UT Updates – November 2020

We went from summer to fall overnight, with some rain- A LOT of rain! Please find this week’s question of the week, news, resources and upcoming events below. As always, we’re here to help, so if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask and if you can’t find a resource that you need, please let us know!
Thank you for all you do!
Annette Wszelaki, Dave Lockwood and Margarita Velandia

Question of the Week:
I had a FSMA inspection this summer and the inspector mentioned needing to take a course to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. Can you tell me what course I need to take for that?

Absolutely! All non-exempt farms are required to have at least one person on the farm who has attended an approved FSMA PSR training. Currently, the only course that satisfies this requirement is the Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training. (If you’re not sure whether you are exempt from the rule or not, you can watch this great video from the University of Minnesota here.) Even if you are exempt, you are required to keep specific records, which we will go over in the workshop.

From Fruit Growers News: Agricultural Research Service releases three new blackberries
The best of Eastern and Western blackberry genetics have been melded to create Eclipse, Galaxy and Twilight, three new blackberry varieties released by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

ARS’ Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory in Corvallis, Oregon, working in cooperation with the Oregon State University Agricultural Experiment Station, has blended the desirable traits of Eastern erect-cane blackberries and Western trailing blackberries into new varieties with thornless semi-erect canes to fill new niches in the fresh berry market. Learn more about these three new varieties here.

From Growing Produce: Leafy Green Varieties That Will Please Your Customers
There is no shortage of leafy green vegetable varieties to choose from. But which ones are right for your crop portfolio and customers? Scan the photo gallery here for several fresh choices from leading seed breeders and distributors.

From the Tennessee Department of Agriculture: 2020 GAP Cost-share Deadline Extended to December 31
Qualified producers have the opportunity to offset the cost of a GAP Certification inspection with this program. Cost-share will reimburse 75% of the inspection cost up to $1,500.
2020 application period will be from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
Funds are available on a first come, first served basis.
Limit one reimbursement per certificate per year.
Producers only; does not apply to warehouses/distributors.
For more information on applying, contact Grant Pulse (phone: 615-837-5347; email:

From the USDA NRCS: New Rule Makes Enhancements to Environmental Quality Incentives Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the final rule for its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The rule updates USDA’s flagship program as directed by the 2018 Farm Bill and integrates feedback from agricultural producers and others.

“This final rule enables us to continue helping producers manage their land in the most beneficial ways possible,” said Kevin Norton, acting Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. “EQIP offers producers more than 150 conservation practices and helps bridge the gap between their concerns and the opportunity to implement solutions.”

COVID-19 resource updates: We are regularly updating the COVID-19 resources on the UT Vegetable Production website (

From OEFFA: USDA Releases Second Round of Coronavirus Funding Assistance for Farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now accepting applications for a second round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) funding
CFAP 2 will provide $14 billion in financial assistance to producers who continue to face market disruptions and related costs during the pandemic.
According to the USDA, CFAP 2 incorporates producer feedback and has been adapted to better meet the needs of impacted farmers growing non-specialty and specialty crops, livestock, dairy, eggs, aquaculture, nursery crops, and cut flowers.

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept CFAP 2 applications from September 21-December 11, 2020.
To complete the application, farmers need to reference their sales, inventory, and other records. It is a self-certification program and the documents will not need to be included with the application but should be available for county committee review and spot checks.

Producers can apply online or take applications to their county FSA office. The CFAP 2 Application Generator and Payment Calculator is used to input information and determine estimated payments.
Application assistance is available:
· Call your local FSA office to schedule an appointment if you need assistance or have questions.
· A call center is available for producers who would like additional one-on-one support with the application process; call (877) 508-8364.
Apply by December 11 to receive CFAP 2 assistance for your farm!

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