USDA Adds Blueberries to Category 1 Eligibility List in Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) for Farmers

USDA Adds Blueberries to Category 1 Eligibility List in Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) for Farmers

The USDA announced today that blueberry growers are now eligible for Category 1 Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) 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 CFAP relief payments. USDA’s original market analysis had determined that blueberries did not demonstrate a five percent decline in price between January 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 will be eligible for Category 1 CFAP payments at a rate of $.20 per pound of sales lost. 

The unpublished Rule by the Farm Service Agency notice can be found here.

The unpublished rate schedule for CARES Act Payment Rate for Sales Losses can be found here.

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.

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