TRENTON — New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher announced that farmers in Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties and the contiguous counties of Atlantic, Camden and Cape May can still apply for disaster assistance for farm damages stemming from a storm on May 22, 2014. The storm brought with it excessive rain, flooding, high winds and hail that caused crop damage.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture determined there were sufficient production losses due to the violent storm that whipped through the area last May to warrant a Secretarial natural disaster designation, which made farmers in the six counties eligible to be considered for assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. This assistance includes FSA emergency loans.
For counties to be designated as primary natural disaster areas, they must have sustained a 30 percent or greater production loss to a single crop due to the disaster. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. FSA considers each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm and the security and repayment ability of the operator.
Farmers are encouraged to contact their local FSA office for details. To find a local office, visit http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=nj&agency=fsa. For more information on FSA’s disaster assistance programs, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=diap&topic=landing.