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Lawmakers push for federal aid to wild blueberry industry

The push follows up on a similar request by the head of Maine's Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine's Congressional delegation is getting involved in a push to extend federal aid to members of the state's wild blueberry industry.

Wild blueberries are an important crop in Maine, but the industry has struggled with low prices in recent years. Maine's delegation says the U.S. Department of Agriculture should include the industry in its Market Facilitation Program, which is designed to provide money to agricultural producers affected by trade disruptions.

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The lawmakers' push follows up on a similar request by Amanda Beal, head of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The lawmakers say many growers are "drastically cutting back" production due to economic pressures.

A USDA spokesman didn't immediately respond to a question about the likelihood of including the wild blueberry industry in the Market Facilitation Program.

Ship ME Out: A Wild Maine Adventure
E1 - 'Wild Blueberry Land'
E2 - 'Jam Session'
E3 - 'Shipped Out'
E4 - 'Rolling to Reykjavik'
E5 - 'Full Wild Blue Golden Circle'