Governor Lamont Announces Connecticut Receives Federal Agriculture Disaster Declaration Due To Sub-Freezing Weather Event This Spring
Farmers Statewide Are Eligible to Apply for Emergency Loans to Cover Production Losses From May’s Sub-Freezing Temperatures
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has received notification from U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack informing him that his request has been approved for Connecticut to receive a federal agricultural disaster declaration due to the impact of the abnormal, sub-freezing weather event that occurred in the early morning hours of May 18, 2023.
This declaration means that farmers in all eight of Connecticut’s counties can apply for disaster assistance from the Farm Service Agency, such as emergency loans, to cover production losses they experienced because of the unusually cold temperatures that spring morning, provided that certain eligibility requirements are met.
“This abnormally cold weather event that occurred this spring caused incredible amounts of damage to crops of all kinds at farms in Connecticut, and in the following days farmers from across the state contacted my office expressing concerns about how these production losses will impact their businesses,” Governor Lamont said. “I am incredibly appreciative to Secretary Vilsack and the Biden administration for listening to our concerns and approving this disaster declaration because it means that assistance will be available for these farmers so they can continue their incredibly valuable operations. I urge any farmer who was impacted by this weather event to reach out to the Farm Service Agency as soon as possible.”
Connecticut Agriculture Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt added, “In a recent call with Secretary Vilsack’s office, the Farm Service Agency agreed to extend the deadline for applications for both the Tree Assistance Program and the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program. I encourage farmers that lost eligible trees, bushes, and vines to apply for TAP and any farms that lost honeybees to apply to ELAP. Both programs are available and can assist with replacement costs on the farm.”
Farmers will have eight months from the date of this secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. The Farm Service Agency considers each emergency 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 interested in applying for assistance must contact their local Farm Service Agency office.