Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Sunday that $5 million in emergency assistance is available to Connecticut farms that have suffered unrecoverable losses in production and property damage in 2013 because of severe weather, including the heavy rain in June. Individual awards will be based on the number of qualifying applications received by the July 15 deadline.
“Over the last two years, our state’s farm sector endured a series of severe weather-related blows that have put many of their businesses in peril,” Gov. Malloy said. “Agriculture is an industry with tremendous growth potential, contributing $3.5 billion to Connecticut’s economy and accounting for about 28,000 jobs in our state. Unfortunately, federal crop insurance programs that protect large farms in other parts of the country aren’t designed for small diversified farms like ours. This puts our farmers at an unfair disadvantage when extreme weather events occur, but I am committed to helping these hard-working families recover their losses and to seeing Connecticut’s small farms succeed and thrive.”
The Department of Economic and Community Development will partner with the Department of Agriculture to offer the grants, and the two state agencies will work with the non-profit Connecticut Farm Bureau Association to review applications and administer awards.
Assistance may be used to repair damaged property and equipment, replant lost crops, plant new/different crops in place of lost crops, purchase feed to supplement lost hay, corn and other crops for livestock, apply fertilizer and other soil amendments, apply any necessary products to prevent disease and/or pest outbreaks, and perform other activities needed to recover from the storms, as deemed appropriate by the commissioner of agriculture.
Applicants must demonstrate a loss, file a Schedule F form or similar tax return, submit photos of the damage and provide information regarding business ownership and proof of good standing with respect to state and local taxes.