In this photo provided by the Department of Agriculture, vegetables grown in Ontario and Manitoba are shown for display at a nursery in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, January 8, 2019.
In this Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, winter vegetables are grown in a greenhouse in New Brunswick, Canada.
(Photo: Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP, File)The federal government said it would provide $20 million over five years for the purchase of winter vegetables, but would also offer farmers a loan to help them transition to winter vegetables.
It said it will invest $5 million in the program over two years.
Farmers can start planting winter vegetables in March or April if they have not had any previous crops planted.
The government said its first crop of winter vegetable seed will be delivered to farmers on April 18.
The USDA said it hopes to plant more than 200 million winter vegetables this year.
The $20 billion program would help farmers and processors adapt to the growing season in a way that helps them meet a growing demand for winter vegetables and other foods.
“The USDA is committed to ensuring that the USDA’s Winter Food Assistance Program continues to deliver critical support to farmers, processors, and food producers throughout the winter months,” said Agriculture Secretary David O’Sullivan.
“It is also critical that farmers, consumers, and growers continue to have access to nutritious, low-cost foods that are delivered to them in the springtime.”