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USDA Disaster Assistance Applications Available for First District Blueberry Growers

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that agricultural producers affected by natural disasters, including Georgia blueberry growers who were devastated by unusually harsh freezes, are now eligible to apply for assistance beginning on September 11, 2019.  

Congressman Earl L. "Buddy" Carter (R-Ga.) fought to secure this assistance for this critical part of the First District's agricultural community in Congress.

To apply, producers should contact their local USDA service center or visit

"Help is officially on the way," said Carter. "It's been a long battle, but starting on Wednesday, growers will be able to apply for disaster relief. These freezes devastated entire communities as the blueberry crops suffered. I want to thank President Trump and the administration for working with us in Congress to deliver this desperately needed assistance." 

In 2017, Georgia was expected to produce around 90 million pounds of blueberries, but was drastically reduced to 30 million because of the record setting freeze combined with warm winter weather. In 2018, blueberry growers faced another freeze and another year of significant losses. 

These growers will be eligible to apply for the assistance needed to recover from these devastating losses through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+).

To apply, producers should contact their local USDA service center or visit For additional assistance or information, producers should call Carter's office in Savannah at 912-352-0101.