Governor Lamont Requests Federal Agriculture Disaster Declaration Due to Crop Damage Caused by Recent Sub-Freezing Temperatures
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has submitted a request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeking a federal agriculture disaster declaration for all eight counties in Connecticut due to the significant damage to crops in farms across the state caused by sub-freezing temperatures and frost that occurred in the early morning hours of May 18, 2023.
In his letter to Agriculture Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack, Governor Lamont notes that some farms in Connecticut recorded temperatures that morning in the mid to low 20s that lasted up to five hours.
“We’re receiving reports from a significant number of farms across the state that the recent freezing weather conditions have caused an incredible amount of damage to many crops, such as strawberries, blueberries, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, apples, Christmas trees, and other nursery crops,” Governor Lamont said. “We are expecting additional losses to continue for the next several weeks as these crops uncover more damage post-freeze. Farms are small businesses that not only provide the food we eat but are also responsible for employing a significant number of workers and generating economic activity. The approval of this declaration will help these farmers continue supporting their businesses, as well as the many jobs they provide. I appreciate Secretary Vilsack’s consideration of this request and his ongoing support for Connecticut’s agricultural industry.”
If Governor Lamont’s request is approved, the declaration would make farmers eligible for certain federal disaster assistance programs, such as emergency loans, to cover production losses they experienced as a result of the weather conditions.