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U.S. Senators Say Pecans Need More Promotion Funding

Seven Republican senators “express strong concern” about the recent trade promotion funding from the USDA Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP), which they say “appears to unjustly support markets for various tree nuts over pecans.”

In a letter to Secretary Tom Vilsack, the senators say the new RAPP program heavily favors the almond, walnut, and pistachio industries. “The pecan industry, through the American Pecan Council, only received $1 million in funding through the Regional Agricultural Promotion Program, while almonds got $10 million, walnuts $7 million and pistachios $5 million,” they write.

The senators add that the United States currently exports about 28 percent of its supply, and there is a “dire need for expanded market access across Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.”

Signers include Sens. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, and Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas.