Jul 9, 2020
Report: USDA adds blueberries to list in Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

According to a North American Blueberry Council statement, the USDA announced July 9 that blueberry growers are now eligible for Category 1 Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments. 

“Based on the USDA’s original assessment of the impact of coronavirus on the industry, blueberries were  eligible only for Categories  2 and 3 for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) relief payments.,” the statement said. “USDA’s original market analysis had determined that blueberries did not demonstrate a five percent  decline in price between Jan. 15 and April 15. However, in response, the North American Blueberry Council (NABC) worked collaboratively with industry leadership to advocate for inclusion and provided the  USDA with the data and analysis necessary to reverse the original eligibility assessment. 

As a result, blueberry growers that qualify are now eligible for Category 1 CFAP payments.”

The unpublished USDA notice can be found here: 

https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2020-14854.pdf 

TAKE ACTION:

Growers that believe they qualify for Category 1 are encouraged to contact their local FSA office immediately to begin the application process. 

The program is based on self-certification; growers should retain documentation for future claim substantiation.

To learn more about the CFAP program and Category 1 eligibility requirements, visit farmers.gov/cfap/specialty.

COVID-19 Resources

For direct updates on NABC’s efforts, sign up for NABC newsletters here.


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