A deadline for shippers to sell “extra” apples to the U.S. Department Agriculture is coming up.

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service will accept bids until Jan. 11 for a total of $60 million in fresh apples and $40 million in processed apples for distribution through nutrition assistance programs.

That’s beyond the typical purchases made by the federal government, said Dan Langager of the Northwest Horticultural Council.

“It’s extra,” Langager said.

The federal government buys fresh and processed produce for school lunches, prisons and other nutrition programs every year. However, the Northwest Horticultural Council and the U.S. Apple Association encouraged the USDA to make additional procurements.

For more information and instructions for bidding, visit the Agricultural Marketing Service announcement at: ams.usda.gov/content/pre-solicitation-announcement-section-32-purchase-fresh-apples-and-processed-apple-products.

by Ross Courtney