USDA Drought Disaster Designates 4 Massachusetts Counties & FSA Emergency Loan Program
Thursday, September 8, 2016
On August 29 and September 2, 2016 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) declared certain counties in New Hampshire as primary natural disaster areas due to losses caused by a recent drought. As a result of the New Hampshire declaration, four contiguous Massachusetts counties are automatically designated as drought disaster areas including: Essex, Franklin, Middlesex and Worcester counties. A USDA declaration makes available emergency loans through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to eligible producers to help recover from crop losses. Link to the USDA press releases: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/news-room/emergency-designations/2016/ed_2016_0825_rel_0094 and http://www.fsa.usda.gov/news-room/emergency-designations/2016/ed_2016_0902_rel_0101
Farm operators in the above designated counties are encouraged to contact their local USDA FSA county office. The following link to the FSA home page includes a tab with county office contact information: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/state-offices/Massachusetts/index. A link to the Emergency Loan Program describes the program in detail with information on what a producer should bring to a conversation with FSA loan staff: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/farm-loan-programs/emergency-farm-loans/index
MDAR’s mission is to ensure the long-term viability of agriculture in Massachusetts. Through its four divisions – Agricultural Conservation & Technical Assistance, Agricultural Markets, Animal Health, and Crop and Pest Services – MDAR strives to support, regulate and enhance the rich diversity of the Commonwealth’s agricultural community to promote economically and environmentally sound food safety and animal health measures, and fulfill agriculture’s role in energy conservation and production. For more information, visit MDAR’s website at mass.gov/agr, and follow at twitter.com/MDARCommish.