USDA DESIGNATES 13 COUNTIES IN NEW JERSEY AS PRIMARY NATURAL DISASTER AREAS WITH ASSISTANCE TO PRODUCERS IN SURROUNDING STATES

November 9, 2015

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated in multiple disaster designations 13 counties in New Jersey as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by abnormally dry drought conditions and excessive heat, followed by excessive rain, flash flooding, high winds, lightning, and back to excessive heat and drought that occurred in 2015.

“Our hearts go out to those New Jersey farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation’s economy by sustaining the successes of America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these difficult times. We’re also telling New Jersey producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood.”

Designation 1: USDA has designated eight counties in New Jersey as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessive heat and drought conditions that occurred from April 1, 2015, through Sept. 29, 2015. Those counties are: Burlington, Camden, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Ocean, Somerset, Sussex, and Union.

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in New Jersey also qualify for disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are: Atlantic, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, and Warren.

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in New York and Pennsylvania also qualify for disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

New York: Orange and Richmond

Pennsylvania: Bucks, Monroe, Philadelphia and Pike

Designation 2: USDA has designated five counties in New Jersey as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessive rain, flash flooding, high winds and lightning that occurred from May 28, 2015, through July 15, 2015. Those counties are Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties.

Farmers and ranchers in Burlington, Camden and Ocean counties in New Jersey also qualify for disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Delaware and Pennsylvania also qualify for disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:
Delaware: Kent, New Castle and Sussex

Pennsylvania: Delaware and Philadelphia

Designation 3: USDA has designated five counties in New Jersey as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessive heat and drought conditions that occurred from July 16, 2015, through Sept. 29, 2015. Those counties are Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties.

Farmers and ranchers in Burlington, Camden and Ocean counties in New Jersey also qualify for disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Delaware and Pennsylvania also qualify for disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

Delaware: Kent, New Castle and Sussex

Pennsylvania: Delaware and Philadelphia

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Nov. 4, 2015, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

Other FSA programs that can provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration, include the Emergency Conservation Program, The Livestock Forage Disaster Program, the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program, and the Tree Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

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