U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) today announced that South Jersey counties have received a disaster designation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for crop losses caused by drought and excessive heat this past summer.
“This is certainly welcome news for South Jersey farmers who have faced tremendous challenges due to the extreme weather of this growing season,” said LoBiondo. “I was pleased to support the Governor’s request for federal assistance and will work with local farmers to ensure their losses are fairly compensated.”
Outlined in a letter from USDA Secretary Thomas Vislack, a primary natural disaster designation was made for the New Jersey counties of Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Salem, Somerset, Sussex and Warren. Federal assistance is also available for the contiguous counties of Essex, Passaic and Union.
With the designation, producers in both primary and contiguous counties are eligible to be considered for Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE). SURE was approved as part of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 and was implemented beginning on January 4, 2010. To receive an emergency loan, the FSA will consider each application on its own merit by taking into account the extent of losses, security available, and repayment ability. Affected farmers and ranchers are encouraged to contact their local FSA office for additional information.