and contact information directly to Gene:
      239-658-3414 office
      863-673-5939 cell
  4. How the $19 billion earmarked to support agriculture will be used
    • See attachment called “USDA Announces Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for full details
    • In short, the money will be split into two categories:
      • $16 billion in direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers
      • $3 billion to purchase fresh produces, meat and dairy for food banks and other organizations serving Americans in need. This purchasing and distribution will happen through regional and local distributors.
      • Further details regarding eligibility, rates, and other implementation will be released at a later date.
  5. Crop Loss Impact Assessment
  6. Continued request for your stories and impacts
    • UF continues to provide a weekly agriculture impacts update to our public officials. The questions have changed a little bit. If you have a few minutes, any response you have to any of the following questions is much appreciated:
      • what percentage of your market has dried up? For which crops and/or categories of livestock?
      • Are you donating produce to food banks? Quantities?
      • Have you ventured into direct sales to consumers? How is it working? Quantities being moved?
      • How are labor availability, supply chain disruptions – chemicals, packaging, trucking – availability, delays.
      • What steps are you taking to educate and protect workers and staff?
      • If it is still business as usual that is valuable info as well.

All my best to all of you,


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