AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine's agriculture commissioner says it's "highly disappointing" the federal government won't include the state's blueberry growers in a program designed to provide payments to farmers hurt by trade disruption.

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Amanda Beal says the agency will keep pushing for the inclusion of Maine wild blueberry growers in future payment programs aimed at offsetting such disruptions.

Beal had called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to include wild blueberries in its Market Facilitation Program. That program's set to provide aid to growers hurt by foreign trade retaliation. The U.S. is currently embroiled in trade hostility with China.

The USDA said Maine's blueberry industry is helped by other assistance programs. Beal says the problem is those programs don't provide help directly to the farmers themselves.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.