Growers of some of San Diego County’s most lucrative crops — flowers, nursery plants and exotic fruits — can now get federal cash to cover some coronavirus-related losses. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s initial relief program left out these small farmers who contribute significantly to the county’s nearly $1.8 billion agricultural economy.
The department expanded the program to include more specialty crops in August and announced last week it would make an additional $14 billion available to farmers through mid-December. Growers could begin applying for the relief this week.
Hannah Gbeh, executive director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau, called the federal aid “the lifeline our producers need to help weather the economic challenges that came along with the pandemic.”