Gov. Malloy: $4.9 Million in Emergency Assistance Will Help Weather-Damaged Small Farms Recover
(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced today that the state Department of Agriculture (DoAg), in cooperation with the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), has approved 239 awards totaling $4,922,280 in emergency assistance for Connecticut farms through the Production Loss Assistance Needed Today (PLANT) grant program.
"I visited several Connecticut farms that experienced weather damage this summer and saw they were literally under water, with farmers working 16 to 18 hour days trying to pump fields dry and harvest crops before they were engulfed by flood waters. Unfortunately, these farms have been disproportionately affected by recent severe weather events and incurred some losses that are not protected under federal crop insurance programs," said Governor Malloy. "Many of our farms are family-owned small businesses that employ thousands of workers and contribute significantly to the state's $3.5 billion agriculture industry. Implementing our PLANT grant program was one of several steps we have taken to preserve Connecticut's agricultural base and ensure our farmers have a support system in place to help them recover from weather and flood damage, increase production and hiring, and thrive in an ever competitive regional economy."
DECD and DoAg partnered on the effort and also worked with the non-profit Connecticut Farm Bureau Association to review applications and administer awards. Applicants were required to demonstrate a loss, file a Schedule F form or similar tax return, submit photos of the damage, and provide information regarding business ownership and proof of good standing with respect to state and local taxes.
"This year's flooding and unprecedented storms resulted in significant property and crop damage and a loss of annual revenue for many farmers throughout the state, but the PLANT grant program provides the safety net necessary to help them get back on their feet," said Commissioner Reviczky. "I want to thank Governor Malloy for his leadership in providing relief to our farmers and mitigating the damage and economic impact of crop loss and production interruptions."
PLANT grant assistance will be distributed to cover the costs incurred for the following weather-related farm losses:
Repairing property and equipment damaged;
Replanting lost crops;
Planting new/different crops in place of lost crops;
Purchasing feed to supplement lost hay, corn, and other crops for livestock;
Applying fertilizer and other soil amendments;
Applying any necessary products to prevent disease and/or pest outbreaks;
Performing other activities needed to recover from the storms, as deemed appropriate by the commissioner of agriculture.
In June, Governor Malloy announced that PLANT grant funding would be made available to Connecticut farms that have suffered unrecoverable losses in production and property damage in 2013 due to severe weather events, including excessive precipitation and flooding.