Almost a year ago, we met in Long Beach WA and the CMC voted

1 Aug

They voted in August 2017 for a Handler set aside for the 2017 crop and a producer allotment for the 2018 crop.

The USDA Secretary of Agriculture enacted (finally!) a Handler set aside of 15% for the 2017 crop.  My understanding is that many of the handlers were exempt from that set aside.  The 2018 producer allotment was proposed in the Federal Register on 4/27/18 and the comment period ended 5/29/18.  Still no word from the Secretary on a final rule.  Cranberry Harvest in Wisconsin begins in less than 60 days.  What in the heck are they waiting for? Tick tock.

My thoughts are that the USDA stepped in it when they tied the two different kinds of actions (handler and producer) together by saying essentially, if you are a handler and you were exempt in 2017, you are exempt in 2018.  Problem is, the 2018 is a producer allotment, a totally different regulation than the 2017 handler set aside.  So the USDA is saying if you are a producer and you deliver to a handler who was exempt in 2017 then you as a grower are exempt in 2018.  Wow. Clear as mud.

Here is a clear, simple solution.  Enact a 2018 Handler set aside of 15% ( a lower amount, since mother nature did HER part with the 2017 crop). If handlers have no carryover, ie frozen fruit or concentrate in freezer on January 31 then they are exempt.  If a handler has an excess of concentrate, let them dispose of 100% of their restricted fruit in concentrate if they want.  Yes, the handlers will yell that they bear the costs of disposal but everyone knows the disposal will be in sort outs and concentrate which will have the added benefit of decreasing the inventory of concentrate which EVERYONE knows is 99% of the problem.  Come on, just do it.

Or, do you have a better idea??  it’s probably too late to make suggestions, but why not?  The Secretary can basically do whatever he wants regardless of what he proposed in the Federal Register.

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2 Responses to “Almost a year ago, we met in Long Beach WA and the CMC voted”

  1. Steve kosik August 10, 2018 at 11:58 am #

    So the producer gets there 2018 crop weighed, then the handler has to find a way of disposing of 25 percent of the crop. Is the producer out the 25 percent or is there compensation.

    • Linda Prehn August 10, 2018 at 1:20 pm #

      It really depends on who their handler is… some handlers might take in all the fruit for their growers and dispose of it for them, and some handlers may have the growers dispose of the excess. There is no payment for dumped fruit, but in theory less fruit should result in higher prices, so that is the compensation.

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