ANNAPOLIS — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a Secretarial disaster designation for counties in Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey due to widespread crop losses caused by excessive rainfall that occurred from Aug. 1-Sept. 1, 2020. Maryland farmers in Caroline, Kent, and Queen Anne’s counties are eligible to be considered for USDA Farm Service Agency emergency loans.

“On top of all the challenges 2020 brought us, many Maryland farmers were also faced with record rainfall and flooding leading to significant losses in crop production,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “This funding will provide much-needed assistance and relief to Maryland farmers.”

On Nov. 6, 2020, the former Delaware State Executive Director of FSA requested disaster assistance for Kent County, Delaware due to heavy rainfall. In response on Feb. 12, 2021, the USDA issued a Secretarial disaster designation for one primary county, Kent, and two contiguous counties, New Castle and Sussex, in Delaware. Disaster designation was also declared for contiguous counties in adjacent states, including Caroline County, Kent County, and Queen Anne’s County in Maryland and Cumberland County and Salem County in New Jersey.

This assistance includes FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. 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.

Affected farmers in eligible counties should reach out to their local FSA office for more information.

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