Fourteen counties in New Jersey, including Mercer County, have been granted a National Disaster Designation following five months of extreme weather, Governor Chris Christie announced on Friday.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack granted the relief in light of Superstorm Sandy, a snowstorm, Nor'easter, drough, high winds, hail, excessive heat and rain and flash flooding between June 28 and November 8, 2012.
The declaration also includes Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Sussex and Warren Counties.
The aid is designed to offer relief to farmers who lost crops or suffered structural damages to their farms through the severe weather.
“Superstorm Sandy not only impacted our shoreline, but caused an immense amount of damage for our farmers, who already had suffered losses due to severe weather throughout the season,” Christie said. “While federal aid is already being provided through a variety of programs, now farmers will have additional federal agriculture disaster assistance to help them get back on their feet.”
The disaster designation makes farm operators eligible to be considered for assistance from Farm Service Agency, including emergency loans.
Eligible farmers now have eight months to apply for emergency loan assistance. The loans could cover up to 100 percent of the dollar value of the losses. Farmers must have suffered a 30 percent loss in crop production or physical loss to livestock, inventory or property and meet FSA’s eligibility requirements.
Contact your local FSA office for details by clicking here.
For more information on FSA’s disaster assistance programs, click here.