Tuberville Advocates for Increased USDA Assistance for Pecan Farmers 

Alabama is one of our country’s top pecan producers, with growers across the state harvesting approximately 3 million pounds in 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (AG) Tom Vilsack advocating for additional funding for pecan farmers through the USDA’s Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP). Recent RAPP funding allocations have significantly favored other tree nut industries, like almond, walnut, and pistachio over the pecan industry, which is prevalent in Alabama and fourteen other states. The first RAPP funding allocation of $300 million only awarded the American Pecan Council $1 million, while almonds, walnuts, and pistachios received funding levels of $10 million, $7 million, and $5 million, respectively.

The intent of RAPP funding is to increase demand for American food and farm exports in high-potential markets around the globe where consumer demand and purchasing power are growing. For the pecan industry, this funding would be useful for increased trade relations with India, the largest potential market for pecans.  

Senator Tuberville requested that the pecan industry be given equal consideration for the remaining $900 million in future RAPP funding awards.

“All domestic tree nut producers deserve an equal opportunity to grow their export markets and compete on a global scale, not just growers in California and on the west coast,” the members wrote.“The domestic pecan industry has a larger footprint than other tree nuts and represents American farmers of all backgrounds and geographic regions.”

Complete letter text can be found here. Agri-Pulse reported on the letter this morning which can be found here.

Joining Senator Tuberville in sending the letter are U.S. Senators Roger Marshall (R-KS), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), and Thom Tillis (R-NC).

The National Pecan Federation (NPF) and Alabama Pecan Growers Association expressed support for Senator Tuberville’s efforts.

“The pecan industry has suffered lower prices for the last few crops. The export market is essential as one tool to get better prices for our producers.  We appreciate Senator Tuberville’s leadership in helping the pecan industry obtain additional USDA export assistance for U.S. pecans.  India offers the best opportunity for the pecan industry to grow.  It is critically important that we are competitive in our marketing efforts,” stated Larry Don Womack, Chairman, National Pecan Federation.

“The APGA is very excited about all the work that is being done to communicate the huge role pecans can play in nutrition and the impact to farming economy in Alabama.  Pecans inclusion in the SFMNP program is a positive step forward. We want to thank Sen Tuberville efforts in this. Also, Coach’s continue energy to have a more equitable allocation in RAPP moneys is powerful. Pecans are American’s true domestic nut. We know it is an uphill climb, but having Coach’s understanding of what most impacts Alabama farmers is awesome,” said Bran Futral, President of Alabama Pecan Growers Association.


Alabama is one of the country’s top pecan producers, with growers across the state harvesting approximately 3 million pounds across 9,000 pecan-bearing acres in 2022. According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, Alabama had over 837 producers who harvested 8,840 pecan-bearing acres.

During recent Farm Bill listening sessions throughout Alabama, Senator Tuberville met with several pecan growers who were seeking to add pecans to the farmer’s market program. This led Sen. Tuberville to introduce the Farmers’ Market Expansion Act to make pecans and other tree nuts eligible for the USDA’s Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). Language for the Farmers’ Market Expansion Act was included in the recent House AG Committee Farm Bill. 

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.