In this July 27, 2012, file photo, wild blueberries await harvesting in Warren. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | AP

PORTLAND, Maine — The U.S. Senate has approved a request to designate July as “National Blueberry Month” at the urging of senators from one of the country’s most important blueberry growing states.

Maine Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent, called for the designation. Maine is America’s top producer of wild blueberries.

The senators said in a joint statement that the resolution recognizes the importance of the industry, which faces “tremendous strain due to the ongoing trade retaliation and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The resolution also pays tribute to indigenous people who first cultivated the fruit long before the arrival of Europeans.