Drought Disaster Relief
USDA DESIGNATES ALL 8 COUNTIES AS DROUGHT DISASTER AREAS
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue has designated Litchfield and Tolland Counties as primary natural disaster areas due to the drought. In addition, USDA designated primary drought areas in New York and Massachusetts, extending the declaration to contiguous counties as follows: Fairfield, Hartford, New Haven, Middlesex, Windham, and New London.
A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguous to such primary counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Producers who suffered losses caused by recent drought may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans. This natural disaster designation allows FSA to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts.
The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is June 15, 2021.
FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.
FSA has a variety of additional programs to help farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster. FSA programs that do not require a disaster declaration include: Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; and the Tree Assistance Program.
Farmers should locate their local FSA service center and contact them to discuss available options.
SBA OFFERS ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS TO SMALL BUSINESSES
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and private nonprofit organizations as a result of drought.
The following counties are currently eligible:
- New Haven
- New London
Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. Except for aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers. Nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by drought conditions.
The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 3 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations of all sizes, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov and should apply under SBA declaration # 16741, not for the COVID-19 incident.
Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Loan applications can be downloaded from sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Submit completed loan applications to SBA no later than June 15, 2021.
Connecticut Declaration 16731: Ag Fact Sheet (Link to CT 16731)
Massachusetts Declaration 16733: Ag Fact Sheet (link to MA 16733)
United States Drought Monitor
The United States Drought Monitor publishes weekly map updates based on analysis of data. Maps show the intensity and impacts on a broad-scale conditions.
View the current map and accompanying text summary for forecast statements here.
Interagency Drought Workgroup
The Interagency Drought Workgroup (IDW) is the entity responsible for actively monitoring water conditions and recommending drought declarations and mitigation actions to the Office of the Governor and state agency commissioners, under the authority of the WPC in accordance with the Connecticut Drought Preparedness and Response Plan.
Representatives from Department of Agriculture, Department of Public Health, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection participate in the group.
To learn more, click here.