Cantwell Applauds Assistance for Washington Asparagus Producers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced that Washington asparagus producers are eligible to apply for training and benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Farmers Program.  The TAA for Farmers Program provides technical training, as well as cash benefits, to producers and fisherman whose crops have been negatively affected by imports of like or competitive commodities. Washington state lost approximately 60 percent of its asparagus acreage between 2000 and 2006.  Nationwide, harvested asparagus for the fresh and processed market fell from 92,000 acres to 45,000 acres from 1991 to 2006. 


“Washington asparagus producers have been adversely affected as production has moved to other nations,” said Senator Cantwell.  “Those still farming in Washington need this assistance to adjust to the changing market.  I am pleased to see the Agriculture Department supporting this industry.”


Benefits of the program include cash payments, as well as free technical training to help producers develop and implement business plans adjusted for the circumstances.  Producers who develop an approved initial plan will receive up to $4,000 for implementing the plan or developing a long-term business adjustment plan.  Those who then develop an approved long-term plan can receive an additional payment up to $12,000 for implementing the plan. 


From today, asparagus producers nationwide are eligible to apply for training and benefits.  Applications (form FSA 229-1) are available on the FAS website here. All TAA for Farmers Federal Register notices can be found on the FAS website here.


The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Farmers program was reauthorized and modified by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. TAA is a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).