COVID-19 Causes Lumber Shortage
More households are wanting home improvements during quarantine, but contractors can’t find the lumber to do it. Read about the challenges the industry is facing in this report by AP News.
The Motley Fool reports framing lumber prices have rocketed 26% higher over the past month, and are about double where they stood a year ago.
AmericanHort Applauds Inclusion of Horticulture in Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
AmericanHort released the following statement after USDA announced expanded eligibility for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
“AmericanHort extends our sincere appreciation to the USDA for working with us to provide meaningful nursery and floriculture grower relief,” said Craig Regelbrugge, Vice President of Advocacy and Government Relations. “For countless horticultural producers, the effects of the coronavirus’ sudden closure of markets during our peak selling season risked destroying businesses across the supply chain. We are happy to report Secretary Sonny Perdue and Under Secretary Bill Northey responded with understanding to help the industry successfully navigate the pandemic by expanding eligibility to this program.”
The program, funded through the CARES Act and the Commodity Credit Corporation, provides direct assistance payments to eligible commodities for which significant losses occurred due to pandemic-related market disruption. Nursery and floriculture crops are now eligible for relief. USDA also extended the application deadline to September 11. Application is through your local Farm Service Agency office; details can be found at farmers.gov/cfap. Nursery-specific details can be found at farmers.gov/cfap/nursery.
NALP Publishes State-By-State Guidance
The National Association of Landscape Professions has published a guide on the operating conditions in each state for landscape and lawn care professionals as it related to COVID-19 and state orders. The most recent version of the Department of Homeland Security Guidance list of essentials businesses includes “landscapers” as essential (found in the Public Works and Infrastructure Support Services section of the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response version 3.0). The Federal Government continues to view the landscape industry as critical and essential.