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Idaho Potato Growers Granted Trade Adjustment Assistance

The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service approved a petition filed by potato producers in Idaho for benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for farmers program. The producers may apply for TAA benefits between March 28 and June 27.

Under the TAA program, USDA provides technical assistance and cash benefits to farmers and certain fishermen if imports of a like or directly competitive commodity contributed importantly to a decline in producer prices and a loss of net farm or fishing income.

After an investigation, FAS determined that imports of french fries contributed importantly to a decline in producer prices of fresh market potatoes in Idaho during 2003 when compared to the applicable 1998-2002 base-period.

To apply for benefits, growers can obtain an application (form FSA-229) from http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/eforms/mainservlet or from their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) service center. Check local phone listings for the closest service center or visit http://fsa.usda.gov and click on "your local office" for contact information.

General information about the TAA program is on the Web at http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa/taaindex.htm
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TAA benefits will include technical instruction to enhance farming income. Financial payments will be made to applicants who complete their technical training by Sept. 26 and satisfy certain income criteria. Producers receiving TAA payments may also apply to the Department of Labor for job retraining.

Originally posted Tuesday, Mar. 22, 2005

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