Farmers Now Eligible for Federal Disaster Assistance Due to Drought

Governor Lamont Announces Farmers in All Eight Connecticut Counties Now Eligible for Federal Disaster Assistance Due to Drought

Governor Ned Lamont today (October 4, 2022) announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved his request to expand the natural disaster declaration that it recently approved for certain parts of Connecticut due to the drought that impacted the state this summer. As a result, agricultural producers in all eight of the state’s counties are now eligible to be considered for assistance from the Farm Service Agency, such as emergency loans, to offset the costs of production losses they experienced from the drought.

With the addition of this latest declaration, Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New London, and Windham counties have each been designated as primary natural disaster areas due to the drought. Those designations have resulted in the state’s two remaining counties – New Haven and Tolland – each being named as contiguous disaster counties. Farm operators in both primary and contiguous counties are eligible for assistance.

“The entirety of Connecticut is now covered under this natural disaster designation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, allowing farmers in all eight of our counties to seek emergency assistance stemming from their production losses due to the drought,” Governor Lamont said. “Agricultural producers support thousands of jobs in Connecticut and are a critical component of our economy. I strongly encourage any farmer operators in Connecticut that experienced losses because of the drought to reach out to their local Farm Service Agency office for information on assistance that may be available. I appreciate Secretary Vilsack and the Biden administration for expanding their declaration and supporting Connecticut’s agricultural industry.”

“Drought conditions hurt farmers across the state this summer,” Connecticut Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt said. “The recent rainfall has alleviated water concerns for producers but doesn’t bring back crops that were lost or significantly impacted with reduced yields. The disaster declaration provides a pathway for assistance, and we encourage producers to contact their local Farm Service Agency office for more guidance.”

Farmer operators interested in applying for assistance must contact the local Farm Service Agency office for their region. Farmers have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for assistance.