Trade Assistance 092518
( File photo )

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has added shelled almonds and fresh sweet cherries to the list of commodities that can receive direct assistance in the wake of rising tariffs triggered by trade disputes.

As of Sept. 24, growers of those commodities can apply for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), although the cherry harvest has already come and gone.

The USDA’s payment rates are:

Shelled almonds — 3 cents a pound

Fresh sweet cherries —16 cents a pound

A payment will be issued on 50% of a producer’s total production, according to the USDA, multiplied by the MFP rate for specific commodities. Per person/legal entity caps are at a combined $125,000 for shelled almonds and fresh sweet cherries.

For more information, see the USDA’s Market Facilitation Program page at

The Almond Alliance of California welcomed the direct payments to offset some of the market losses due to tariffs in China and Turkey, and said the California Congressional delegation worked to include the industry in the aid mitigation package.

“We remain hopeful for a quick resolution to the broader trade disputes with these trading partners to ensure open and fair trade so consumers around the globe can continue to enjoy California almonds,” according to a news release from the alliance.

The MFP is under the statutory authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act is under the administration of the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.