HARTFORD, CT – Governor Ned Lamont Monday announced that all eight counties in Connecticut have received disaster declarations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a result of the ongoing drought that has been negatively impacting the region’s farm industry.
The designation means that farmers in the state are eligible to be considered for certain disaster assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), such as emergency loans, provided eligibility requirements are met. FSA 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 the assistance should contact their local FSA office.
“Connecticut has been experiencing drought conditions for several months now, and our local farmers are feeling the negative impact from production losses,” Governor Lamont said. “I appreciate the USDA for approving this designation, and I encourage any farmers to contact their local FSA office and apply for assistance.”
“The USDA’s disaster declaration will help Connecticut farmers mitigate the losses and additional expenses incurred due to the drought,” Connecticut Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt said. “The impacts have been widespread throughout the state as producers worked to keep fields irrigated, hauled in water when wells went dry, and experienced significant losses of food production and livestock crops.”
Last week, the Connecticut Interagency Drought Workgroup – a state entity consisting of representatives from several state agencies – increased the drought status for four counties in Connecticut – Hartford, New London, Tolland, and Windham – to Stage 3. Middlesex and Litchfield counties remain at Stage 2, and Fairfield and New Haven Counties remain at Stage 1. The highest drought stage as specified by the Connecticut Drought Preparedness and Response Plan is Stage 5.